San Diego County, California

New Exhibit: Co-existing With Coyotes

No matter how you feel about coyotes, they are here to stay. Coyotes are one of the few mammals to have expanded its range since the industrialization of humans and currently inhabit all of the lower 48 states. In San Diego County, coyotes are found almost everywhere–including wild lands, suburban neighborhoods, and even in our cities.

As coyotes continue to lose their traditional habitat and are driven onto human-occupied areas, conflict between humans and coyotes has increased. Between 1998 and 2015 there were 90 reported coyote attacks on humans in California. In contrast, there were 2,446 documented cases of foodborne illness in California during this same period—so in effect, people are 27 times more at risk from their food than from coyotes. Nevertheless, coyotes do pose a risk to people and their pets, and public concern continues to mount. But coyotes are an important part of our ecosystem, and coexistence with them is possible, which is the aim of our latest exhibit. Coexisting with Coyotes, will be on display in the Interpretive Center at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve on September 5th through December 31st.

Featuring puzzles, audio, art, taxidermy, and more, this interactive exhibit provides facts about these clever animals and dispels common myths. It also outlines specific things people can do to keep their family and pets safe while still keeping these beneficial creatures wild and free.

The exhibit was conceived by Dr. Adena Boxer-Capitano, a retired veterinarian. She’s also an educator and a docent at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. She started the Coyote Coexistence Project and is dedicated to helping communities develop plans to coexist with the wildlife that share our neighborhoods.

The Interpretive Center at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is open seven days a week, 8:00-3:00, depending on volunteer docent availability. An updated weekly schedule of Interpretive Center hours can be found at: https://elfinforest.olivenhain.com/.

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