Coyote at the Kitchen Door: Living with Wildlife in Suburbia

Overview

A moose frustrates commuters by wandering onto the highway; a cougar stalks his prey through suburban backyards; an alligator suns himself in a strip mall parking lot. Such stories, which regularly make headline news, highlight the blurred divide that now exists between civilization and wilderness.

In Coyote at the Kitchen Door, Stephen DeStefano draws on decades of experience as a biologist and conservationist to examine the interplay between urban sprawl and wayward wildlife. ...

See more details below
Paperback
$16.20
BN.com price
(Save 19%)$20.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $9.50   
  • New (7) from $11.99   
  • Used (2) from $9.50   
Sending request ...

Overview

A moose frustrates commuters by wandering onto the highway; a cougar stalks his prey through suburban backyards; an alligator suns himself in a strip mall parking lot. Such stories, which regularly make headline news, highlight the blurred divide that now exists between civilization and wilderness.

In Coyote at the Kitchen Door, Stephen DeStefano draws on decades of experience as a biologist and conservationist to examine the interplay between urban sprawl and wayward wildlife. As he explores what our insatiable appetite for real estate means for the health and wellbeing of animals and ourselves, he highlights growing concerns, such as the loss of darkness at night because of light pollution. DeStefano writes movingly about the contrasts between constructed and natural environments and about the sometimes cherished, sometimes feared place that nature holds in our modern lives, as we cluster into cities yet show an increasing interest in the natural world.

Woven throughout the book is the story of one of the most successful species in North America: the coyote. Once restricted to the prairies of the West, this adaptable animal now inhabits most of North America—urban and wild alike. DeStefano traces a female coyote’s movements along a winding path between landscapes in which her species learned to survive and flourish. Coyote at the Kitchen Door asks us to rethink the meaning of progress and create a new suburban wildlife ethic.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New Scientist

Urban ecologist Stephen DeStefano's day job routinely involves man-handling moose—and deer, beavers and bears—that have ventured into territory now claimed by humans. His fear is that as the human population continues to rise, land once available for wildlife is being commandeered for housing, roads and shopping malls. As our settlements sprawl, wild animals become "pests." In Coyote at the Kitchen Door, DeStefano challenges that arrogant mindset. He vividly describes the wonder of his encounters with wild animals in wild places, and grippingly conveys why even suburban coyotes deserve respect.
— Gail Vines

Los Angeles Times Book Review

DeStefano weaves personal stories of his own wild encounters with scientific evidence on the negative effects that light, noise, traffic, road building and other human activities have on the wild animals in our midst. As the book unfolds, readers are drawn into his questions and are called to rethink "our overwhelming occupation of the landscape."
— Lyanda Lynn Haupt

New Yorker
DeStefano, a wildlife biologist, examines the expanding field of "urban ecology" in this pithy volume. Urban ecologists study changes in human--animal interactions caused by factors like sprawl, traffic, and noise pollution, in an attempt to understand why some species (the mountain lion, say) are badly disrupted by human developments, while others, such as the coyote, appear to be thriving--turning up in more and more Eastern back yards. DeStefano cites some alarming facts: in the past half--century, the average size of the American home has grown from nine hundred and eighty--three square feet to twenty--three hundred and fifty; the mere presence of a paved road alters the ecosystem for three hundred feet on either side of it. But, having experienced the benefits of a suburban childhood, he refuses to reduce his thinking to a view in which wilderness preservation is the only solution.
Times Higher Education

This book is about a topic that matters—our engagement with the land and its animals. The coyote is not just the trickster. It is part of the stories that suggest how we should behave for the sake of our own futures.
— Jules Pretty

Rocky Mount Telegram

A highly readable and thought-provoking work in which DeStefano takes us into his world and the world of the wildlife he admires. It also is the world in which we must live because we created it—but we also can change it if we work at it.
— Mae Woods Bell

Booklist

Narrating the travels of a plucky female coyote, the author explores humans' evolving relationship with nature and the violence of our light, noise, and traffic. Along the way, he offers us a glimpse at his own restless spirit, born in the Boston suburbs but drawn to the desert Southwest; resentful of human wastefulness yet exhilarated by the open road. DeStefano's willingness to probe his own ambivalence about the possibilities of coexistence with nature allows this selection to be about much more than just wild canines.
— Brendan Driscoll

ESPNOutdoors.com

Reading this book will help you better understand coyotes and what may be going through the mind of Wile E. Coyote & Co. It also helps you understand the omnivorous and highly adaptive coyote, which are real survivors. Stefano ultimately calls for a new suburban wildlife ethic of coexistence, and people who habituate coyotes and other wildlife, should read what he has to say.
— James Swan

Richard M. Degraaf
At home in town as well as in the wild, DeStefano gives a lively and insightful, deeply personal account of the tensions between the two as development encroaches relentlessly on the natural world. Nature is what we make it, and has been for a long time. It's just that the stakes are higher now for us and for wild life. Meanwhile, the coyote--unaware of our misgivings about what we have wrought--goes about the business of surviving in the suburban landscape.
Richard L. Knight
This is a delightful book. DeStefano takes you on an intimate journey across town and through back yards, discovering and enjoying our wild suburban neighbors. Since most of us live in suburbs, it's probably time we got to know them better. When such exciting entertainment is so close, why not enjoy!
Guy R. McPherson
Through the lens of a thoughtful human, the suburbs represent a tragic misallocation of resources. But through the lens of coyote, suburbia is just another place to thrive on a planet transformed by humanity. As DeStefano describes in witty, factual, down-to-earth prose, the trickster feasts on our accidental treats, constantly letting us know that, if we are to live with the coyote at the kitchen door, it will be on her terms, not ours.
New Scientist - Gail Vines
Urban ecologist Stephen DeStefano's day job routinely involves man-handling moose--and deer, beavers and bears--that have ventured into territory now claimed by humans. His fear is that as the human population continues to rise, land once available for wildlife is being commandeered for housing, roads and shopping malls. As our settlements sprawl, wild animals become "pests." In Coyote at the Kitchen Door, DeStefano challenges that arrogant mindset. He vividly describes the wonder of his encounters with wild animals in wild places, and grippingly conveys why even suburban coyotes deserve respect.
Los Angeles Times Book Review - Lyanda Lynn Haupt
DeStefano weaves personal stories of his own wild encounters with scientific evidence on the negative effects that light, noise, traffic, road building and other human activities have on the wild animals in our midst. As the book unfolds, readers are drawn into his questions and are called to rethink "our overwhelming occupation of the landscape."
Times Higher Education - Jules Pretty
This book is about a topic that matters--our engagement with the land and its animals. The coyote is not just the trickster. It is part of the stories that suggest how we should behave for the sake of our own futures.
Rocky Mount Telegram - Mae Woods Bell
A highly readable and thought-provoking work in which DeStefano takes us into his world and the world of the wildlife he admires. It also is the world in which we must live because we created it--but we also can change it if we work at it.
Booklist - Brendan Driscoll
Narrating the travels of a plucky female coyote, the author explores humans' evolving relationship with nature and the violence of our light, noise, and traffic. Along the way, he offers us a glimpse at his own restless spirit, born in the Boston suburbs but drawn to the desert Southwest; resentful of human wastefulness yet exhilarated by the open road. DeStefano's willingness to probe his own ambivalence about the possibilities of coexistence with nature allows this selection to be about much more than just wild canines.
ESPNOutdoors.com - James Swan
Reading this book will help you better understand coyotes and what may be going through the mind of Wile E. Coyote & Co. It also helps you understand the omnivorous and highly adaptive coyote, which are real survivors. Stefano ultimately calls for a new suburban wildlife ethic of coexistence, and people who habituate coyotes and other wildlife, should read what he has to say.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674060180
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 5/5/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen DeStefano is a research professor, Department of Natural Resources Conservation, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and leader, U.S. Geological Survey’s Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Prologue: Suburban Beginnings

  1. The World's Neighborhoods
  2. The Form Setter
  3. Gradient in Time: A Brief History of Wildlife in America
  4. Suburban Wildlife Encounters
  5. Mixed Messages
  6. The Suburban Jungle
  7. A Trilogy of Tolerable Nuisances: Part I—Traffic
  8. A Trilogy of Tolerable Nuisances: Parts II and III—Light and Noise
  9. Home Ownership and Other Near-death Experiences
  10. Living with People and Wildlife in Suburbia: A Short Story about a Small Moose
  11. Coyote Spirits
  12. A Suburban Land Ethic

  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)