The following information was provided to The Revelstoke Current by BC Conservation Officer Justyn Bell of Golden.
CHILDREN AND COYOTES
It is not normal for coyotes to attack or pursue humans, especially adults. Problems between children and coyotes are usually the result of the coyote becoming conditioned/comfortable with people as a result of direct or indirect feeding.
Children shouldn’t be left unsupervised if a coyote is in area.
Parents should pick up small children and carry them.
It is an offence under section 33.1(1) of the Wildlife Act to feed dangerous wildlife. Tell them to report via the RAPP line ( 1-877-952-7277) anyone that is feeding or intentionally attracting dangerous wildlife.
COYOTE SIGHTINGS — General Information
Wild coyotes are naturally curious animals, however they are timid and will usually run away if challenged. Coyotes start posing a risk to people when they lose their timidity and become comfortable around humans – this is usually a result of direct or indirect feeding by humans.
If there is concern about a coyote encounter or about encountering aggressive coyotes, recommend that they keep a deterrent handy.
Deterrents could include: rocks, sticks, banging pots and pans, tin cans filled will rocks or pepper spray (may not be an option in an urban setting).
If a coyote approaches a person, it is recommended that the person make themselves look as large as possible – if sitting, stand for example.
Wave your arms and throw objects at the coyote. Use a deterrent.
Shout at the coyote in a loud aggressive voice.
If the coyote continues to approach don’t run or turn your back on the coyote. Continue to exaggerate the above gestures and slowly move to safety.
COYOTE SIGHTINGS – Urban
People in residential neighbourhoods must work together to ensure that coyotes don’t feel comfortable living in their neighbourhood. Coyotes that are rewarded through direct or indirect feeding will lose their fear of humans and begin to see humans, their yards and their pets as food sources.
A coyote that is comfortable in one person’s yard is going to feel comfortable in everyone’s yard. Encourage citizens to become proactive in their neighbourhood and community by helping to educate residents about coyotes.
Even within cities, adequate food supplies exist to support populations of coyotes. Coyotes are highly adaptable and will feed on: small mammals (mice, voles. rats, squirrels and rabbits), birds (ducks and geese), raccoons, fish, insects or any other available item.
Coyotes can be discouraged from hanging around homes by scaring them off each time they are seen and by removing attractants.
A sturdy fence that is at least 2 metres high will discourage coyotes from entering yards. The fence must be dug into the ground or a least flush to the ground to prevent coyotes from going under it.
- Ripe fruit has a high caloric value and is a highly sought after food source by bears as well as coyotes.
- Fruit can be picked before it ripens. The un-ripened fruit can then be stored indoors while it ripens.
- If the person doesn’t want to pick or can’t use all of the fruit suggest that they let their friends or neighbours pick the fruit for them.
- Determine if the fruit trees are necessary or if they are still wanted. If they aren’t, suggest that they have the trees cut down.
PETS – Keeping Pets Safe
- If you own a cat: the only way to guarantee a cat’s safety is to make it an indoor pet.
- Removing attractants will reduce the probability that a coyote will visit or hang around residential properties.
- An outdoor-enclosed cat run is also an option.
- If you own a small dog: if there are coyotes in the neighbourhood consider the following
- Keep their dog inside their home unless they can supervise it when it is outside.
- Keep their dog on a short leash. Avoid extension leashes.
- Supervise the dog when it is off-leash.
- Walk their dog at times and in a place with high pedestrian traffic.
- Avoid walking by abandoned or neglected properties and bushy areas.
- Keep the dog in front of them while walking.
- Walk the dog with a group of friends.
- If you own a large dog: coyotes pose very little risk to large dogs.
- Don’t allow your dog to play or interact with coyotes. This will allow coyotes to become comfortable around humans and their pets.
i) Stanley Park Ecology Society. Coexisting With Coyotes http://www.vcn.bc.ca/spes/urbanwildlife/cocoyote.htm
ii) Department of Natural Resources and Energy – Fish and Wildlife Branch. Province of New Brunswick. Nuisance Wildlife http://www.gnb.ca/0078/fw/nw/animalpests.asp
iii) Alberta Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management – Fish and Wildlife Branch http://www3.gov.ab.ca/srd/fw/
iv) United States Department of Agriculture http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ws/
v) The Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management http://wildlifedamage.unl.edu/
vi) Margo Supplies Ltd. Problem Wildlife Control Products http://www.margosupplies.com/
i) A Producers Guide to Preventing Predation on Livestock.
United States Department of Agriculture. Wildlife Services Electronic Brochures. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ws/pubs.html
ii) Livestock Guarding Dogs
The Electronic Guard: A Tool in Predation Control United States Department of Agriculture. Wildlife Services Fact Sheets http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ws/factsheets.html
BOOKS and RESOURCE MATERIALS
i) Prevention and Control of Coyote Predation. Alberta Agriculture Publishing Branch. 7000-113 Street, Edmonton Alberta T6H 5T6.
ii) Co-Existing With Coyotes. Stanley Park Ecology Society in Partnership with the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection. Pamphlet.
iii) Fencing With Electricity by Brian Kennedy. Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Publishing Branch. 7000-113 Street, Edmonton Alberta T6H 5T6. 1995.
iv) BC Agricultural Fencing Handbook. Government Publications Services. PO Box 9455 Stn Prov Govt Victoria, BC V8W 9V7. Phone: 1-800-282-7955 http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/resmgmt/publist/300series/307000%2D1.pdf