Urban coyotes

This article is cross-posted from RUE contributor Katherine Forster’s blog ‘dandelions and concrete‘. Katherine recently relocated to Lindsay, Ontario to learn about natural ecosystems, the restoration of wildlife habitat and how to live in harmony with nature.

During our tracking class last week, the teacher pointed out fresh coyote tracks on school grounds beside the loggersports field. The campus used to be an old farm and there is a river running on the east and south end, with a small creek running into it. Rabbit, skunk, squirrels and racoons live near or on the property. We’ve also been told that you can find many different birds including osprey, cooper’s hawks, ruffled grouse and owls. When you really think about it, it’s amazing who our neighbours are.

In the last couple of years there has been a growing number of human-coyote interactions in different cities across Canada and municipalities have had different approaches to addressing these “conflicts”. Vancouver has chosen a policy of “co-existance” which many wildlife centres have praised as forward-thinking. I received an email from the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre that had this to say:

“In the metropolitan core (Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster) there are about 200 to 300 coyotes. Coyotes in urban areas will scrounge for food scraps and pet food left outdoors in garbage or compost — but their main food source in cities are the large populations of rats and mice.

Co-Existing with Coyotes
 aims to reduce conflict between people, pets and coyotes by providing accessible information through a wide range of media. The program has been developed in cooperation with the Vancouver Park Board and BC’s Ministry of Environment in response to increasing public contact with, and demand for information about, coyotes in Vancouver.”

Check out their website or email them to find out more: coyotes@stanleyparkecology.ca

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Urban coyotes

3 thoughts on “Urban coyotes

    1. Hi Dana – thanks for writing in. Here is some more info from Katherine:

      Thanks so much for your comment! The City of Vancouver’s estimate is for the coyote population of the entire lower mainland which includes Metro Vancouver (including Surrey, Richmond, Coquitlam, Langley, etc.) and the Fraser Valley District: “An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 coyote live among us in the Lower Mainland”. That includes alot of suburban and even some more rural communities.

      The estimate that I included in my post was sent to me from the Ottawa Carleton Wildlife Centre and is for the metropolitan core – the built-up urban area which only includes the City of Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster – which is a much smaller area. I appreciate being able to clarify this post – this region and the names for it can be confusing – especially with so many districts and levels of government. This definitely becomes even more confusing when the City of Vancouver uses a population count for the lower mainland which is an area that is much larger than their jurisdiction!

  1. After two coyotes were recently put down in Saskatoon, and more being spotted within city limits, this article is very enlighening. Where is the land space available for a coyote to live in peace without harrasment and fear. It is amazing cities are finding ways to co-exist with coyotes.

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