Like any part of our natural community we share Richmond Hill with coyotes. Periodically I receive emails about this particular part of our natural world and I wanted to share two excellent resources with everyone to help to live in harmony with these animals. Toronto Region Conservation Authority has some resources about coyotes in urban areas on https://trca.ca/news/species-spotlight-coyotes-urban-areas/ .
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is responsible for wildlife management and has information on preventing and managing coyote conflicts on https://www.ontario.ca/page/preventing-and-managing-conflicts-coyotes-wolves-and-foxes
Coyotes are generally shy, cautious and non-confrontational unless they are sick or have been fed by humans. They are active year-round but are most often encountered at dawn or dusk especially from January to March. They are naturally carnivores based on their foraging and hunting behaviour but are sometimes considered opportunistic omnivores. Their diet consists of mainly rodents, rabbits, fruit, insects, waterfowl eggs and human sources such as garbage. It is important for people who live close to areas where coyotes are more common, such as ravines and railway corridors, to be mindful of these guidelines:
- Keep your pets indoors, especially cats. If pets are left outside it is best to keep a close eye on them.
- Clean up after your dog. Coyotes are attracted to dog feces.
- Keep your dog on a leash.
- Do not leave food waste outside and be sure to wash out your green bin regularly.
- Carry a flashlight or noise maker (blow horn) with you when walking at night or when placing your dog in the backyard.
- Try to avoid walking close to natural areas at dusk and dawn when coyotes are most active.
- Do NOT feed coyotes even though they may seem hungry.
- If you see a coyote, do not run. Back away slowly without turning your back to it.