BE COYOTE SMART
Coyotes are permanent residents in our province, so seeing or hearing them from time to time is not unusual. They have become part of the ecosystem as a top-line predator. Nocturnal by nature, coyotes tend to be most active and vocal at night.
Coyotes are normally shy and fearful of people. When this behaviour changes and they lose that fear, there is cause for concern. A coyote's loss of fear of people, called habituation, is nearly always caused by direct or indirect feeding by people, or by the presence of non threatening humans in coyote habitat.
KEEP COYOTES WILD AND OUT OF YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD!!
Reduce the attractiveness of your property to coyotes. Work with your neighbours to follow these steps.
- Trim trees and shrubs to reduce hiding places for coyotes and their prey;
- Store bird feeders indoors at night. Clean up spilled birdseed to avoid attracting rodents, small mammals, and other coyote prey;
- Pick tree fruit and berries as soon as they ripen;
- Install motion-sensitive lighting around your yard;
- Manage compost piles carefully - no meat, fat, bones or seafood shells;
- Store garbage in tightly closing or locking containers.
Never intentionally feed coyotes; doing so puts the entire neighbourhood at risk of unwanted coyote encounters or attacks.
KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE
Cats and dogs that run free are easy prey and may actually encourage coyotes to range closer to your property. Safeguard cats, rabbits, and small dogs by keeping them indoors. Larger dogs can be contained in outdoor kennels that are two metres (six fee high) and preferably inset in the ground or in concrete. Never feed pets outdoors and bring dogs indoors after dark. Always walk your dog on a leash.
FEAR OF COYOTE ENCOUNTER SHOULD NOT STOP YOU FROM ENJOYING OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES. TAKE THESE STEPS TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF AN UNWANTED ENCOUNTER WITH A COYOTE.
- Hike with friends;
- Be award of your surroundings;
- Use a walking stick and carry a noisemaker such as a bell or a whittle, an air horn or a personal alarm;
- Do not feed animals in the woods or along trails;
- Never discard food in the woods. Coyotes with access to human food or garbage lose their fear of people;
- Always walk your dog on a leash. If your dog is attacked, never get between your pet and the coyote as the coyote may turn its aggression toward you.
IF YOU SEE A COYOTE DO NOT APPROACH IT.
IF A COYOTE APPROACHES YOU, DON'T RUN; THIS CAN CAUSE THE COYOTE TO CHASE YOU.
If a coyote attacks you, fight back, shout, and throw stones; use whatever is available to defend yourself.
EASTERN COYOTE FACTS:
BEHAVIOUR: Nocturnal, most active and vocal at night; high pitches yelps, barks and hows, normally shy of people
TERRITORY: Almost anywhere in Nova Scotia - year round. Territory ranges from 24 to 48 km.
APPEARANCE: Average size of 15 kg (34 lbw); Males can reach more than 23 kg (50 lbw); Tawny, grey, or black fur with long black guard hairs; thick fur makes them look large; Muzzle, throat, legs and belly colour ranges from yellowish to white.
MATING/RAISING YOUNG: Mate from January to March; 5 to 7 pups born between April and May.
DIET: Carnivores, but will eat anything available including: small mammals, rodents, and snowshoe hair, carrion (decaying carcasses), berries and fallen tree fruit, garbage and copouts, deer, fawns, sheep, and lambs, feral and pet cats, dogs. Usually hunt alone or in pairs, occasionally in small family groups
REPORT UNUSUAL OR AGGRESSIVE COYOTE BEHAVIOUR TO YOUR NEAREST DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES OFFICE BY CALLING 1 (800) 565-2224.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT: www.gov.ns.ca/natr