Creating a boundary between people/pets and urban coyotes has proven to be the most effective way of managing their behaviour in urban settings. Coyotes are very opportunistic animals always looking and learning – it’s a major factor in their success.
Coyotes will observe their surroundings to identify opportunities like food and shelter, and if left undeterred they will begin to pursue these opportunities in your neighbourhood. You can shape coyote behaviour to reduce conflicts by hazing, removing coyote attractants, and spreading the word in your community.
To learn more about urban coyotes and how to co-exist with them check out: stanleyparkecology.ca/conservation/co-existing-with-coyotes/understanding-urban-coyotes/
Hazing is a process whereby people deliberately disturb an animal’s sense of security so that it learns to avoid people, and helps to reduce conflicts with people and pets.
Steps for Effective Hazing
Never run away from a coyote – Though coyotes are not naturally aggressive to people, like most predatory mammals, they have a natural instinct to chase. Make sure your child knows not to run from coyotes. Children and adults should stand their ground, be big (put hands over head) and yell “Go Away Coyote” in their loudest voice.
Step 1. Basic Hazing deterrents include: loud noises, spraying water, bright lights, and shouting. Hazing can help maintain a coyote’s fear of humans and discourage them from neighbourhood spaces such as backyards and play areas. Yell “Go Away Coyote.” This both scares the coyote and alerts other people nearby of the coyote.
Step 2. Observe the coyote’s response. Many coyotes will flee with basic hazing. If the coyote does not flee the area then proceed to Step 3.
Step 3. Increase the intensity of your hazing effort. You can do this by chasing the coyote, throwing things at it, and by making loud noises (i.e. banging pots and pans).
The ‘Coyote Shaker’ is a highly effective tool in deterring coyotes. Simply put 12-15 pennies in a soda can and tape the opening closed. It is very noisy when shaken and can be thrown to land near a coyote that does not respond to the noise alone (or even throw the shaker directly at them).
Step 4. Involve your community. If the coyote seems highly habituated and does not respond to your increased vigilance and persistence at scaring it off, the next step is to get your neighbours involved. Hazing must be consistent to be effective, the more people that do it the more likely the coyote will stay afraid. If you suspect that the coyote is unresponsive to hazing because someone is feeding it intentionally, please inform the Co-existing with Coyote staff and the BC MOE (see contact information below).
Removing Attractants & Protecting Your Pet
Coyote behavioural change also involves changing human activities such as identifying/removing attractants and responsibly protecting pets. Urban coyotes are attracted to a variety of human food sources including: garbage, compost, neglected sheds, overgrown vegetation, fruit that has fallen from trees, garden vegetables, bird seed and pet food left outdoors. For information on how to protect your pet please follow this link: stanleyparkecology.ca/conservation/co-existing-with-coyotes/pet-safety/
NEVER FEED COYOTES
When wild animals are fed they lose their natural fear of people and tend to act unpredictably around people. Unpredictable behaviour often leads to acts of aggression. Feeding wild animals puts the animal, yourself, and your neighbours at risk.
Preventing Coyote Habituation:
“Co-existence is not a passive undertaking”Coyotes are not naturally aggressive animals and actual incidents of coyote attacks or aggression towards people are extremely rare and almost always a result of intentional feeding by people. The most recent attack in Metro Vancouver was in 2009 in Coquitlam and there have only been 5 bites in the past 10 years. Nevertheless, it is important that individuals learn to be coyote aware and help their communities be coyote aware too. The more people that are pro-active with coyote awareness, the more likely that coyotes will retain their fear of people. Please take a moment to talk to your neighbours about coyote awareness.
Additional Contact Information:
BC Ministry of Environment Call Centre Tel: 1-877-952-7277