Coyote sightings in Southern Ontario are not cause for alarm

coyote tracy riddell
It’s finally warming up across Ontario, and those of us who survived the full blast of a long winter are spending as much time wandering around outside as possible. And we’re not the only ones.

Numerous articles in community newspapers are popping up about coyotes – and other critters – who are being seen by residents. Sometimes, the articles are reasonable: coyotes are here, so here are some tips. Sometimes, they’re sensationalized: coyotes are here, the world is going to end.

But simply put, seeing wildlife is not cause for alarm, particularly in spring, when they’re out foraging for foodstuffs or seeking new territories. It is, however, an opportune time to discuss the tenets of co-existence.

Tips to reduce wildlife conflict with coyotes:

  • Never ever feed coyotes (while this may seem like common sense, intentional feeding is extremely common)
  • Keep pet food indoors (this attracts coyotes to your property and can cause them to develop territorial behaviours around the food source)
  • Keep trash cans covered and compost secure
  • Remove excess bird seed from your lawn (this attracts rodents, which in turn, attracts coyotes)
  • In the summer, remove fallen tree fruit and don’t allow fruit to rot (this also attracts rodents)
  • Keep cats indoors (from the coyote’s perspective, there is no difference between a cat and a groundhog)
  • At nighttime, keep dogs attended and leashed, especially small dogs

What is hazing?

Coyotes are wonderful family-focused animals, all of whom are individuals capable of emotion and learning. We can co-exist with them – if we’re willing to try.

Photo by Tracy Riddell Photography

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