Town of Oakville implements new coyote management initiatives

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New online reporting system and stronger no feeding by-law

Research and experience has shown the two most significant things the Town of Oakville can do to reduce direct public interaction with coyotes is education and the removal of coyote attractants such as food. Town Council is supporting two new initiatives — an online coyote reporting system and a by-law amendment to prevent coyotes from being fed on public land.

Residents can now visit oakville.ca and complete the coyote reporting form letting town staff know about unusual coyote encounters. Unusual incidents would include a coyote that approaches you, interacts or attacks pets that are on-leash or one that is displaying bold behaviour. You can also report people who are directly or indirectly feeding coyotes, and garbage that is left in neighbourhoods or overflowing in town containers. The reporting system will give town staff the ability to address issues regarding coyotes before conflict situations arise.

“The Town of Oakville continues to take a leadership role in creating a comprehensive coyote education and conflict reduction program to address public concern over coyotes,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “This new reporting system will give the town valuable information on coyotes in our community and manage risk.”

The existing parks by-law prohibits the feeding of waterfowl such as ducks and geese in public spaces. A new by-law amendment, approved by Town Council last night, makes it an offence for anyone to feed coyotes on public land. On private property, the feeding of coyotes is covered under Section 5.1.1.1 of the property standards by-law which prohibits conditions that may lead to the harbouring of “…rodents, vermin or other pests.”

“Preventing conflicts before they occur is the basis of our coyote management program,” said Cindy Toth, director, Environmental Policy for the town. “In addition to education, the new reporting system and by-law amendment are just two of the many town initiatives that address the concerns of our residents.”

The town has also recently:

  • Partnered with OakvilleGreen to provide workshops to schools. These workshops provide basic coyote information and safety measures to students ranging from grades 1 to 12.
  • Trained town staff on coyote safety and awareness.
  • Partnered with the Stanley Park Ecology Society (who run an internationally recognized “living with coyotes” program for the Greater Vancouver Regional District) to develop a coyote management plan and initiatives under the town’s Oakville Wildlife Strategy.
  • Posted signs in parks and along trails where coyotes are known to frequent. More signs will be installed as needed.
  • Installed wildlife-proof lids on garbage cans in high-risk trails and parks. Cans are labelled with the town’s phone number and residents are directed to call if garbage is overflowing.

The town’s coyote management initiatives are a first for Ontario and support Council’s goal to be the most livable town in Canada. Visit the Coyotes page for details.

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Media contact

Cindy Toth
Director, Environmental Policy
905-845-6601, ext. 3299
ctoth@oakville.ca

Mary Jo Milhomens
Senior Communications Advisor
905-338-4244
mmilhomens@akville.ca