Aligning Coyote and Human Welfare

Posted on Nov 30, 2020


by Alexandra BOESEL and Shelley ALEXANDER
CWBM 9 (2): 152-158.

Correspondence: Alexandra Boesel, University of Calgary, Earth Science Building, Canid Conservation Lab, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada.



Coyotes (Canis latrans) have adapted and learned to live alongside humans but not without cost. Seen as a pest, nuisance or biosecurity threat, coyotes often receive indirect or direct violence from the communities they live alongside with. It is our position that the values and behaviours justifying violence towards coyotes energize the same systems of oppression responsible for the marginalization of other groups (such as Indigenous peoples, non-male genders, differently-abled, people of colour, etc.). Herein, we liken the systemic violence that coyotes experience to that enacted against marginalized human groups. We argue that speciesism is foundational to the treatment of coyotes and that this structural oppression must be interrogated as we would racism, classism and sexism. Next, we suggest that both human and wildlife welfare need to be considered jointly in future conservation efforts, as the oppression of marginalized human and nonhuman animal groups are often linked. We conclude that structural changes in academia, wildlife management policies, and grassroots education are essential to dismantling traditions of violence towards coyotes.

Key Words: Coexistence, Coyotes, Marginalization, Mesopredators, Oppression, Speciesism, Violence, Welfare

9 - Boesel and Alexander


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