Coyotes are active around den sites in spring, looking for food for their pups and hoping to keep risks to their families away. Fortunately, giving coyotes (and other wildlife) their space while exercising our pets and spending time in spring weather is easier than many may think.
Here’s three tips to ensure a safe spring in your neighbourhood:
1 Keep dogs leashed. Letting our companion animals play and run is important for their health and well-being; but letting them play and run where wildlife lives creates a risk for everyone. Keeping dogs leashed will drastically reduce negative encounters – one study showed that in reported “conflict” between dogs and coyotes, over 90% of the dogs were off-leash. Utilizing designated off-leash spaces and keeping pets on trails will keep them – and any wildlife who may consider them a predator – safe.
2 Never feed wildlife. When we want a frightened dog to come closer to us, we make ourselves small, quiet, and offer food, which reinforces the behaviour of getting nearer people. Coyotes (and other wildlife) will learn the same lesson when fed, and such feeding and conditioning is often at the root of negative encounters between people and wildlife. If you want to support animals, consider growing native plants and work toward restoring a healthy urban ecosystem.
3 Stay on the trail and be mindful of your surroundings. The moment we go outdoors, we’re in nature, regardless of if we’re in an urban environment. Staying on trails gives wildlife an opportunity to avoid people, and keep their young or food protected. Expect to see wildlife when in nature, and learn how to appropriately respond if you do encounter animals.
Support and respect our local wildlife in the moments we get to see them by allowing their wild behaviours to remain intact and giving them space are the best things we can do to keep our ecosystems – and those who live in them with us – healthy.
Learn more about coexistence and see our available educational resources at www.TheFurBearers.com/Coexist.