The Coexisting with Carnivores Pilot Project (CWC) launched with three participating middle schools on the Olympic Peninsula on February 3, 2023. CWC Olympic Peninsula is a partnership between Olympic Educational Service District 114, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe field biologist Kim Sager-Fradkin, and the Quillayute Valley, Quilcene, and Crescent School Districts. Middle school students will investigate how humans and carnivores can peacefully coexist, asking questions and collecting data using camera traps in their local communities.
Western Washington continues to see the migration of more and more people seeking refuge from the hot summers and wildfires. This population expansion creates less habitat for larger species of carnivores that need wild spaces to live. Students will investigate how the needs of these larger carnivores connects and conflicts with the needs of humans. The CWC pilot project comes from the work of the Woodland Park Zoo and their CWC partnership with the Issaquah School District 2012-2021. The CWC Olympic Peninsula is leveraging the exciting work of Kim Sager-Fradkin as key partner in the Olympic Cougar Project. Students will learn about the Olympic Cougar Project and consider how their investigative question can provide insight to their local communities for how to better coexist with carnivores.