April 28, 2021
Today at General Committee, Animal Services staff presented a corporate report with recommendations to enhance the City’s Coyote Management Program. The program outlines a detailed strategy to minimize conflicts between coyotes and people, including their pets.
“Within the last year, reported coyote sightings have increased by more than 50 per cent in Mississauga,” said Jay Smith, Manager, Mississauga Animal Services. “This is largely due to the launch of our coyote sightings interactive map. However, with increased sightings, changes to the Coyote Management Program are needed to address conflicts. This includes the widespread issue of wildlife feeding that leads to unwanted coyote activity.”
Program enhancements follow best practices in managing urban coyotes and comply with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997. Enhancements will also support the program’s goals to reduce coyote interactions through three primary objectives:
- Wildlife feeding regulation
- Responding to unwanted coyote activity
- Community education
Wildlife Feeding Regulation
The Animal Care and Control By-law has been revised to place more responsibility on residents who feed wildlife. If there is enough evidence, Animal Services Officers will no longer need to observe residents feeding wildlife to issue a fine. The exceptions are the responsible feeding of songbirds (e.g., bird feeders in backyards) and operating a City-approved feral cat colony.
The City is also proposing to increase set fines for wildlife feeding to $300 (up from $100).
Field Response and Community Education
Animal Services has created a Coyote Conflict Classification and Response Table that outlines potential responses to coyote interactions. Depending on the classification (e.g., sighting, encounter, conflict), responses can range from recording reported sightings, educating residents, site inspections or patrols, temporary closures of pathways or parks, trapping or removal and more. (Municipalities are not allowed to trap and relocate wildlife beyond 1 km.)
“The foundation of the City’s Coyote Management Program is to promote safe and harmonious communities for people and pets to coexist with coyotes,” added Smith. “It is important for the public to understand the City’s role in its education and response efforts, as well as increasing awareness about coyotes in an urban city.”
Enhancements to the Coyote Management Program will go to Council on May 5, 2021, for final approval. For more information, read the corporate report.
Learn more about coyotes and other wildlife at mississauga.ca/animalservices.
Coyote Safety Tips
If you encounter a coyote:
- Do not feed it
- Stay calm and wait for it to go away
- Do not turn your back and run – there is a chance it may chase you
- Look as big as you can – stand tall, wave your arms, clap, yell and make startling movements
- Startle it by opening an umbrella, using a flashlight or an audible alarm
- If you are in immediate danger, call 911
Protecting your pets from coyotes:
- Go outside and supervise your pet when in the yard
- Keep dogs on a leash (no longer than six feet) when walking
- If you see a coyote, pick up your dog if it is small
- Keep cats indoors