UBC Undergraduate Research

How the coyote (Canis latrans) spatially and temporally use the University of British Columbia Kerr, Ella


The objectives of this study was to observe how coyotes (Canis latrans) spatially and temporally use The University of British Columbia (UBC) campus and the factors that may influence this, such as humans (Homo sapiens). This information may help us reduce future human-coyote interactions and keep the conflicts to zero on this campus. Coyotes have a natural avoidance to humans, the ability to easily habituate to anthropogenic resources and their nocturnal behavior alternating to dirnal when needed. Therefore, it was hypothesized that the coyotes will actively avoid high human trafficked areas and stick to their nocturnal behavior, unless required to venture into urban areas for resources. Over the two month study period from mid-January to mid-March 2022, a total of 213 coyotes and 145,846 human sightings were recorded from seven motion activated cameras deployed across campus. The results showed that the areas with the majority of coyote sightings had the minority of human sightings and vice versa. It was also observed that high coyote-trafficked areas had forested areas and access to anthropogenic resources in close proximity. Furthermore, a nocturnal trend was found for coyotes, being most active from 22:00 to 9:00. This is inversely seen in human sightings, with most sightings being from 8:00 to 17:00. Overlapping sightings between the species were also seen from the same time graph specifically at 9:00. This means that coyotes will adapt to diurnal behavior, possibly due to easily accessible anthropogenic resources and/or increased habituation to these resources. All of these findings support our predicted hypothesis. This newly found information regarding the coyotes that occupy in and around UBC campus can offer insight on how to move forward with coexisting with coyotes. Furthermore, promoting mitigation strategies such as using wildlife-proof garbage cans, discouraging intentional coyote feeding and implementing coyote-human protocols for future UBC urban planning should be enforced. With everyone working together to promote human-coyote coexistence, the coyotes and other wildlife inhabiting the UBC campus can continue to thrive. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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