Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Book Review: Chasing Coyotes: Accounts of Urban Crises

Chasing Coyotes: Accounts of Urban Crises
Debora Martin 
Atlas Publishing / 2017
ISBN / Kindle Verison / 190 Pages

Chasing Coyotes is based on Debora Martin interaction with coyotes over the course of the last ten years. Her experience interacting with this canine is relevant as urban edges have encroached into more and more habitat. 

Coyotes move into communities for a variety of reasons. In some cases, they are moved or relocated due to development or habitat change. As a result, these adaptable relatives of the wolves can start off as a curiosity and end up being a significant menace. Martin uses her personal stories to share how these hunters move into communities and begin to pray on house pets and other neighborhood animals. Eventually, it is their habits and their adaptability that makes them so hard to manage in an urban setting. As the coyotes become more and more brazen, they also become more protective of their territory, their dens, and eventually their litters. 

The personal narratives in this book are interesting and helpful in fighting off a coyote issue in a community. And while most of her experience is on the West Coast, it still seems very helpful and useful regardless of where you live. Where the book becomes helpful is when she taps into studies and researchers to help expand the scope of urban incursion.  

There is some misinformation out there and this guide helps to inform myths and erroneous information. Beyond that, this book does provide some behavioral tips for hazing coyotes and making them feel unwanted. This book speaks to the displacement of habitat and the way we proactively and reactively face shifting animal populations. There are times when this book really informs about the behavior and the ideology that goes into these interactions and cohabitation. While the personal narrative is sometimes long, it helps to inform readers about the complicated nature of hearing complaints and attacks, attempts to trap, laws, meetings, state and federal response, and how it can all make someone feel like no one is really listening at all.  Martin is the Director of Coyotes in Orange County, Califonia and works in the insurance industry. 

Parting Words: This easy to read guide is a good resource for unwanted coyotes and wildlife interaction. Written to be understood with some practical and clear guidelines to help.

Endnote: I selected this book because we are facing a similar coyote outbreak in our small Connecticut community. The review was not solicited by the author or publisher. 

Ron Samul is a writer and college educator. 


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