About the program

The Cook County Coyote Project is a comprehensive study of coyotes in Chicago metropolitan areas. In 2000, we initiated the study in a non-biased attempt to address shortcomings in urban coyote ecology information and management. We continue to learn as the Coyote Project is still underway. With the help of many agencies, we live-capture our study subjects, collar, and release at the capture site. Coyotes are monitored in order to understand how they live in urban areas as well as how they interact with other wildlife and domestic animals. 

Our website provides details on the study, information about urban coyotes (including how to avoid conflicts), and a snapshot of the lives of the coyotes we track. By providing the public with our research, we are initiating the first step of coyote management — educating the public and untangling facts from myths. People should become aware of coyote signs and understand the differences between true threats and coexistence. It is important to stress that our relationship with coyotes is directly affected by our behavior. Coyotes react to us, and we can foster mutual respect or a lack of respect through cues we send to them. In our research, our primary interest is in observing and only in very rare occasions do we test manipulation of their behavior.

We hope you find answers to your questions on this website. If not, or to provide feedback on a new sighting of a collared coyote in your area, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about these animals.

Stan with coyote
coyote in neighborhood
a coyote new to the study (coyote 686) prior to release
Coyote 115 at capture

We were not able to capture the first mate of Coyote 1 prior to his death (likely from a vehicle), but we captured her second mate, Coyote 115, on February 18, 2004, at the peak of the mating season. Coyote 115 was in excellent condition at 18 kg (40 lbs). He remained with Coyote 1 constantly until her death in 2010. Their relationship was interesting to observe, where at times they were inseparable, and other times they would take short breaks from each other. Still, they defended the same territory together continuously after 115’s collaring date.