Thursday, August 9. 2018
A Community Organized Wildlife Management Approach
Coyotes are becoming more frequent visitors to our neighbourhoods, whereas in the past they preferred rural environments. They have migrated into our cities to live off human provided food sources and over time have learned to be less fearful of people.
To reverse this trend and force the coyote to retreat to its more natural habitat, removing all potential food sources is the number one priority. Most coyote sightings occur during winter months as these relatively shy animals can roam within residential areas without being confronted by people. This is why most coyote reports and conflicts occur from December through March. Once the milder spring weather settles in and we spend more time outside, most coyotes will then return to forested areas to avoid human contact.
However, if the draw to food is irresistible, it could become an unwanted year-round neighbour. There is public concern that coyotes may approach young children or pets. While it is unlikely that a coyote would be attracted to children, caution should be exercised just the same.
As to pets, the coyote could view cats and small dogs as a food source. Large dogs may be seen as competition for food and the coyote may advance aggressively towards them. Therefore, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on your pet while it is outside.
Listed below are some proactive steps that can be easily implemented:
- Do not feed wild animals
- Do not feed pets outside
- Remove bird feeders since coyotes are attracted to bird seed, birds, squirrels etc.
- Use green bins for food waste instead of odour producing backyard composters
- Keep all household garbage inaccessible
- Place garbage at the curb in the morning of pickup
- Do not leave small children unattended outside
- Do not allow pets to run freely, keep them on a leash
- Keep cats and smaller dogs inside or within sight
- Remove brush and dense weeds around property as coyotes may use it for protective cover