The Edmonton Urban Coyote Project aims to answer questions about urban coyote behaviour to help reduce the frequency of negative human-coyote interactions. These research questions include:
• Where do coyotes live in the city?
• What kinds of habitats do coyotes prefer?
• How big are urban coyote home ranges?
• How do coyotes move through the city?
• At what times are urban coyotes most active?
• What do urban coyotes eat?
• What do Edmontonians know and think about urban coyotes?
To better understand where coyotes are living in the city, we have collared six coyotes in South-Central Edmonton with Global Positioning System (GPS) collars. These collars store the location of the coyote every three hours. We can use these GPS locations to calculate home range sizes, habitat use, and movement rates using computer mapping software.
To determine what coyotes are eating in Edmonton, our team collects coyote scat (droppings) in urban parks in Edmonton. We then take prey hairs out of the scats and look at them under a microscope. Prey species can then be determined by patterns in the hair medulla (cells in the centre of the hair) and scales on the outside of the hair.