Defender Radio and The Switch

Traditional media has long portrayed coyotes in a negative light – and you don’t have to take my word for it. Nicole Murphy, a student at Peterborough’s Trent University took on the issue of how coyotes are perceived by undertaking a three-part project: she ran an analysis of media reporting on coyotes across the Greater Toronto Area, surveyed staff, faculty and students at Trent University to get their perceptions, and setup trail cameras around the campus to learn and showcase how coyotes are already coexisting with people.

The paper, titled Perceptions of Urban Coyotes in Ontario: The role of media as a barrier to tolerance and possibilities for coexistence, is an outstanding look at how traditional media continues to paint coyotes in a negative light – and how, surprisingly, that impact may be shifting. It also provides insights into how advocates and educators can help people understand who coyotes are, the roles they play in ecosystems, and steps we can all take toward coexistence.

To share more about the paper, the results, and what it all means is Nicole Murphy, with Dr. Stephanie Rutherford of Trent University.


Coyotes of Trent (Nicole's Thesis website):

Trent University News: Why Are People Afraid of Coyotes? Trent Student Research Explores Our Perceptions of the Often-Feared Animal

Find Nicole Murphy on LinkedIn:

Learn more about Dr. Stephanie Rutherford:

Trent University School of the Environment:

Trent University's Bachelor of Environmental Science / Studies:

Cover photo provided by Nicole Murphy

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Defender Radio is produced by The Fur-Bearers (, a charitable non-partisan organization whose mandate is to advocate on behalf of fur-bearing animals in the wild and in confinement, promote coexistence solutions in communities and protect the habitats of fur-bearing animals across Canada. You can follow The Fur-Bearers on Instagram (, Twitter ( and Facebook ( 

Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_S10E19_Ontario_Coyotes_Nicole_Murphy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT