Living With Wildlife Conference: Meet Dan Straker

It all started with a grad student taking a unique view of an all-too common concern. In 1997, the coyote population in Vancouver was becoming more visible to residents. While the media was reporting sensationalized stories, Kristine Webber began asking her own questions. The result was a ground breaking examination of how local residents viewed coyotes that led to the creation of the country’s oldest coexistence program.

Today, Dan Straker is the Coexisting With Coyotes Program Coordinator for the Stanley Park Ecology Society and will be speaking at the 3rd Annual Living With Wildlife Conference on September 20.

“The details of our program may not be that well understood,” Straker told The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals. “I’ll be giving background on how the program works and the unique relationship we have with the city and Ministry of the Environment. That may be an eye opener, especially for people who aren’t from British Columbia. It’s a pretty successful model.”

The model is so successful, in fact, that many others in communities are being inspired by it or similar programs.

In a strange twist, even traditional media has been educated by the CWC program.

“Our work here has been so long standing that most of the time when a coyote event occurs, we’re the first people the media call,” Straker said. “It quickly becomes a non-story. People get the information they need and they’re not freaked out.”

Guests at the 3rd Annual Living With Wildlife Conference will get to hear more about the success of the program, its history and some tips on how the model can be implemented elsewhere.

“The message will be about communicating,” Straker concluded. “It doesn’t take much work to make coexistence a possibility. People shouldn’t be afraid of it.”

To get more information or register for your seat today (the event is open to the general public), check out our Living With Wildlife Conference page.

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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