Coexisting with Carnivores

Local communities engaging in carnivore research and peaceful coexistence

CARNIVORES AND COMMUNITIES

 

Woodland Park Zoo, Issaquah School District and the City of Issaquah co-facilitate this school and community engagement program in proactive consideration of human-wildlife interactions. The program focuses on community-developed strategies to prevent human-wildlife conflict in the region and foster a sense of pride for local wildlife.

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.

The partnership ensures that the region continues to be a sustainable and vibrant community within a matrix of intact natural ecosystems. Middle school students and Issaquah residents gain knowledge of local carnivores and the roles these species play as part of healthy ecosystems, and engage in community-driven learning and problem-solving around issues of human-wildlife interaction in a growing region.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

 

Students Studying Carnivores in Their Communities

Wild Wise: Coexisting with Carnivores offers middle school 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 gain a better understanding of the roles humans play in creating landscape patterns and processes, including impacts to 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.

 

Community-Based Coexistence




Resident Survey


An initial survey of Issaquah residents found that community members appreciate and are proud to live alongside local carnivores. However, they express some concerns about safety issues, especially for pets.



Wildlife Camera Trapping


Three teams of community volunteers currently 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.



Community Events


Program staff attend events in the Issaquah community – such as the Highlands Day Festival, Issaquah Salmon Days and Issaquah Farmer’s Market – to share information and updates on the program. Occasional learning events are also held in the community throughout the year. Most events are posted on the City of Issaquah events page, under “Community Events”.



Carnivore Coexistence Action Teams


The Carnivore Coexistence Action Team (CCAT), consists of Issaquah community members who want to foster peaceful coexistence with carnivores in their neighborhoods. Through the use of collaborative problem solving, the action teams are developing materials and implementing action strategies to promote peaceful coexistence and prevent wildlife conflicts.



Living Northwest Fest


Each year, Issaquah residents are invited to WPZ’s Living Northwest Fest, which happens every year on a Saturday in early June. A limited number of free passes to attend the event are distributed to Issaquah residents.


Community Support

The Wild Wise: Coexisting with Carnivores school program, presented by Carter Subaru, has been supported by the Issaquah Schools Foundation, Tulalip Tribes, Horizons Foundation, Ferguson Foundation and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Conservation Grants Fund.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services MA-20-17-0480-17.

Este proyecto ha sido posible en parte por el Instituto de Servicios de Museos y Bibliotecas, MA-20-17-0480-17.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

 

Research in Your Community

Woodland Park Zoo is working with our staff, volunteers and community partners to deploy camera traps in city and county parks across the greater Seattle region. We also launched our Carnivore Spotter website where you can record and share your carnivore sightings. Visit carnivorespotter.org now to report or explore local carnivore sightings throughout Seattle!

 

Carnivore Spotter

MORE WAYS TO HELP

 

Thanks to Our Supporters

 

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services MA-20-17-0480-17.
Este proyecto ha sido posible en parte por el Instituto de Servicios de Museos y Bibliotecas, MA-20-17-0480-17.

The Wild Wise: Coexisting With Carnivores school program, presented by Carter Subaru, has been supported by the Issaquah Schools Foundation, Tulalip Tribes, Horizons Foundation, Ferguson Foundation and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Conservation Grants Fund.

 

 

TEMPORARY CLOSURE
The zoo is temporarily closed following state recommendations to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
Get updates at zoo.org/health