Friday, June 30, 2017

The City to extend area closure in NW Calgary to continue monitoring coyotes

The City has extended the green space closure in Panorama Hills / Hidden Valley (adjacent to Country Hills Golf Course) as well as the regional pathway in Panorama Hills (close to Stoney Trail) to reduce the risk of further confrontation between people and the protective coyote parents living in the area. The closure will be in effect until July 10.

During the extended closure, City staff will continue to monitor the adult coyotes and their pups, and use different techniques with the pack to reinforce human avoidance.

To date, the area closure has been successful in eliminating conflicts and allowing the pack to return to normal coyote behaviour. In fact, the closure has relieved pressure on the parents to protect their coyote pups resulting in the family feeling confident enough to move the pups away from the pathway, where the den site was originally located.

Through investigation, it is believed that the conflicts between citizens and the coyotes due to den protection given the close proximity to the pathway. The protective behaviour was a result of the parents perceiving a threat to their coyote pups from off-leash dogs. There have also been reports of people in the area feeding the coyotes, which resulted in the coyotes learning to associate humans with food handouts.

The City would like to remind citizens to keep dogs on leash in all public spaces, unless otherwise marked. Calgary has the most off-leash areas off all North American cities, boasting over 150 off-leash areas. Specific areas have been designated as off-leash to respect the environment and protect citizens and their pets.

The City is working with a number of experts from the University of Calgary, University of Alberta, Alberta Fish and Wildlife and Coyote Watch Canada to address the concerns over aggressive coyote behaviour. On June 26, a training session, hosted by Coyote Watch Canada, was held with City staff to equip them with techniques and knowledge on dealing and co-existing with urban coyotes. The City will continue to work with Alberta Fish and Wildlife to ensure a coordinated approach on responding to public inquiries.

Coyotes, just like other wildlife, are a vital part of a functional and healthy ecosystem in Calgary. The City is committed to keeping citizens informed about wildlife in our city, and equipping them with knowledge about co-existing with our urban wildlife.

Next spring, the City will be looking to host some workshops for citizens on how to co-exist with wildlife., along with The City Facebook page, will continue to be updated with information and status reports.

The public are asked to please continue reporting concerns regarding coyotes to The City through 311, and in an emergency situation where there is immediate danger, call 911. Please include the address or description of the location of the concern or sighting so City staff can visit the area to assess the situation.

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