Coyote Population Control Needed – In and Out of Collingwood

Coyote population needs to be controlled. This is natural and legal. If predators such as bears, wolves or disease or coyotes killing themselves are not effective controls then hunting and trapping is permitted by law and a necessity. Problem is the laws have not evolved to address growing concerns and incidents with urban coyotes and coywolves. Population data on coyote incidents (attacks, near attacks, bites, killings) are questionable 0 who is compiling this and for what reasons.

Unfortunately recent rules/policies mandated by MNRF (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) have contributed to the coyote population problem. A ban on coyote hunting North of Collingwood as been put in place to protect the dwindling Algonquin wolf population. The impact of this policy is over population of coyotes which for territorial reasons are moving South to urban centers such as Collingwood – for protection from other coyotes/coywolves. More problems to come our way.

Unfortunately the MNRF are relied on by the the Town of Collingwood (or finger pointing at the MNRF) to control coyote population or to solve the increasing problem we are facing in Collingwood. The MNRF does not trap or hunt coyotes but they set laws/guidelines for others to hunt and trap coyotes with the hopes that a balanced population will be the outcome. (ideally keep coyotes in the wild to thrive naturally) This may seem cruel to some but it is the law and it is necessary. The outcome of the questionable protection of a wolf species (recent name change to the Algonquin wolf) is an excess population of coyotes. Misguided policy now effects our safety in cities such as Collingwood.

The MNRF solution to the problem is coexistence education in urban centers with the support of Coyote Watch Canada and municipal funded programs for awareness of coyotes and preventative measures.  (the problem is here – so learn to deal with it) These government funded campaigns are intended to educate people to coexist with coyotes, accept the attacks and killings of dogs as normal wild animal behavior and when people are attacked by coyotes quiet actions will be taken to destroy the “problem” coyote(s) if they can locate it and distinguish it from the many coyotes in the area. Interesting issue is then someone (Town or OPP) has to approve a reactive safety measure of trapping or shooting coyotes in Collingwood. It does not appear this will happen with dog attacks but possibly with attacks on residents.

This looks like a common government mistake and mismanagement case with very high stakes and with more resources being spent trying to distract from the real problem of over population of coyotes. These coyotes are now making their homes in urban centers while creating risks to pets and residents of cities such as Collingwood. A recent attack of an older defenseless women walking her dog in Markham helps residents understand the risks (hopefully communicate this to government and police). The government recommended solution of resident education is designed to hopefully allow our streets to be turned over to wild animals as we are taught to avoid/prevent encounters with them. This seems to be the reverse of what cities should be – safe streets occupied by residents and pets on leashes and children safely playing outside on private properties and in public parks.

To make matters worse some people believe coyotes will not hurt them and that they are  the blame for attracting coyotes to our properties by having pets, pet poop or pet food,compose on our residential properties. This is a campaign to push the blame on the victims of ineffective government policy and poor leadership in the area of public safety. Residents are not the root of the problem attracting coyotes to Collingwood. (now that the coyotes are here some residents are more likely to have them show up on their streets and properties)

Government policy has created a situation for wild animals with no predators to roam at large in Collingwood. The presence of coyotes contravenes and contradicts the principles and intent of the laws we have in place to protect us and our pets from threats and nuisance from animals.

It is difficult to understand or accept why coyotes are allowed to be hunted and trapped in the wild but once they enter a city such as Collingwood they are protected from being removed. (hunting is not acceptable and trapping is extremely difficult) It appears that political pressure against hurting wild animals (coyotes)  wins over resident pressure (difficult to mount) to prevent coyotes from roaming at large and attacking and  killing our pets and risking the safety of people as coyotes roam at large in Collingwood.

People need to get engaged in this issue for something to be done.

Petition is a good start.

Email Clerk of Collingwood to voice your concerns. http://www.collingwood.ca/clerk email salmas@collingwood.ca

Email Collingwood Council members to voice your concerns. http://www.collingwood.ca/council

Jeff Brown







Wolf & Coyote Hunting and Trapping Ban