Lethbridge's impressive river valley park system in the third largest urban park in North America and as such serves as a critical corridor and habitat for many species of wildlife. Coyotes play an important and beneficial role to the urban park system as one of the prairies native scavenger species. They are crucial to managing populations of rodents and small mammals such as rabbits, ground squirrels, mice and voles.
Coyotes are small, intelligent members of the dog family, with light grey or tan coats resembling a cross of a fox with a German Shepherd. They tend to have longer legs than a fox, a sharp snout and bushy tail kept low to the ground.
These animals live within our city all year round but are most commonly spotted in winter when they seek resources as a group during the daytime hours. February and March signal mating season for coyotes, and pups are born between April and May. During these times, coyotes may become more protective of their resources, den sites and mates. Throughout warmer summer and fall months, coyotes
tend to scavenge or hunt during dusk and dawn to avoid the heat and
interactions with humans.
Sometimes coyotes can become less wary of humans, this is most commonly due to feeding/desensitization. They are street smart animals that can come to rely on humans for easily accessible garbage and food.
Tips for good human-coyote relations
- Enjoy wildlife from a distance
- Never feed coyotes or any wildlife
- Carry a loud whistle if you frequent areas with known coyote activity
- Throw all garbage into bins and pick up pet waste
- Keep household garbage stored securely in bins
If you would like to report an aggressive encounter with a coyote or observe a sick or injured animal, please contact Alberta Fish and Game through the Report-A-Poacher line 1-800-642-3800.