On Monday, June 12th, as part of my City Chats as Stittsville Councillor, I had the pleasure of hosting a Coyote Information Session at the Ottawa Public Library along with Dr. Nick Stow from the City’s Planning, Infrastructure & Economic Development Department.
Approximately 30 residents were in attendance for the event and Dr. Stow did an excellent job conveying information pertaining to urban coyotes in the context of Stittsville suburban neighbourhoods.
Some of the information discussed at greater lengths which was previously provided in my weekly newsletter includes:
- Coyotes or “coy-wolves” in our community of Stittsville are considered a very low risk to the safety of residents
- The animals have likely been in the vicinity of Stittsville for many years and have not created a threat or risk to public safety
- The presence of coyotes is important to maintain a healthy eco-system and keep the rodent population low and at a healthy rate
- Coyotes that have been sighted near residents’ homes are most likely scavenging for food. Since Stittsville is considered a rural/suburban community there are many areas that are natural and provide coyotes with a water source and an abundance of small mice, chipmunks, and rabbits
- Residents should continue to enjoy running, walking, cycling, and allowing their children to play along the walking paths, the Trans-Canada Trail, and natural areas in the community
- Residents are encouraged, however, to keep dogs on a leash while walking them in these areas
- Residents are encouraged to limit any kind of feeding they may provide in their backyard (i.e. picking up fallen fruit from any fruit trees in the yard, keeping garbage organized and properly sealed, etc.)
- Urban coyotes have a living space of up to 5 km2
- Having the animals removed from the area is only possible by means of lethal trapping or hunting and would probably result in another pack of coyotes re-occupying the area within the year
- The City has no jurisdiction in the removal of wildlife and the Province strongly advocates against it given that these animals are a considerably low risk to public safety and help to maintain a strong healthy eco-system
I would like to take a moment to thank Dr. Stow for taking the time to provide this information as well as all residents who came out to learn more about the natural biological environment surrounding Stittsville. For more information, you can also email me at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca and I would be happy to share your requests with Dr. Stow for his expertise.