Trapping coyotes for research in Stanley Park is dangerous

A picture of a coyote in a Vancouver-area park.
A coyote (Canis latrans) in a Vancouver park.
Photo by Devonyu / Getty Images

Update (January 31, 2024): The University of British Columbia has informed The Fur-Bearers that only leg-holds and snares will be used (not drop nets), and that trapping will occur only when the park is closed (10 pm to 6 am). We will continue to share updates as they’re available.

A proposal to bait and use leg-hold traps, neck snares, and drop nets to catch coyotes in Vancouver’s Stanley Park puts wildlife, people, and pets at risk.

The Fur-Bearers has learned that the University of British Columbia has approved a project to trap and collar coyotes throughout Stanley Park and in nearby Pacific Spirit Park for research into the behavioural ecology of the park’s coyotes. Bait will be used to lure the coyotes into traps as part of a multi-year, provincially-funded project.

Read More: Undisclosed coyote trapping in Stanley Park sparks public safety backlash

Trapping coyotes using leg-holds, neck snares, and drop nets can result in distress, injuries, and death to both target and non-target animals caught in these indiscriminate devices, and also introduces public safety risks to park users accessing Stanley Park.

From our letter to UBC:

"We cannot stress enough how dangerous and irresponsible it is to set traps in Stanley Park when it is open. People that access the park may have dogs and children that can become trapped by the traps set by the researchers. Even after the park is closed, it is well known that people still access the park. Some unhoused individuals also live in the park in encampments. Whether the park is open or closed, trapping coyotes in Stanley Park carries significant risks."

The Fur-Bearers' letter to the University of British Columbia

According to the project proposal, pre-baiting and baiting will be ongoing during the trapping of coyotes; feeding is considered a primary driver in the change in coyote behaviour that led to dozens of bites on park visitors in 2020-2021. Introducing and removing bait may impact the behaviour of not only coyotes, but the other wild species who call Stanley Park home and the innumerous dogs that visit with their companions daily.

A picture showing a coyote caught in a leg-hold trap.

We’re urging the Animal Care Committee at UBC to suspend approval for this project over the invasive methods used on coyotes and its public safety risks to park users. At this time, The Fur-Bearers are uncertain of the exact timelines during which the proposed trapping will occur but will continue to monitor this issue.

Anyone concerned about this plan is urged to contact the University of British Columbia (via form only) and the City of Vancouver.

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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