Have You Seen Me?


YOU can help us to estimate the probability of human-coyote interactions in Buncombe County, NC!




Coyotes, while not native to the Eastern US, are filling an important ecological niche created by the disappearance of native predators such as Gray and Red wolves. While benefiting the ecosystem by balancing the population of meso-carnivores (raccoons, opossums, feral cats), they may also cause conflict in and around urban areas. In order for humans to safely coexist with this species, wildlife managers need to know where the coyotes are living and, more specifically, how close they are to neighborhoods, people, and their pets. With this knowledge, conflict can be more easily avoided, and measures can be taken to ensure safe and peaceful coexistence. Read more about coexisting with the species here.


The goal of this project is to determine where coyotes have been seen or heard to create a distribution map of where human-coyote interactions occur. From this information, the probability of having a human-coyote interaction can be calculated for the entire Buncombe County region. Those areas with a high probability can then be educated in coyote safety, and special precautions can be taken to reduce conflict.


You can help with this project by completing the survey if you have seen or heard a coyote in Buncombe County in the last three years. If you have any questions about how to fill out this survey or what information we are looking for please read about how the data will be used by reading below, or contact Lindsey. If you need any help identifying a coyote or coyote call, visit our identification page here.


To begin the survey, click here.



My name is Lindsey Desmul and I am a Duke University student conducting a survey with Wild South to identify where in Buncombe County human/coyote interactions are occurring. With the extreme expansion of their home range, coyotes now inhabit every state except for Hawaii. In the Southeast, we are not used to living with predators that are so comfortable in urban environments, and at times it can cause concern among residents. Due to a compensatory, density-dependent breeding adaptation, coyotes cannot be removed permenantly from our environment. Since they are not going away, we need to change our behavior to ensure a safe coexistence. However, in order to target the neighborhoods that need to make the biggest changes, we need to find out which areas have the highest probability of human/coyote interactions.


This survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete. I will record your answers in a spreadsheet. Your name will not be used in the analysis or associated with your response in my report. Names of all reportees will be used in the spreadsheet attached in an appendix in the report. If you would like your name to be removed, please make a note of it in the survey, or only provide your first name. You will not be penalized for refusing to provide your full name.


Although the primary purpose of this study is to provide information to Wild South, I may also use the survey results as part of my Master’s Research Project for Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. I will not use your names in my research.


Participation in this survey is voluntary. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact me at If you have seen or heard a coyote in Buncombe County and would like to take the survey, please click here.


Thank you for your time and help!