Coyote interactions with people and pets on the decline in Mississauga
Published September 15, 2023 at 5:02 pm
The number of coyote interactions with people and/or their pets continues to be on the sharp decline across the city, Mississauga officials said this week.
The latest statistics from City of Mississauga Animal Services also show that coyote sightings overall are considerably less frequent so far this year and in 2022 compared to 2021.
Animal Services officials say the “significant decline” in coyote-related incidents the last two years is due largely to fewer residents feeding the wild animals — either intentionally or unintentionally.
“We attribute this decline to our dedicated coyote community outreach efforts, feeding education and enforcement,” a City spokesperson said in an email to insauga.com.
Officials define a coyote-related incident as one that involves “any physical interaction involving a pet or person” with a coyote.
As of Sept. 12, there have been four coyote-related incidents in Mississauga so far in 2023, according to Animal Services. In all of 2022, there were four such incidents.
However, in 2021, officials recorded 21 incidents involving coyotes and people and/or pets.
The number of coyote sightings, while not as much on the decrease, are still down the last two years, officials note.
So far this year, there have been 1,216 coyote sightings across the city, compared to 1,456 all of 2022.
In 2021, there were 1,661 coyote sightings in Mississauga.
While the number of interactions is significantly down, Animal Services officials say people must remain vigilant in not doing anything to attract coyotes, or any other wild animals.
“As fall is fast approaching, it’s important to be aware that coyotes will become more visible due to the change of season’s loss of foliage that provides coverage for these animals,” officials said in the email. “Animal Services would like to remind residents to never feed coyotes and to report any wildlife feeding concerns directly to our office by calling 905-896-5858.”
In efforts the past several years to get people to stop feeding coyotes and other wildlife across the city, Mississauga officials have repeatedly warned residents of the potentially hefty fines (up to $300) for such activity.
They’ve also posted more signs — and newer signs with more clear messaging — throughout parks and neighbourhoods in an attempt to reach more people.
Animal Services officials say they proactively address coyote concerns with the community by:
- recording, mapping and active monitoring of reported sighting/incident information
- responding to coyote sightings in public areas involving injury, illness or bold behaviour
- conducting patrols to monitor for bold coyote behaviour, intentional wildlife feeding and off-leash dogs
- deterring coyote activity using aversion conditioning (hazing)
- investigating, educating and issuing fines for wildlife feeding
- hosting educational seminars for schools and various groups in the community
- providing education and safety messaging on the City’s social media channels
- identifying property standards concerns and forwarding them to the appropriate department for investigation
- partnering with councillors on developing messaging, response and implementation of coyote strategy
“While seeing a coyote can be intimidating, the risk of encountering a coyote remains low as many coyotes try to avoid humans,” officials said earlier. “At the same time, coyote sightings are more prominent in the winter as they have less coverage and their fur contrasts against the snow. Winter (December – March) is also coyote mating season, so they may be seen in more populated areas looking for a mate.”insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising