City life isn't for everyone. But urban coyotes find it suits them fine.
Today, defining the boundary of where urban meets rural can get blurry. And with every new sprawling development, our communities creep closer into habitats of our wild neighbors. Coyotes are one of those species—like pigeons, magpies, crows, and racoons—that can tolerate living with us. This can mean conflict between them, people, and pets.
Typically shy and not a threat to humans, coyotes may become more aggressive as they get comfortable around people. Don't do what I've done and try to get closer for a better look or a picture! (Because of its nonchalant nature, a few times I thought a coyote was a dog off-leash.)
Learn how to haze a coyote.
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Hazing can help maintain coyotes' fear of humans and deter them from our backyards (which I suspect would significantly reduce the number of missing cat posters in my neighbourhood). The simplest way is to get loud and large! Stand tall, wave your arms, and yell.
Keep your family and pets safe. Never feed coyotes. You're just putting the animal, yourself, and your neighbours at risk. Prevent unwanted encounters with urban coyotes by keeping pet food inside, and keeping your garbage bins tidy.
Studies show that urban coyotes actually have longer life expectancies than their rural cousins, so chances are they're here to stay. Find out if a naturalist group in your city offers urban coyote education programs, like Stanley Park Ecology Society's Co-Existing with Coyotes. They also have a coyote hotline (604-681-WILD) to report sightings and maintain a map of recent reports.
Do you have urban coyotes where you live?
Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green