Town to hold coyote information night January 20, 2016

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 – for immediate release

Town to hold coyote information night January 20, 2016

Public education is key to living with wildlife

To help residents better understand coyotes in our community, the Town of Oakville will be hosting a coyote information night on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, from 7-8:30 p.m. at St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School, 1080 Linbrook Road, east entrance.

This information night will provide residents with facts about coyotes and offer steps to ensure a better coexistence with our local wildlife. Representatives from the town, the Oakville Milton Humane Society (OMHS), Toronto Wildlife Centre and Halton Regional Police will let residents know what’s being done by various agencies, provide information on how to respond to a coyote sighting and help answer community questions or concerns.

Coyotes are regularly sighted in Oakville along our ravines and parklands. They are present throughout the year, but recent increased sightings in some residential neighbourhoods may be occurring for several reasons:

Food is readily available (compost, bird feeders, food waste being left out).
A case of mange among Oakville’s coyote population is making the infected coyotes seek food and warmth in residential areas.
Interactions with people are being tolerated. Coyotes should be actively scared off when they first start approaching residential areas.
Coyotes mate in January and February, which means coyotes are more active during this time, making them more visible.
Coyotes can be spotted more easily in the winter months as there is less foliage for them to hide behind.

Coyotes are usually wary of humans and avoid people whenever possible, however, human-coyote conflicts may arise when we intentionally feed them or inadvertently create free-food opportunities. We all share responsibility for preventing and handling human-wildlife conflicts. Therefore, it is important that these simple tips are embraced and followed by the entire community:

Never feed a coyote. Feeding makes the animals less fearful of humans. Ensure garbage and compost are inaccessible.
Do not leave food in town garbage cans. This encourages coyotes and other wildlife to frequent parks and sidewalks to find food.
Never approach or touch a coyote or stray dog. A coyote may be mistaken for a lost pet.
If available, throw items (e.g. rocks, tennis balls, etc.) towards a coyote to scare it off.
Do not turn your back on, or run from, a coyote. Stand tall, wave your arms and make lots of noise. Discourage coyotes from entering your property by consistently frightening them away.
Keep pets on a leash and supervise them at all times when they are in the yard.

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) helps landowners and municipalities deal with human-wildlife conflicts by providing information on managing problem animals and making referrals to appropriate agencies and wildlife control agents such as the OMHS. The town is working closely with the OMHS to collect information and identify sick or nuisance coyotes.

If a coyote poses an immediate threat to public safety, call 911.

For more information visit the Coyote page.

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Town to hold coyote information night January 20, 2016