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Coyotes

​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.

Living Together

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

 

  
Accordion Answer
  
  • Clap your hands and shout at the animal
  • Make yourself appear large, wave your arms or swing an object like a walking stick
  • Throw rocks or sticks to scare it away
  • Carry a whistle and blow it to scare the coyote
  • Do not turn away or run, this may trigger the natural predator/prey instinct to chase after you
  • If the coyote continues to approach, back away slowly while still being loud and making yourself appear larger
  
  • Do not feed wildlife of any sort
  • Keep your yard free of trash
  • Secure garbage in containers
  • Feed your pets indoors
  • Keep dogs on leash when in areas frequented by coyotes
  • Don't leave small pets unattended in the yard for long periods of time
  • Don't let cats roam
  
  • Average adult weight of 9 – 14 kg, or 19-30 lbs
  • Approximately 1 m in total length from nose to tip of tail
  • Young are called pups
  • Fur is light grey or tan
  • Bushy tail with distinct black tip
  • Ears are large for their body
  • Prey mainly on small mammals and rodents, as well as scavenge garbage, fruit and dead or sick animals
  • Coyotes are mainly solitary creatures but tend to form packs in winter to more efficiently find food resources
  • They can run up to 64 km/hr
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.