Coyotes

Coyotes are found in urban areas throughout North America, including Oakville. Seeing a coyote in Oakville is not necessarily cause for alarm. Coyotes are not considered a significant risk to people. They are usually wary of humans and avoid people whenever possible, however they are wild animals and we should avoid contact. Most negative coyote interactions are preventable. When we are aware and knowledgeable of our wildlife and act responsibly and respectfully, it is easier to coexist.

The town’s coyote hazing video explains what to do if you encounter a coyote on your property, and shows you how to haze or scare them away. If embraced by the entire community, repeated hazing ensures coyotes maintain their fear of humans and know our homes are off limits.

Spring to early summer is pupping season

While hazing usually works to frighten off a coyote, it doesn’t always work during the spring when there is a den and pups to defend. The Urban Coyote Initiative states: “If a coyote seems intent on defending a certain area, particularly around pupping season, your best bet may be to alter your route to avoid conflict with a normally calm animal.”

Reducing coyote conflicts

If you encounter a coyote when out for a walk:

  • Keep pets attended and on leash.
  • Do not turn your back on, or run from, a coyote.
  • Practice hazing to let the coyote know they are not welcome. Stand tall, wave your arms, shout, clap your hands and make lots of noise.
  • If you see pups or suspect there are pups in the area or if the coyote is not easily frightened away, keep your dog on a short leash, pick up small pets and children, and back away from the area. Consider changing your route for a few weeks. The coyote may have been denning in the area and will likely move on after some time.
  • Do not leave food waste in town garbage cans in parks as this may attract rodents which may in turn attract coyotes.

Discourage coyotes from entering your property:

  • Supervise animals when they are in the yard. Cats should not be permitted to roam freely.
  • Remove all water and food sources from your yard, including birdseed and ripe/rotted fruit that has fallen to the ground. Peanuts left out for birds and squirrels not only attract unwelcome wildlife like rodents and coyotes, they can be carried by these animals to other properties and to people who have severe allergies. Please be mindful of your neighbours.
  • Store garbage, compost and pet food in a place coyotes cannot access.
  • Clean up after your dog. Coyotes are attracted to dog feces.
  • Remove long grass, dead brush and wood piles. These conditions provide potential den sites for coyotes or other wild animals that attract coyotes.
  • Ensure gaps around and under decks and sheds are closed off with wire screening.
  • Use motion sensors.

Coyote sightings and map

Check out our coyote reporting form, that is now compatible with mobile devices and also allows users to upload pictures and video and post to social media. Help keep your community coyote aware!

Mange is circulating in some coyote populations in Oakville which has led to these animals frequenting residential neighbourhoods to seek warmth and find easy food such as birdseed and garbage. Mange is not a threat to humans or pets and does not directly lead to increased aggression. To learn more please see our Coyote Fact Sheet (pdf).

Through the coyote reporting form, the town is working with the Oakville Humane Society to assist them in locating and treating infected coyotes. Please report coyote sightings and activity through this system. If there is an immediate risk to safety call 911 as the reporting system is not designed to respond to these types of calls.

Visit the coyote sightings map to learn where coyotes have been observed. This mapping reflects reported sightings and is not meant to indicate the number of coyotes present or a complete profile of where coyotes are present in Oakville. It provides the town and residents with useful information on understanding where the possibility of encountering a coyote may be more prevalent.

What about relocating or eliminating coyotes?

Capture and relocation of coyotes more than one kilometre away is not permitted under Ontario's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Research shows wildlife relocated from urban areas usually return or become a problem elsewhere. In addition, when coyotes are hunted or lethally destroyed, remaining ones compensate by producing larger litters and expanding their range. Only in rare cases where an individual coyote is demonstrating unusual / aggressive behaviour or severe trauma or illness do animal control agencies capture coyotes.

If a coyote poses an immediate threat to safety, call 911.

Contact the Oakville Humane Society at 905-845-1551 if you encounter a coyote you believe to be sick or injured.

In addition, the town offers a number of other resources and links on coyote awareness and co-existence:

Review our January 2016 news release to learn how the town works with our community to reduce human-coyote conflicts.

Living with coyotes fact sheet (pdf)
Coyote tips (pdf)

Coyote Watch Canada
Project Coyote