Date of Award

8-10-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Frank L'Engle Williams

Second Advisor

Jennifer Patico

Third Advisor

Bethany Turner

Abstract

Human populations have grown dramatically in the last century. Animal species have responded in different ways, some adapting and exploiting human urban centers, like squirrels and raccoons. While other larger mammals, and predators specifically, are often extirpated. Since the 1970’s it is estimated the earth has lost 58% of wild vertebrate life, while humans and domesticates make up 96 % of biomass. In contrast, coyotes have thrived despite being targeted by federal wildlife agencies as a pest species, and this is why they are currently being studied by an array of scientists such as biologists, anthropologists, and ethologists. A growing body of research indicates that current lethal removal methods of predators, especially coyotes, is less effective than non-lethal interventions. This thesis will interpret several evolutionary, historic, and anthropogenic factors that have led to the current "coyote situation" and how future wildlife management might be improved for both people and wildlife.

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