Coyotes are native to North America and can be found living in urban and rural areas. Recently, the Town of Newmarket has been made aware of unusual coyote sightings in the community. Changes in land use, agricultural practices, weather, and natural food shortages may contribute to increased coyote sightings in rural and urban settings. To prevent encounters and ensure that you, your family and pets remain safe, please consider the following tips in mind.
How can I prevent coyotes from becoming a problem on my property?
- Remove any food attractants, including birdseed and ripe/rotten fruit that has fallen to the ground in your yard. These foods attract smaller animals that also attract coyotes
- Store all garbage in tightly sealed containers; ensure compost and pet food are in a place that coyotes cannot access. This will deter coyotes as well as other animals and rodents from becoming a problem
- Use motion sensitive lights in yards or gardens to make your property less attractive to coyotes and other nocturnal wildlife
- Ensure spaces around/ under decks or sheds are closed off
How can I protect my family from coyotes?
How can I protect my pets?
- Remember to never leave children unattended
- Educate your children to not approach or harass any wild animals or unfamiliar domestic pets and to admire wildlife from afar.
What should I do if I come in contact with a coyote?
- Never let your pet run at large, keep your pet on a leash when walking and confined to a fenced yard on your property. This is especially important during denning season (April to June) and the dispersal period (September to October) when coyote pups are leaving the den
- Clean up after your dog - coyotes are attracted to dog feces
- Neuter pets - coyotes are attracted to and can mate with domestic dogs that have yet to be neutered
- Keep cats indoors and chickens, rabbits and other small animals in an enclosure that is covered and constructed with heavy mesh wire
- Do not feed coyotes or leave any type of food outdoors for any animal, even your pets (i.e. dog/cat food)
Generally, coyotes do not pose a threat to human safety as they are shy and would prefer to avoid confrontations with people. However, if you are approached stay calm and wait until they move on, or if threatened use whistles and personal alarm devices as a deterrent. Back away slowly while remaining calm, never run or turn your back on a coyote. Why not trap coyotes and relocate them?
Coyotes are difficult animals to live trap and licensed trappers must use leg hold traps and snares which in urban areas could pose a threat to pets and humans. Coyotes have adjusted well to living in close proximity to humans and following the above noted precautions can help residents co-exist with these animals as the Town of Newmarket's approach to living with coyotes is to leave them alone.
To learn more about coyotes, including how to deal with coyote problems, call the Ministry of Natural Resources office
at 905-713-7400. If the coyote poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety, please call 911 to alert York Regional Police.