Our Elusive Neighbours: Imagining and Negotiating Natures with Urban Coyotes
This research centers on urban coyotes, which belong to a category of non–domesticated nonhumans I define as “urbanized animals”. The designation refers to those highly versatile species that have become habituated to, yet not completely dependent on human livelihood (e.g. urban red foxes, pigeons). Partly an effect of their characteristic elusiveness, and partly because of the dynamics of modern nature-culture dichotomies, the presence of urban coyotes is largely inconspicuous unless a risk element makes them visible. The proposed research is an ethnographic inquiry into the discursive framing of urban, nonhuman Others as risks, as entangled as this process is with a triangulation of governance practices, public opinion and popular media. It will contribute to the social sciences through exploring the following questions: In what way is our perspective of elements of the cityscape influenced by and influences governance of humans and nonhumans' behaviours? How are human encounters with urban wildlife coproduced through different imaginations of “nature”?