Coyotes migrated to Ontario from the west more than 100 years ago. Since then, the coyote has adapted well to both rural and urban environments. It performs an important role as a predator in southern Ontario, helping to control the populations of rabbits, rats and mice.
In the country, coyotes are commonly found in open, agricultural land that includes woodlots and areas covered with brush. In cities, coyotes prefer natural green space, such as parks, ravines and stream banks.
Avoiding conflicts with coyotes
Coyotes are usually wary of humans and avoid people whenever possible. However, they are wild animals and should not be approached. We all share responsibility for preventing and handling human-wildlife conflicts.
Coyotes can raise concerns when they:
- feed on garbage, compost, fruit or vegetable gardens
- prey on livestock or pets
- come too close to people
Landowners can take action to manage wildlife on their property. Conflicts can often be prevented by making changes on your property.
For example, removing sources of food by protecting pets and livestock, fencing gardens, and securing garbage and compost, will help encourage coyotes to go elsewhere. Most importantly, never feed coyotes or other wildlife. Feeding them makes the animals less fearful of humans and habituates them to foods provided by humans.
Never attempt to “tame” a coyote.
Do not let pets chase coyotes as it could result in injuries to your pet.
What to do if you encounter a coyote
Coyote sightings are commonplace. If you see a coyote, keep your distance and the animal will most likely avoid you.
If you encounter an aggressive coyote, there are several things you should know and do.
- Never approach or touch a coyote.
- Back away from the coyote while remaining calm
- Do not turn your back on, or run from, a coyote.
- Stand tall, wave your hands and make lots of noise.
- Carry a flashlight at night to scare off coyotes.
If a coyote poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety, call 911.
Learn more about avoiding conflicts with coyotes
- Living with coyotes (Coyote Watch Canada)
- Preventing and managing conflicts with coyotes, wolves and foxes (Ministry of Natural Resources)