It’s coyote mating season in BC, and that means you might see more of them, officials say

An image of a coyote in Stanley Park was captured by a motion sensor camera in June 2021.  (Submitted by Kristen Walker - photo credit)

An image of a coyote in Stanley Park was captured by a motion sensor camera in June 2021. (Submitted by Kristen Walker – photo credit)

It is love season for coyotes in BC as they breed and mate between January and March.

During this time, pairs of coyotes — which experts say mates for life — will be in search of a den.

Once they find it, they say they will protect their new territory as well. And they warn that the animals are likely to be more active and visible during the day for the next few months.

Nadia Xenakis, the urban wildlife program coordinator at the Stanley Park Ecology Society, says the biggest concern at this time of year is potential conflict with off-leash dogs on trails. If a dog picks up a scent and runs to a coyote’s burrow, coyotes will try to protect their homes.

“Coyotes don’t really brutally attack dogs for no reason. It’s more of a defensive method,” Xenakis said, adding that the conflict can often be avoided by keeping dogs on a leash.

Another typical behavior for coyotes is called escorting, in which coyotes follow someone who has entered their territory remotely until they exit the area. However, Xenakis says it’s not aggressive behavior.

“They’re kind of just securing the area around the cave,” she said.

City puts up new signage

The city has installed signs around Vancouver warning of possible sightings.

The city says it hasn’t received an increase in calls about coyote activity, but the signs have been put up to warn the public to keep their distance and to remind them not to feed the coyotes.

“As sightings are more likely at this time of year, the public is reminded that the coexistence and protection of Vancouver’s wildlife depends on all of us doing our part to ensure both animals and humans can enjoy our green spaces without harming one another.” affect,” said a spokesman for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.

Ken Leedham/CBC News

Ken Leedham/CBC News

In 2021, dozens of coyote attacks on humans resulting in culling were reported in Stanley Park. Officials said feeding coyotes intentionally and leaving food out accidentally helped them become accustomed to humans.

Last year, an ordinance was passed making it illegal to feed wild animals in a Vancouver city park.

And in September, a man and woman were charged under BC’s Wildlife Act for feeding coyotes in Stanley Park.

Xenakis says that the most aggressive interactions between coyotes and humans are the result of humans feeding coyotes.

“The biggest threat to our safety and theirs is feeding wildlife.”

And if a coyote ventures too close to you, Xenakis recommends making yourself as big and loud as possible.

“Anything to make it clear to the animal that you don’t want it there at this point and that it’s too close for you, and that keeps the boundary between them and us intact.”


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