City hall is holding two information sessions in response to public pressure for more to be done to cope with an increasing number of coyotes in the city.
People are being invited to attend one of the two Friday meetings on Sept. 20 and 27 in a meeting room at city hall, both from 7-9 p.m. Advance registration is requested by two days before each session.
The increased presence of coyotes in residential and non-residential areas of Guelph led city hall and the Guelph Humane Society to team up last year to develop a coyote education and awareness campaign, which is ongoing. However, some residents have recently been seeking further action, says a city staff report.
As a result, the city will hold the two meetings in conjunction with Coyote Watch Canada, a volunteer organization that has helped other municipalities in Ontario with their coyote awareness initiatives. After the two meetings, the organization review the city’s and the humane society’s current coyote procedures and give suggestions for improvement, the report says.
While provincial legislation allows property owners, including municipalities, to remove problem wildlife from their property through hunting, “it is staff’s opinion that hunting within public areas of the city is not a safe or effective option,” it says.
The use of traps to remove coyotes from an area is another option, but it’s not seen as effective.
“Legally, once a coyote is trapped, the animal must be either released within the same area or destroyed,” the report says. Coyotes that are released often return to where they were captured, it says. And when trapped coyotes are destroyed, “research indicates the remaining coyotes will simply increase their litters or expand their range of coverage to offset the decreased number of coyotes within an area.”
In contrast to trapping or hunting, the removal of potential food sources from residential areas seems to be the most effective means to reduce the number of coyote interactions, the report says. “The removal of potential food sources can be accomplished through such means such as yard maintenance and monitoring of pets when outdoors.”
Information on controlling coyotes will be provided at the two meetings, and people will also be able to ask questions.
To register by Sept. 18 for this week’s session or by Sept. 25 for next week’s, visit guelph.ca/coyote, call 519-822-1260, ext. 2423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org