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Seeing More Coyotes? It’s Coyote Mating Season

City services | February 18, 2022

Winter season is mating season for coyotes. During this time (January and February), residents may see or encounter coyotes more frequently in their neighbourhood, including in parks and trails as coyotes wander to find their mate.

Coyotes play an important role in an urban ecosystem as they help control rodents and other wildlife populations. They become attracted to communities because of food and shelter.

Residents can safely coexist with coyotes at any time of the year with the proper awareness and understanding of how to stay safe.

Do not feed wildlife

Wildlife feeding is the main cause of bold coyote behaviour. When a coyote becomes dependent on food people provide, they tend to lose their fear of people and are not afraid to approach them. Residents are reminded to not feed, leave food out intentionally or approach any wildlife including coyotes. All wildlife should obtain their food naturally.

Protect your pets

  • When walking your pet, keep them on a short leash at all times – an off leash dog could be seen as a threat.
  • Supervise your pet when outside, whether in your own backyard or walking them – coyotes may use any opportunity to prey on unattended pets.
  • Stay on marked trails – wandering off the path can potentially lead you and your pet to encounter a coyote’s home or territory.
  • Keep cats indoors.

If you encounter a coyote

  • Stay calm until it goes away – coyotes are generally afraid of people, however they can become territorial when competing for a mate.
  • Do not turn your back and run – coyotes will chase anything that runs.
  • Stand tall, wave your arms and make as much noise as possible (e.g., clapping, yelling, blowing a whistle).
  • Scare them off – open up your jacket and wave it if you’re wearing one or open an umbrella if you’re carrying one.

Keep coyotes off your property

  • Make sure your garbage and recycling is not accessible to wildlife.
  • Clean up any spilled bird seed which can attract smaller wildlife, which can then attract coyotes.
  • Always supervise your pet when they’re out in the yard.

As mating season ends around March, residents should also be aware of denning season (March and April) in the spring when coyotes begin to raise their pups.

Residents can report coyote sightings using the City’s online sightings map. The map helps Animal Services target areas for patrols and community outreach. If you see a coyote that is sick, injured or not keeping a safe distance, call Mississauga Animal Services at 905-896-5858.

To learn more about Animal Services and urban wildlife, visit mississauga.ca/animalservices.

Two coyotes walking in the winter snow

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Media Contact:

City of Mississauga Media Relations

media@mississauga.ca

905-615-3200, ext. 5232

TTY: 905-896-5151