Oakville, February 4, 2016 – for immediate release
Following a community open house held last month to address residents’ concerns about recent coyote sightings, the town has stepped up measures to help minimize human-coyote conflicts.
“There is an understandable concern when coyotes become habituated. There are a number of things we can all do that, if embraced by the entire community, can ensure a more peaceful coexistence with not just coyotes but all wildlife,” said Cindy Toth, director of Environmental Policy for the Town of Oakville.
Coyotes are typically not considered to be a significant risk to people, but intentional and unintentional feeding, tolerating them on our property, and allowing pets to roam freely contribute to coyotes losing their inhibitions and fear of people.
Since the public meeting on January 20, the town has:
· posted additional coyote awareness signs in key areas where coyotes have been sighted;
· installed wildlife-proof lids on town garbage bins in key areas, and continues to place lids on bins throughout the town;
· sent notices to residents in key areas as a reminder to not dump household refuse or food waste in town bins, parks or trails as this encourages coyotes to frequent these areas;
· increased park patrols to empty town garbage bins more frequently and monitor illegal dumping;
· worked with Halton District School Board, Oakville Trafalgar High School and local property owners to help them address property standards issues and specific behaviours that may be contributing to increased coyote presence in the area;
· collaborated with Oakvillegreen to provide coyote education sessions to Oakville school students and staff;
· worked in partnership with HRPS to enforce town by-laws including littering, property standards, and dogs off leash;
· continued to monitor coyote sightings through the town’s coyote reporting form and mapping feature to assist the Oakville & Milton Humane Society (OMHS) in locating problem coyotes.
OMHS and Halton Regional Police Services (HRPS) continue to patrol areas where coyotes are most visible to ensure safety and attempt to haze or capture problem, sick or injured animals.
Hazing is a method used to instill a fear of humans in coyotes and make your property unwelcome. This includes shouting, using noise makers, waving your arms aggressively, and throwing objects in the direction of the coyote, remembering the goal is to frighten, not harm the animal. Keeping garbage, compost, brush piles, pet food and bird feeders inaccessible also makes your property unattractive to a coyote.
The OMHS continues to respond to calls from the public and sightings reported through the town’s coyote reporting form. Residents can report a coyote sighting or discover where coyotes have been sighted through the reporting form and mapping feature at oakville.ca.
For more information on how to co-exist with wildlife, visit the environment section at oakville.ca.
Vision: To be the most livable town in Canada