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RM working with Manitoba Conservation on coyote issue

Posted: May 14, 2019


RM working with Manitoba Conservation on coyote issue

The RM of West St. Paul has received reports of coyote sightings in Riverdale and Whistler Hollow and has forwarded those reports to Manitoba Conservation.

Members of Manitoba Conservation staff surveyed a field adjacent to Whistler Hollow and did not locate a coyote den. The field, as well as the Red River, will be a good source of food for coyotes – mice, rats, rabbits, etc., - and may be a reason why the coyotes are in the area. 

One Conservation member did see a sleeping coyote during the survey, and it ran away when it noticed the person. This indicates the coyote is afraid of people and not showing signs of aggression.   

Manitoba Conservation will continue to monitor the situation. Traps cannot be placed, due to highly populated residential areas close by. 

If residents see coyotes, they should contact the RM and provide details of the sighting, including time of day and the coyote’s behaviour. 

About Coyotes:

Coyotes are not just a West St. Paul issue. They have been present in the RM of West St. Paul for several years now and are present in most municipalities around the City of Winnipeg. They are even present within Winnipeg and other large cities in Canada. 

Coyotes are wild animals, and while most are timid and avoid interaction with people, there are those that have adapted to living amongst humans, and according to experts, those coyotes pose a greater risk of showing aggressive behaviour toward people and pets. 

A sign that a coyote might be adapted to humans is that you are seeing it during daytime hours. Coyotes are typically out and about under the cover of darkness when there’s less human activity, so if you are seeing them during the day, that’s important to note. 

If a coyote comes close to people or pets during the day, it’s a sign of aggression. You should always be cautious and never leave your pet alone in your yard, even if it’s fenced. Coyotes can jump and dig, and are able to get around fences quite easily. 

If you are building a fence, Manitoba Conservation recommends it extend underground at least 30 cm, or have an L-shaped mesh apron extending out about half a metre, secured with landscaping staples, to prevent coyotes from digging under or going over it. In West St. Paul, the bylaw states the maximum height for a fence is six-and-a-half-feet. 

A Manitoba Government pamphlet called Wildlife Smart: Coexisting with Coyotes contains information on what to do and not do with coyote populations in our midst, and one of the biggest do nots is feeding coyotes or any kind of wildlife. 

According to the pamphlet: "Making food available to coyotes, either directly or indirectly (through feeding their prey such as birds and rabbits), may attract coyotes and other predators to an area. Coyotes that have been fed by people will become increasingly comfortable in approaching people, and increasingly aggressive around people.” 

Coyotes are attracted to food and food waste in your yard, such as fallen fruit, pet food, birdseed and garbage. It’s recommended that you feed your pets indoors and store garbage inside a secure building or in a wildlife resistant container. 

Though coyotes are naturally timid animals, they can attack people’s pets or livestock. Scaring coyotes, or ‘hazing’ them, will help keep them leery of you and help keep you and your pets safe. Ways you can haze a coyote include making loud noises with a whistle or rattling a can with pebbles in it, using a walking stick or umbrella as a weapon and carrying rocks that you can throw at them if threatened. 

If you encounter a coyote, don’t approach or crowd it – leave it an escape route, and do not run, it may chase you. 

To view Wildlife Smart: Coexisting with Coyotes, in its entirety, go to www.gov.mb.ca/sd/wildlife/problem_wildlife/ pdf/coexisating_coyote.pdf 

If you see a coyote, you can call the Municipal Office at 204-338-0306, ext. 1.