Burlington takes on feeding by-law to curb coyote encounters

After months of debate and media sensationalized coyote conflict, the City of Burlington, Ontario, is using progressive, humane tools to manage resident concerns about the canids.

A wildlife feeding by-law was approved by the development and infrastructure committee, one of several suggestions made by our friend Lesley Sampson of Coyote Watch Canada. As is frequently the case, it is managing the attractants and human behaviour that will have the greatest impact on the behaviour of wild animals.

“Sampson said the most important factor in the rising presence of coyotes in human populations is the availability of food,” wrote The Hamilton Spectator’s Joel OpHardt. “She specifically blamed garbage, picnics and scattered birdseed.”

Some proponents fear this could mean an end to children feeding birds – but by-laws do have discretion.

“We are going after the few abusers that are going overboard, feeding birds to the point where they are attracting coyotes," noted Councillor Rick Craven. “The coyotes are part of our natural environment…We have to live with them.”

Implementing a wildlife feeding by-law in conjunction with education is an excellent way to prevent conflict while introducing a younger generation to the beautiful intricacies of urban ecosystems.

Congratulations to the City of Burlington for taking such a positive, ecologically-sound step to live with wildlife.

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