Coyotes

Coyotes

We appreciate that residents are concerned when they see an animal such as a coyote near their neighbourhood. However, it is important to be aware that coyotes are not a danger to humans. Pets, especially smaller ones, may be vulnerable so should be kept under control at all times, in particular at night and if walking in wooded areas.

It is not uncommon to see coyotes in suburban, and sometimes urban areas, especially in areas close to wildlife corridors such as rivers, wooded areas, green spaces, hydro and rail corridors, and other similar spaces. Such areas can be located adjacent to, and even surrounded by, some significant corridors and tracts of green/open space and agricultural lands. In these instances, residents are advised to ensure that there are no attractants on their property so that the animals will not establish themselves closer to human habitation. Coyotes sighted near residential areas are most likely scavenging for food. Further, sightings tend to be greater between January and March, especially when snow cover is deep, making coyotes’ access to their normal food source difficult and encouraging them to seek food in locations where they may be more visible to residents.

Since the areas around the neighbourhood in question are natural, the animals have access to a water source abundant with small mice, chipmunks, and rabbits. Disposing of garbage in secure containers that cannot be opened by wildlife, and using securely enclosed compost bins free of meat, dairy or egg products are also good preventative practices that will steer wildlife back to natural food sources. Further, if residents would like to mitigate the chances of coyotes coming near their homes, they are encouraged to limit any kind of feeding they may provide in their backyard (e.g. picking up fallen fruit from any fruit trees in the yard; remove bird feeders).

The presence of coyotes is important to maintain a healthy ecosystem and to keep the rodent population low and at a healthy rate, so it is not advisable, nor effective, to remove them, nor does the City operate any removal programs. Having these animals removed is only possible by means of lethal trapping or hunting, and would result in another coyote or group of coyotes re-occupying the area shortly thereafter. The removal of wildlife is regulated by the Province, and it strongly advocates against it given that these animals are a considerably low risk to public safety and play a role in maintaining a strong, healthy ecosystem.

Further information concerning coyotes can be found on the City’s website at  https://ottawa.ca/en/livestock-and-animals#wildlife.

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