Conservation and Trapping Science

Canada: Coyotes and more-than-human commons
May 3, 2022 08:59 ET

ABSTRACT
Co-existence is an emergent emphasis within animal geographies and urban wildlife policy that recognizes urban animals as both co-habitants and co-creators in the production of shared urban space and seeks to balance the well-being of humans and animals in the complexity of more-than-human relations. This paper considers how a municipal strategy that seeks to foster co-existence between humans and coyotes in Toronto, and the actions and practices that policy encourages, can be understood as acts of commoning. The policy focuses on public education as a way to shift perceptions and increase knowledge of coyotes and to modify human behavior (regarding waste-disposal and property maintenance) to dissuade coyotes from habituating to human-provided food sources. We engage with urban commons literature to propose that these practices can be understood as acts of commoning and as part of the processual work of negotiating more-than-human community benefits and needs that seek to build towards a more socially and ecologically just city.

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