Thursday, November 18, 2010

CBC coverage of coyote trapping

Our local CBC Radio program 'Information Morning' recently ran a series of interviews about coyote trapping:

Coyote Trapping -  Head into the woods with a veteran trapper on the opening of the trapping season. October 20, 2010

How humane is trapping?  - Phlis McGregor looks at the traps that are legal in Nova Scotia, and the rules that hunters must follow. October 25, 2010

Studying coyotes who have been trapped - Wildlife pathologist Pierre-Yves Daoust tells us about his work doing necropsies on coyotes to determine how the trap affected them. October 26, 2010.

Trapping versus snaring - Ross White of the Trappers Association of Nova Scotia explains the difference between trapping and snaring. October 28, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sheep farming and coyotes

An article by the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada, Too Much Wildlife, suggests that
extermination of culprits, through provincially legislated cull programs is a legitimate option after all other preventative measures have failed

The problem with this is that most cull programs don't necessarily target the culprits, but aim for a more general population reduction. But they do go onto say that
many organic and conventional sheep producers feel that practicing an array of preventative practices, including the use of appropriate fencing, guard animals and frequent visits to the pasture will "train" the local coyote population to avoid the flock and feed, instead, on wild prey.  In fact, numerous farmers feel that, far from reducing coyote populations, the largely ineffectual bounty programs only serve to eradicate a trained group of coyotes that will be replaced by a group that must be re-trained, at the producer’s expense.
A study in California on the behaviour of coyotes in areas where sheep are grazed on open range has shown that coyotes did not avoid each other in areas where sheep were concentrated. This might explain some of the instances of high densities of coyotes that are sometimes reported if they are near sources of plentiful and easily accessible prey.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Being Coyote Wise

"Being Coyote Wise". A video by the Colorado Division of Wildlife which includes some useful footage showing what to do when coyotes are around.

Being Coyote Wise from Colorado Division of Wildlife on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What a difference a month makes

Here are two press releases from DNR:

Take Steps to Discourage Coyotes - Department of Natural Resources - March 11, 2010 2:04 PM
Coyote sightings around the province are prompting officials to remind Nova Scotians of steps to take to discourage wildlife from scavenging near homes and what to do should they encounter a coyote.

Department of Natural Resources offices have received a record number of calls regarding coyotes from people.

"Education is most important," said Mike O'Brien, Natural Resources wildlife biologist. "We must encourage our children and neighbours to follow these guidelines and keep in mind, coyotes are wild animals and deserve our respect."

Coyotes prefer wild foods but will scavenge for food when hungry. This includes outdoor garbage, compost, pet foods, waste around retail or commercial businesses and handouts from people. Feeding coyotes makes them less fearful of people and eating food provided by people.

To discourage coyotes from scavenging near homes people should:
-- keep property free of unsecured garbage, especially if it contains food waste
-- clean-up spilled bird seed around bird feeders
-- do not feed pets outdoors
-- keep compost bins secured
-- keep small pets indoors or supervised when on a leash

If you encounter a coyote:
-- do not feed, touch, or photograph the animal
-- leave the area by slowly backing away while remaining calm. Do not turn and run
-- use personal alarm devices to frighten the animal
-- encourage the animal to leave by providing space
-- if animal exhibits aggressive behaviour, try to appear to be larger and noisier or throw sticks and rocks
-- fight back aggressively if the animal attacks

"It's important for us to realize that the risk of attack and injury from coyotes is extremely low," said Mr. O'Brien. "While recently we had a tragic event in Cape Breton, we have to remember that in the 30 years that coyotes have been in Nova Scotia only a few incidents have been reported."

Bounties have been tried across North America, however they have always been unsuccessful in reducing coyote populations. A bounty was initiated in Nova Scotia in 1982 and was removed in 1986 when it was determined to have no impact on population.

Local Department of Natural Resources offices should be contacted where nuisance wildlife are creating a concern for human safety, destruction of property, or a diseased or injured animal is found. A list of local offices can be found at:

For more information, visit:

Province announces Plan to Reduce Aggressive Coyote Behavior - Department of Natural Resources - April 22, 2010 11:42 AM
Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell has announced a four-part program to reduce aggressive coyote behaviour and make communities safer.

The program includes:
-- a $20 pelt incentive for professional trappers to harvest coyotes
-- training 15 trappers to target aggressive coyotes
-- hiring a wildlife biologist specialist to focus on human wildlife conflict
-- enhancing education about avoiding coyotes.

"The aggressive coyote situation is a serious issue in many communities, and our decision today is based on all available science and professional experience," said Mr. MacDonell. "These new measures are designed to change the behaviour of aggressive coyotes so they retain fear and avoid humans."

The new pelt incentive enhances a partnership with the Trappers' Association of Nova Scotia and nuisance wildlife operators by adding $20 for pelts sold to fur auction houses. It is designed to increase trapper participation.

"The pelt incentive plan is not a traditional bounty that simply provides money for dead animals, but rather it is a way to change coyote behaviour and reduces a problem wildlife population," said Mr. MacDonell. "Our wildlife biologists indicate that this trapping incentive program should help discourage over familiarity and boldness of coyotes towards humans."

The pelt incentive program, which will begin with the trapping season Oct. 15, is available to licensed trappers only.

The department will also train 15 trappers across the province to deal with aggressive coyote encounters with humans, especially close to settled areas, and reduce the risk to human safety.

The province will soon hire a wildlife biology specialist to develop a program to more fully address human wildlife conflict in Nova Scotia, develop and enhance community education programs, and conduct research on human-wildlife conflict and dealing with aggressive wildlife.

To better inform Nova Scotians about coyotes, the Department of Natural Resources will offer to speak with various organizations around the province and provide print and web-based information.

The department has a new policy on dealing with wildlife threats, which requires immediate action on animals that behave aggressively towards people.

The department reminds pet owners to keep pets under supervision when in wildlife habitat, particularly during open season for trapping.

People should contact local Department of Natural Resources offices when coyotes, or other nuisance wildlife, create a concern for human safety, property is destroyed, or a diseased or injured animal is found.

A list of local offices can be found at: . Encounters may also reported by calling 1-800-565-2224.

For more information on coyotes in Nova Scotia, visit .