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What Residents Should Know about Coyote Denning Season

Environment | March 25, 2021

Mississauga residents might notice an increase in coyote sightings or activity at this time of the year. That’s because coyotes start denning to raise their pups in March and April. Coyotes can create their dens in a variety of areas including the side of hills, tree stumps, underneath patios/decks, in culverts and especially around natural areas or hydro corridors.

In order to protect their young, coyotes will vocalize, growl or act in a defensive manner if they suspect predators or people around their den site. However, coyotes are normally shy and will try to avoid human contact. Mississauga Animal Services would also like to remind residents that coyotes are an important part of our ecosystem as they help control rodent and rabbit populations.

If you suspect there is a coyote den nearby:

  • Avoid the area.
  • Keep dogs on a leash (no longer than 6 feet).
  • Do not litter or dump food, which could attract wildlife.
  • If you suspect a coyote den to be in an area that may pose a risk to the public, contact Animal Services at 905-896-5858.

If you encounter a coyote: 

  • Do not feed the coyote – it is illegal under the Animal Care and Control By-law and is often linked to bold behaviour.
  • Stay calm and wait until it goes away.
  • Do not turn your back and run as there is a chance the coyote may chase you.
  • Look as big as you can – stand tall, wave your arms, clap, yell and make startling movements.
  • Startle the animal by opening an umbrella, using a flashlight or an audible alarm.
  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

Protecting your pets from coyotes: 

  • Go outside and supervise your pet when they’re in the yard.
  • Keep dogs on a leash (no longer than 6 ft.) when walking.
  • If you see a coyote, pick up your dog if it is small.
  • Keep cats indoors.

The City has an online interactive coyote map. The public can view an interactive map of coyote sightings or submit their own coyote sighting.

For more information about coyotes, visit mississauga.ca/coyotes or call Animal Services at 905-896-5858.

Image of a coyote in a culvert
Example of a coyote creating a den in a culvert.

 

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