: I have seen coyotes on my property. Is this normal?

A: Coyotes have adapted to many areas and chances are if you live in a rural or semi-rural area or are adjacent to a natural area then you are likely sharing your space with coyotes. Many people have coyotes in the area where they live and never see them. Like all wildlife we share our spaces with there is a potential for conflict. Here are some important tips to prevent these conflicts:

Photo courtesy of Michael Davies

*Do Not Feed– Feeding coyotes, whether directly or indirectly, can habituate them to people and make them reliant on this food.

*Remove Food Sources– It is also important to remove anything that could provide a food source for coyotes. These animals are resourceful and opportunistic feeders, this means they will eat garbage, pet food and even garden vegetables. It is also a good idea to remove birdfeeders as they attract birds and small animals, which coyotes feed on.

*Keep Pets Safe– Pets left unattended are a potential food source for animals like coyotes and fishers, so keep your pets safe. For smaller dogs and cats this means keeping them indoors, staying with them while outside, or keeping them in a fully enclosed area like a dog run. For larger dogs it is good to keep them contained in your yard and while walking keep them leashed to prevent them from encountering wildlife.

*Discourage Bold Coyotes– Occasionally you may experience a coyote that is bold and not very wary of people. If you encounter such an animal it is important to discourage this behaviour by making noise, waving your hands, clapping and shouting and you can also spray it with a hose.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Wildlife especially coyotes, foxes and fishers come closer to people’s properties especially around the perimeter of houses. This is where heat from our homes escapes, melting snow and creating trail ways for mice, squirrels and other small animals which are the primary diet of these larger species. It does not mean these animals are stalking your family. In fact, they do not pose a threat to people.

Q: I have a farm and am concerned about coyote predation on my livestock. What can I do?

A: It is important to remove any dead livestock from fields, as this will attract coyotes. Guard dogs, llamas and donkeys are good methods of protecting livestock by deterring coyotes.

Q: Will trapping or killing the coyotes work?

A: Coyotes are very intelligent, wary animals that are very unlikely to be trapped. In fact many say that trapping and killing only removes the less intelligent members of the population, leaving the best-adapted animals. Under normal circumstances generally only the dominant coyote pair breeds and produces one litter a year. Killing coyotes disrupts the social order of the pack and the population structure, causing more coyotes to breed and have larger litters. Coyotes will also fill into vacated habitat from adjacent areas. Thus, eradication efforts frequently lead to increases in local coyote populations.

In addition, removing one or a dozen animals will never solve a problem, as it is normal for coyotes to inhabit these areas. But by using the safeguards outlined above, people and coyotes can co-exist, as they have been doing in many areas for decades.

For more information please visit; http://wildlifeinfo.ca/index.html

To learn more…