The health and safety of our community is our top priority. In response to both the numerous sightings and interactions with coyotes, the City of Oshawa has undertaken a number of actions over the last several months.
Most recently at the Monday, October 4, 2021 Corporate Services Committee where Report CORP-21-48 Coyotes in the City of Oshawa was discussed, the Corporate Services Committee recommended that staff:
- coordinate a virtual community information session on co-existing with coyotes;
- develop a Coyote Education and Response Strategy, in consultation with the Oshawa Animal Care Advisory Committee and report back to the Corporate Services Committee; and,
- advise and consult with the school boards on Coyote Education and Response Strategy.
Given the uncharacteristic coyote behaviour recently experienced and the concerns expressed by our community and members of Council, the City reassures that staff continue to prioritize the development of the proposed Coyote Education and Response Strategy and have advanced several actions such as:
- consulting with other municipalities who have coyote response strategies;
- drafting applicable by-laws and amendments to existing by-laws as may be required by Council as a result of due diligence and consultations;
- consulting with Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry to clarify their role, obtain information on response best practices and request their assistance;
- consulting with Coyote Watch Canada on response best practices;
- planning a virtual community information session with Coyote Watch Canada;
- meeting with the Oshawa Animal Care Advisory Committee;
- conducting a privacy impact assessment in consideration of installing trail cameras to help collect useful data on the number of coyotes and coyote behaviour;
- implementing improvements to Service Oshawa’s tracking system to provide better data on the types of interactions and encounters residents are experiencing;
- confirming with Durham Regional Police Service on their coyote response approach;
- researching the location of feral cat colonies and any potential impact to coyote behaviour; and,
- increasing door-to-door communications by Municipal Law Enforcement Officers.
As this matter is a priority, it is anticipated that the proposed Coyote Education and Response Strategy will be on the November Corporate Services Committee meeting agenda.
In addition to the development of a proposed Coyote Education and Response Strategy, the City is also undertaking the following actions:
- coordinating site visits in recent common sighting areas with a Coyote Watch Canada Canid Response Team Representative: Coyote Watch Canada is a federal not-for-profit wildlife organization that provides educational programming, a first-response team, on-site field investigation, private, municipal- and provincial-level consultation and digital mapping programs;
- monitoring sighting locations and installing fencing and signage in affected common areas to discourage interactions: the community is asked to please respect the posted signage, to not approach wildlife, and to report coyote sightings to Service Oshawa;
- reducing some naturalized areas in the neighbourhood parks and locations of concern by cutting back tall grass; and,
- removing community garbage containers that were frequently used to dispose of household garbage and pet waste.
How can I prevent coyotes from visiting my yard?
- Remove food attractants from your yard – secure your garbage, keep pet food indoors, clean up spilled birdseed and fallen fruits.
- Keep your property clean – trim back bushes and weeds, scoop your dog poop, keep your barbecue area clean.
- Secure your home and sheds – seal openings into and under buildings, decks and porches.
- Be a good pet owner – keep your dog on a leash and supervise them when they are outdoors.
- Bring your pets in at night.
What do I do if I encounter a coyote?
- If you feel your safety is imminently threatened, call 9-1-1.
- Stop and pick up small children and pets.
- Slowly back away keeping an eye on the animal. Never run from or turn your back on a coyote.
- Be big, loud and assertive! Yell “Go away!”
- Wave your arms above your head.
- Use aversion techniques such as shaking car keys, snapping a large air-filled garbage bag, popping open an umbrella, throwing an object in the direction of, but not directly at, the coyote.
How do I report coyote sightings?
Community members are encouraged to report sightings to Service Oshawa online at service.oshawa.ca, by email to [email protected] or by telephone at 905-436-3311. By reporting wildlife sightings, you are helping the City to monitor common locations.
Where can I get more information on coyotes?
Learn more on the City’s Wildlife webpage at www.oshawa.ca/coyotes, including tips to reduce coyote encounters and coyote education resources. Community members are encouraged to take the free e-learning Coyotes in the Urban Landscape online course at www.coyotewatchcanada.com.