Noisy Albertans To Help Keep Coyotes Wild

By Ben Hamill - December 23 2020
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Noisy Albertans To Help Keep Coyotes Wild

The conservation of Alberta’s wild coyotes has become an increasingly more urgent appeal in recent years, with the animals grown more at ease in their interactions with people as well as domesticated pets. This is obviously not desirable or ideal, which is why a new kind of conservationist will now be seen marching urban Alberta in an effort to keep the province’s urban coyotes wild.

An all-new program about to be rolled out will involve the training of citizens in the seeking out of these wild animals in Edmonton’s urban (residential) areas for the sole purpose of scaring them away and creating in them a weariness of humans.

In the event that the coyotes don’t flee the scene of their own accord, the volunteers will then proceed to wave sticks, throw tennis balls weighted down by a sand filling at them, and just generally make a loud and irritating noise in order to scare them away.

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Humane Scare Tactic

The idea is very much that of a humane cruel-to-be-kind approach meant to keep Alberta’s wild coyotes fearful and wary of humans. So says biologist and project leader Colleen Cassady St. Clair.

Since coyotes are known to easily become bold and comfortable with approaching humans, said St. Clair, it is necessary to recreate in the animals a weariness.

Scare tactics will include tennis balls filled with sand and wrapped in flagging tape. The reason for the flagging tape, explained the biologist, is that wild animals are strangely frightened by the waving of flags – and especially so, members of the canine community. Cans filled with coins will also be used, and so will umbrellas, explained St. Clair, who is a professor in the department of biological sciences at the University of Alberta.

Residential Dens A Big Problem

With the project set to launch in December, the volunteers recruited will be deployed between the months of January and May. Each neighbourhood will be manned by at least 8 volunteers. Those areas known for wild coyotes boldly roaming the streets will enjoy priority.

A big problem has been that of coyotes setting up dens in residential areas. Their tendency to do this seems to have increased in recent years, explained St. Clair, and has emerged a major area of conflict.

The hope is that by deploying scare tactics, Alberta’s wild coyotes will eventually learn to keep their distance and essentially away from humans for their own preservation and conservation.

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