Coyote
Canis latrans
Body Weight:10-20 kg
Body Size:100-120 cm
Species Status:Common / Least Concern
Legal Status:Furbearer, Game Animal
General and Conflict Data
Predator, Scavenger, Omnivore
Coyotes are medium-sized canid omnivores found throughout Alberta in urban residential areas, parks, agricultural and natural areas. They are distinguished from wolves by having slender snouts and pointed ears.
A coyote's diet is wide ranging, and it will both hunt small to medium sized prey as well as scavenge, bringing it into close proximity to people at times.
In urban areas, coyotes are attracted to fruiting shrubs and trees, prey on domestic animals, and scavenge on garbage, refuse and compost piles, while in agricultural areas they are a threat to livestock and poultry.
Although there have been recent high-profile attacks on humans in Eastern Canada where coyotes have hybridized with wolves, coyotes in Alberta are much less aggressive and less of a direct physical threat to humans. Coyotes and humans have co-existed in the urban centres of Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer without significant issue.
Coyotes may carry parvo virus, mange, distemper and, less commonly, rabies.
Conflict Management
Low-high risk to human/livestock/pet safety depending on condition
Animal Damage Control is the province's foremost expert in the discrete assessment, tracking and humane trapping of nuisance/threat coyotes in urban and rural areas. We assist many municipalities in studying, dealing with, and preventing human-coyote conflict.
If you are a resident in an Alberta city and wish to report an existing or potential problem with coyotes, please contact your city (311 in Edmonton/Calgary) and they will have us investigate. However, if there is an imminent threat to pubic or personal safety, for immediate response, a Fish and Wildlife conservation officer can be contacted as well at 310-0000.
We also conduct predator control and livestock depredation investigation and prevention for landowners and leaseholders in rural areas. Please contact us directly.
We have significant experience with coyotes in urban areas, having been working closely with the Edmonton Urban Coyote Project at the University of Alberta since 2009 to study these animals, their ecology and behaviour in cities, and ways to mitigate and prevent conflict. The project found that, in general, coyotes in better body condition are more likely to remain in natural areas hunting wild prey and less likely to forage and scavenge in built-up areas. A significant disease among coyotes, Sarcoptic Mange, may however weaken individuals who are then "pushed out" of high-quality natural areas by stronger and healthier coyotes. Diseased coyotes become more desperate and willing to scavenge lower-quality food in close proximity to humans. These coyotes can habituate and become both a nuisance and a threat to humans and pets, and it becomes advisable to remove them.
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