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Coyote Awareness and Coexistence Tips for Park Visitors

Coyote Awareness and Coexistence Tips for Park Visitors

 


A lone coyote looks into the camera

April 2, 2024 –

Vancouver's coyotes are in the midst of their breeding and burrowing season, and the Vancouver Parks and Recreation Board is reminding the public how to respect and interact with the animals to support peaceful coexistence.

Coyotes start breeding in January, and now, new litters are starting to appear. During this period coyotes become more active as they create dens, guard their territories and gather extra food for their young.

Coyotes are usually seen at dawn and dusk, but currently they are more visible during the day as they become more confident to protect their young. This can look like directing people and pets from their dens and adopting a more defensive posture when they feel threatened.

Found throughout the city, coyotes tend to choose secluded, wooded spots for their dens to feed their young. In response, Park Board staff may temporarily restrict access to some busy trails, such as those in Stanley Park, to minimize animal disturbance.

As the likelihood of coyote sightings increases, we want to remind the public how to support peaceful coexistence with all of Vancouver's wildlife so that people and animals can enjoy the city's green spaces without experiencing negative interactions.

Tips for peaceful coexistence

  • Never intentionally leave food on the ground, or offer food to wild animals. Food attractants are the main reason coyotes become familiar with humans and greatly increase the chances of conflict.
  • Respect trail closures to ensure dense coyote families are not disturbed.
  • Keep pets on a leash at all times, except in areas designated for off-leash dogs.
  • Dispose of waste in the bins provided.
  • Give space to wildlife. If you see a coyote, back away slowly. If the animal approaches, act aggressively by standing tall and shouting. Most importantly, don't turn your back or run. Coyotes have a natural instinct to chase and they will.

What the Vancouver Parks and Recreation Board is doing to support coexistence

  • Monitoring for any wildlife feeding contravenes the parks control regulation which strictly prohibits this in any Vancouver park. Anyone caught feeding wildlife, including coyotes, birds, rodents, squirrels and raccoons, is subject to a $500 fine.
  • Adopt proactive and strategic repellency conditions to reinforce healthy boundaries with wildlife and avoid the development of aggressive behavior patterns in young coyote populations.
  • Providing education and awareness to the public, including updates on related activities or closures.
  • Supporting the Stanley Park Ecological Societies Coexistence with Coyotes program, which reduces conflict between people, pets and coyotes in Stanley Park and around the city.
  • Working closely with wildlife experts and the Province on long-term research and monitoring of coyote populations and behaviors within Vancouver parks.

Report coyote sightings and behavior

The Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) tracks coyote behavior and monitors populations throughout the city. Coyotes exhibiting normal behavior, e.g. move randomly through their habitat; squeaking/barking; leaving the area when people or pets are spotted; or accompanying an animal or person outside their territory by following at a distance, can be reported to SPES online or by calling 604-257-6908, ext 104.

Regarding incidents such as aggressive coyote behavior; being fed by humans; a pet or human coming into physical contact with a coyote; or an injured/dead/displaced coyote should be reported immediately to the provincial All Hunters and Polluters (RAPP) report line at 1-877-952-7277.

For more information on coyote behavior and coexistence, visit: https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/urban-coyotes.aspx

Sources

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2/ https://vancouver.ca/news-calendar/coyote-awareness-tips-for-park-visitors-april-2024.aspx

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