Coexisting with Carnivores


Local communities engaging in carnivore research and peaceful coexistence



Learn More About Urban Carnivores

As human population increases rapidly in King County, the distance between wild habitat and human development shrinks, resulting in increasing contact―and often conflict―between wildlife and people. The continued protection of carnivore populations, as well as public safety, depend upon the development of carnivore-friendly communities at a landscape scale.

Visit Carnivore Spotter’s resource pages for information on identifying our urban carnivore species, including black bears, bobcats, coyotes, cougars, and more

More Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about Coyotes
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife’s pages on Living With Wildlife
PAWS Wildlife Center - Helping sick, injured and orphaned wildlife get back home and thrive in the wild.



From 2012 – 2021, Woodland Park Zoo collaborated with the Issaquah School District and the City of Issaquah to co-facilitate a school and community engagement program (Coexisting with Carnivores) focused on community-developed strategies to prevent human-wildlife conflict in the region and foster a sense of pride for local wildlife. Middle school students and Issaquah residents gained knowledge of local carnivores and the roles these species play as part of healthy ecosystems, and engaged in community-driven learning and problem-solving around issues of human-wildlife interaction in a growing region.

The program was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services Museums for America grant MA-20-17-0480-17.


Carnivore Coexistence Action Team

The Carnivore Coexistence Action Team (CCAT) consisted of Issaquah community members who worked together to foster peaceful coexistence with carnivores in their neighborhoods. Through the use of collaborative problem solving, the action teams developed materials and implemented action strategies to promote peaceful coexistence and prevent wildlife conflicts.

Issaquah Parks Carnivore Project

Three teams of community volunteers run remote camera stations in Issaquah parks, contributing data on local carnivores to the City of Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department and into the Seattle Urban Carnivore Project via the global eMammal database. This project is ongoing as part of the Seattle Urban Carnivore Project’s regional research.

Wild Wise: Coexisting with Carnivores

This middle school program engaged middle school students investigating and proposing solutions to coexistence issues in their community (see further details below)., The program was supported by the Issaquah Schools Foundation, Tulalip Tribes, Horizons Foundation, Ferguson Foundation, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Conservation Grants Fund, Carter Subaru.



Wild Wise: Coexisting with Carnivores offers middle school teachers and their students a chance to develop science inquiry, civic literacy, and leadership skills as they investigate and share solutions for living with the carnivores in their communities. Students engage in the scientific practices of developing investigative research questions, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, and constructing scientific explanations. By studying carnivore activity in their communities, students develop empathy for carnivores in our communities and better understand the roles humans play in creating landscape patterns and processes, including impacts on carnivore distribution and behavior.

Student investigations focus on the essential question:
How can humans peacefully coexist with carnivores – meeting our own needs while also allowing carnivores to meet their needs?

Middle school students who participate in the Wild Wise: Coexisting with Carnivores program demonstrate increased appreciation of living in an area with large carnivores. The proportion of students that identified behaviors they could take to prevent conflicts almost doubled from the start to the end of the unit.


Set up a free account in our new education site, Discovery Den, to learn more about this program, including options for in-person, online, and blended learning models. Already have an account? View the Coexisting with Carnivores page, and gain access to customizable resources to meet the needs of your students.



Our Urban Carnivores Need Your Support and Appreciation!

Make an effort to coexist with carnivores and help your neighbors to do so as well. See the Coexisting with Carnivores Toolkit below to get started!


You can report and share your carnivore sightings - visit Carnivore Spotter now to report or explore local carnivore sightings throughout the greater Seattle area!

Carnivore Spotter

On the Zooniverse platform, you can help us to identify the wildlife we’ve detected on camera traps in urban and wild places across Washington, as part of our Seattle Urban Carnivore Project and our Washington Wolverine Project.


Participating as a Seattle Urban Carnivore Project Camera Trap Volunteer is an exciting opportunity to get hands-on experience with urban carnivore research while increasing your understanding of urban carnivores and how to foster human-wildlife coexistence.

Training for each year’s season will be offered around mid-March of that year. You will be contacted by project staff at least one month prior to training with further details.

Join the interest list for participating in 2022!



The resources below were developed by the Carnivore Coexistence Action Team (CCAT) in Issaquah and by staff and volunteers of the Seattle Urban Carnivore Project.

The Great Carnivore Discovery Adventure Lab

Adventure Lab games based in downtown Issaquah and the Issaquah Highlands. Geocaching Adventure Lab is a new app and platform that guides players through the process of finding clues, solving puzzles, and completing Adventures one location at a time. These two Adventures highlight interesting locations around downtown Issaquah and the Issaquah Highlands while providing players with information about local carnivores and tips for coexisting.

The Great Carnivore Discovery (downtown Issaquah)
Crossing Paths with Carnivores (Issaquah Highlands)

Social Media Toolkit

Do most of your conversations about urban carnivores happen on social media? We can help you harness the power of social media to promote coexistence! Carnivore Coexistence Action Team members developed this Social Media Toolkit with tips for coexistence and suggested photos and videos that can be used with each post. While designed specifically for the Issaquah area, anyone can help keep wildlife and people safe by sharing these messages on your social media accounts.

Download the Social Media Toolkit


Print and share this doorhanger with your neighbors to encourage actions that reduce the potential for human-wildlife conflicts.

Yard Signs

Signs for community members to display to share messages about actions people can take to coexist with local carnivores.

Get your yard sign



Our Mission

Woodland Park Zoo saves wildlife and inspires everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.

Land Acknowledgment

Woodland Park Zoo recognizes that these are the lands of the Tribal signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott. We acknowledge their stewardship of this place continues to this day and that it is our responsibility to join them to restore the relationship with the living world around us.

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5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103   |  206.548.2500  |

The zoo will close early at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 8, 2023 for our annual member appreciation event.