Oakville residents are fortunate to live in one of the most biodiverse areas in Ontario with over 900 different species of plants, 185 types of birds, 30 species of amphibians and reptiles, 29 mammals and 58 different kinds of fish. The town has a number of programs and services in place to protect and enhance these resources, including its Wildlife Management Strategy, an online coyote reporting system, a Biodiversity page and information on wildlife proofing your property.
Throughout the month of October staff from the Wildlife Research and Monitoring Section of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) will be live-trapping raccoons and skunks in the Oakville area to test the effectiveness of their oral rabies vaccine baiting program. By taking a small blood sample from the animals captured, MNRF is able to determine if the animal has developed immunity to rabies from ingesting the oral vaccine bait. The results of this study will help improve future baiting programs.
MNRF staff will place metal traps in wooded or sheltered locations where people and pets are unlikely to find them. Traps will be checked every morning. Any non-target species that have been captured will be released immediately. Raccoons and skunks will be taken to a processing station for a blood sample and to vaccinate them against rabies. The animals will then be returned and released at the location of capture.
Trapping will not occur over weekends or on Thanksgiving Monday. Traps will be closed or removed during these times.
We ask that the public not remove or disturb traps, or try to approach or interact with any captured animals. Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by a wild animal should contact their local health unit, doctor, or emergency department.
In the summer of 2017, MNRF distributed oral rabies vaccine bait in eastern and southern Ontario, including Oakville, in an effort to prevent the disease from spreading through the raccoon, skunk and fox populations.
There are no confirmed cases of rabies in Oakville this year.
For more information, please visit the Ministry of Ontario's website or contact MNRF’s rabies information line at 1-888-574-6656.
There are a number of resources for reporting incidents with wildlife: