What is Coexistence?

PHoto of a coyote
Canis latrans (coyote) in winter.
Photo provided by Coyote Watch Canada

Coexistence means for two objects to exist at the same time and in the same place. Coexisting with wildlife means people and animals living together in the same communities at the same time.

As cities expand, the climate changes, and ecosystems adapt to significant human disruptions, finding ways to live with wildlife become more important. While traditional thought is that wildlife must exist elsewhere, science and experience have proven that living alongside wildlife is not only beneficial to ecosystems and communities, but essential for sustainable, healthy communities.

Making coexistence a daily intention requires understanding the local ecosystem, the needs and wants of everyone within it – including people and wildlife, and seizing opportunities to ensure everyone is able to live happily and safely.

It also means understanding the negative impacts human behaviour can have on wildlife, particularly through indirect or direct feeding.

An image of a skunk
A striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis).
Photo by mirceax / Getty Images
A raccoon
A young raccoon balancing on the branch of a cedar tree.
Photo by Carol Hamilton / Getty Images

In this section of our website you will find resources, tools, and research about coexistence, organized by species.

Below is a recent list of coexistence-related articles and content that may be of interest and helpful to newcomers to the concept of coexistence. 

Are we missing anything that should be on this page? Let us know! Email us at info@TheFurBearers.com or use our contact form by clicking here.

Door Hangers Available:

  • Coexisting with Bears
  • Coexisting with Coyotes
  • Coexisting with Wildlife (general)

Our coexistence door hangers are designed to be a simple but effective educational tool. The double-sided pamphlet, cut so it easily hooks onto most residential doors, explains the basics on attractant management, what to do if you encounter wildlife, and how to find more information about coexistence.

These door hangers are available FREE upon request for you to distribute in your neighbourhood. Send us an email at info@TheFurBearers.com with your contact information and a bit about your community. Based on your needs, we’ll send you hangers (25-50 is normally a good starting point) so you can get started with supporting coexistence at the local level. 

The Fur-Bearers are pleased to share our Urban Feeding of Fur-Bearing Wildlife literature review. This review, compiled by Amelia Porter, MSc, EP, RPBio, organizes and provides an overview of the available studies and general state of knowledge related to wildlife feeding in urban areas.

The review will help inform our work in reducing negative encounters between people and wildlife, and assist municipalities and decision-makers to reach non-lethal decisions, rooted in the science of coexistence.

Urban Feeding of Fur-Bearing Wildlife answers three main questions:

  • Why do people feed urban wildlife?
  • What are the impacts to wildlife and humans in terms of behavior, health, ecology and conflict?
  • What are proven and potential mitigation strategies?

A free Wildlife Attractant Bylaw Toolkit is available to municipalities and concerned residents across British Columbia, with the goal of reducing negative encounters between humans and bears.

The Toolkit, developed by the Get Bear Smart Society, a member of the BC Bear Alliance (of which The Fur-Bearers is also a member), is a result of a multi-stakeholder collaboration and captures the common goal of supporting communities in their efforts to manage and reduce anthropogenic food sources.

The toolkit is robust, including sections on:

  • Why wildlife attractant bylaws are necessary
  • Methods to reduce human-bear interactions
  • First Nation bylaw considerations
  • Considerations for presenting to a council or board
  • Sample bylaws with detailed explanations
  • A complete reference list.

Click here to download a PDF of the toolkit now.

In this section find some of The Fur-Bearers’ videos related to coexistence. Looking for more? Check our YouTube channel by clicking here.

Help Make A Difference

Join The Fur-Bearers today and help us protect fur-bearing animals in the wild and confinement. To become a monthly donor (for as little as $10/month – the cost of two lattes) please click here and help us save lives today. Your donation is tax-deductible.

About Us

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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