*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington.
Burlington, Ont. — March 7, 2023 — It’s that time of the year again when the City of Burlington is reminding residents about steps they can take to help reduce the risk of potential coyote conflicts during their denning season.
Denning season is the time of year when coyotes’ pups are born. Shortly before a coyote gives birth, between April and May, the coyote will begin digging a den which they will use to raise their pups.
“With spring around the corner, we’d like to remind residents about steps we can all take to help prevent potential coyote conflicts. Research and past experiences have shown the most effective thing we can do to lower direct run ins with coyotes is to remove coyote enticements such as food – this includes direct feeding, such as leaving food outdoors for coyotes, and indirect feeding, like leaving waste garbage out at the curb overnight or rotting fruit on the ground from fruit trees.” — Nick Anastasopoulos, Director of Building & Bylaw, City of Burlington
While naturally wary of humans, coyotes will seek food and shelter in residential neighbourhoods when they are being fed on purpose or by accident. The Top 5 things residents can do to help deter coyotes include:
- Never feed coyotes
- Feeding coyotes, on purpose or by accident, teaches them to depend on human handouts and can cause them to become too familiar with humans. This familiarization can lead to aggressive behaviour around people and dogs.
- Never leave pets unattended
- Coyotes may see pets as a threat to their territory and may attack, especially when there is a den site nearby. Always keep dogs on a short leash (less than six feet long) when walking outdoors. Make sure your cats and dogs are not left alone outside, even in your fenced backyard.
- Keep a tidy property
- Residential neighbourhoods are an ideal coyote habitat with access to water, shelter and food sources like garbage, pet food, fruit tress and birdfeeders. Make sure your property is tidy and clear of garbage, food, brush, long grass and wood piles which are ideal den sites for coyotes or other wild animals that attract coyotes.
- Inspect your property
- Make sure spaces around and under decks, sheds and similar structures are closed off with wire screening that extends at least 20 centimetres under the ground.
- Consistently haze coyotes
- Discouraging coyotes takes vigilance. Ongoing efforts by the entire community to haze coyotes can help to re-instill their fear of humans and stop unwelcome behaviour.
Use one or more of these hazing techniques every time you see a coyote to help move it out of a residential area:
- Stop. Don’t run.
- Pick up small children and pets.
- Yell loudly;
- Wave your arms and make yourself look as big as possible;
- Use air horns, whistles, bang pots;
- Throw small rocks, large sticks, cans and/or rubber balls near the coyote;
- Spray the coyote with water from a garden hose or a water gun filled with vinegar.
- Back away slowly.
Report coyote sightings, including aggressive, sick or injured coyotes online at www.burlington.ca/coyote. Call 9-1-1- if a coyote poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety.
- Coyotes are native to North America and can be found living in urban and rural areas.
- Food sources like mice, rats and garbage are readily available in urban areas, attracting coyotes to residential neighbourhoods.
- In 2015, Burlington City Council approved a Coyote Response Strategy that provides guidelines on preventing and managing conflicts with coyotes.
- Concerns about direct or indirect feeding of wildlife can be reported to Animal Control at email@example.com
- Hand feeding and ground feeding wildlife on private or public property is prohibited by the City’s Lot Maintenance Bylaw (59-2018) and is subject to a $300 fine.
- To request an audit of your yard for coyote attractants by city Animal Control staff, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Links and Resources:
- Learn more about living with coyotes at www.burlington.ca/coyote
- Report a coyote sighting online at www.burlington.ca/coyote
- Watch a video about how to wildlife proof your property