Are Coyotes An Invasive Species? WUNC’s ‘Creep’ Debunks Myths And Misperceptions

Jul 21, 2020

Creeping, crawling, thriving, surviving … no matter where we look, animal species are living in our midst. Some survive despite the challenges and hazards human life imposes, while others thrive because of it. 

A new WUNC audio special, hosted by journalists Laura Pellicer and Elizabeth Friend, explores the way one particular species has evolved in tandem with human neighbors: coyotes. When the pandemic-instigated lockdown forced many to work and learn from home, coyote sightings occurred in cities across the country. Pellicer and Friend set out to discover more about the increase in sightings, and they ended uncovering mysteries they weren’t expecting to find. What constitutes an invasive species? Why are coyotes one of the most hated animals in North America?

Their audio documentary “Creep” finds some answers to these questions in the words of top coyote researchers. Host Anita Rao talks with Pellicer, WUNC digital news producer, and Friend, reporter and independent producer, about the audio special’s conception, the history of coyote populations in North Carolina and the coyote’s curious appetite for persimmons.