Co-Existing With Coyotes program faces funding shortfall

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      The coordinator of a coyote-awareness program says that without increased funding, the number of human-coyote encounters is going to go up in places like Burnaby, Surrey, and Coquitlam.

      On May 16, Metro Vancouver’s environment and parks committee recommended declining a $19,000 funding request from the Stanley Park Ecology Society to expand its Co-Existing with Coyotes educational program throughout the area.

      In 2011, the program—after nine years of successful educational programs (including communication materials, presentations, and workshops for schools) to prevent conflicts between humans, pets, and coyotes—lost provincial funding. Since then, it has been supported by the park board and school program fees.

      According to the Stanley Park Ecology Society, the annual cost to operate the program is between $55,000 and $61,000; the SPES anticipates that $36,000 will come from the park board and $6,000 from society service fees and programs. The remaining (up to) $19,000 was the denied funding.

      Program coordinator Dan Straker said that between 2006 and 2009, four children received coyote bites in Surrey and Coquitlam, while in Vancouver proper, where the educational program exists, no attacks occurred.

      He added that coyotes tend to frequent places like golf courses and cemeteries, where there are few people and from where they can go hunting in surrounding neighborhoods.

      Data from the Co-Existing with Coyotes Program show that 1,159 reports of coyote sightings were made in the past 18 months all over Metro Vancouver.




      May 24, 2013 at 4:03pm

      "Co-Existing with Coyotes"??

      If the program had been named "Eradicating Coyotes", the feds would have pumped in at least $1 million.

      As every conservative knows, coyotes are vermin, and that's why God gave us long guns.

      Bob B.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:59pm

      I'd say the City's doing a deplorable job of adequately informing residents of the grave danger to pets, especially outdoor cats,posed by city coyotes.I live in a highly urbanized part of Vancouver(Mt. Pleasant,a few of blocks from Main & 12th Ave.)I did not know coyotes were actively hunting cats in my own neighborhood till last July when I discovered half a cat,i.e. hindquarters,in an area of bark mulch next to my apt. building.The remains had been covered over with mulch. Next morning at 8 A.M. a coyote,presumably the cat killer,was seen feeding on the remains it had no doubt buried there.It turned out to be a 13 yr. old local cat beloved by its owner that had gone missing.Some weeks later I watched a coyote cross busy 12th Ave about 8 blocks east,with a second coyote close by on a side street.I see many "lost cat"&some "lost dog" posters in my 'hood.I shudder now when I see them as I know odds are some,perhaps even most,of those pets are not "lost",but have been predated on,becoming meals of coyotes.I suspect a major reason coyotes are thriving in Vancouver is there are so many easy meals in the form of domesticated cats&dogs that do not have wiles&necessary defensive fears wild animals have allowing them a better chance to escape predator attacks.Domesticated city cats are sitting ducks for coyotes.

      Oh,I see a few coyote warning signs in parks(e.g Trout Lake, Jericho),but why isn't the city properly warning
      pet owners coyotes have not only become common but are an ongoing menace to their cats&dogs,routinely killing them,&that no neighborhood in the city is safe from coyote predation of pets.

      I'll guess the City's feckless "education" program's avoiding raising an alarm because it doesn't in fact want to educate residents with the ugly facts,doesn't want facts widely known&disseminated,especially informed estimates on the likely huge number of pets being killed by coyotes,&that coyotes are potentially active in any neighborhood in the city.

      Because if the public was properly informed of the extent of the carnage from coyotes killing pets,&the threat posed to their own pets,presumably there would be more of a questioning of,&a backlash against,the City's dubious hands-off policy re.coyotes.The cowardly City apparently cares more about maintaining its rep.& protecting it's coyote policy than it cares about Vancouver pet owners&their beloved pets.

      SPY vs SPY

      May 24, 2013 at 5:31pm

      Coyote - The second largest Wild Dog Native to North America.

      Guess where the first Coyote attack on a child occurred in Vancouver??? - If you guessed the Front Steps of the Maritime Museum - You guessed right!! Surprised??

      There are hundreds of documented cases of Coyotes attacking people in Canada. This whole idea that people can co-exist with Coyotes in an urban environment and not be at risk of being attacked or killed by Coyotes is ECO-STUPIDITY.

      I have seen many Coyotes in Vancouver and the number will only keep rising and the risk to Children will keep growing.

      I am all for a Criminal Charge of Endangering Human Life charges against all those in Power who do nothing to eradicate Coyotes from Urban Environments.

      And yes, a Coyote has already killed a young woman in Canada.

      Martin Dunphy

      May 24, 2013 at 5:34pm

      Bob B.

      The City of Vancouver, through the park board, funds education programs such as the one mentioned above, the Stanley Park Ecology Society's "Co-existing With Coyotes" program, which educates in schools, neighbourhoods, and in the parks, as well as running a coyote-sighting hotline so people can track sightings citywide.
      It's possible the city could be doing more, but most people, including most smart pet owners, seem to be aware of the need to keep pets indoors at night (mostly) and on leashes.
      This has been going on for 26 years, when the first confirmed city coyote sightings occurred. The Straight alone has devoted two lengthy cover stories to urban coyotes, and another two cover features to urban wildlife and invasive species.

      Martin Dunphy

      May 24, 2013 at 6:02pm


      I call BS on you.
      Only two people have ever been killed by coyotes in North America in recorded history. Ever. One was a toddler in California. The other was a young woman alone in a wilderness area in Canada.

      BUT: in just eight years, between 2005 and 2012, 245 people of all ages, more than half of them babies and young children, were killed in the U.S. alone--by DOGS.

      Yes, dogs, those "beloved pets" referenced by Bob B., above.
      A little education is an amazing thing. (And if you do your research, you will see that every effort to eradicate urban coyotes in North America has failed miserably. And you will learn why it is useless to even have that discussion.)


      May 24, 2013 at 6:02pm

      While coyotes are certainly not vermin, they do a great job of keeping vermin (esp. rats) at bay in the city of Vancouver. My neighborhood has had coyotes for years, and I have watched them kill and eat rats that may otherwise end up in our yards and homes. As for free-ranging cats, they are the real killers: millions of songbirds per annum are lost to those cute fluffies whose modus operandi is to kill and kill and kill.

      SPY vs SPY

      May 24, 2013 at 6:35pm

      Matinious Bull - onious

      The reason there are lees people killed by Coyotes than dogs, is that in almost all major cities and towns in Canada - is that as soon as coyotes are seen lurking near children, there is a massive program to eradicate them - kill them - trap them and move then out into the wilderness.

      This has been the case in both Calgary and Canmore and almost all USA Cities.

      You know damn well that all Coyotes are dangerous and can kill. Just go to Wikipedia and look at the picture of a Coyote menacing a child in Pitt Meadows.

      Martin Dunphy

      May 24, 2013 at 6:50pm

      Sorry SPY:

      I have facts and you have nothing but an out-of-context photo (of a human-accustomed coyote hoping to be fed).
      As for your universal "massive program to eradicate them"--that, sorry to say again, is bull.
      Please use your obvious Internet skills to uncover the truth.
      And you didn't address the 245 to 2 score.
      Dogs are far more dangerous to people. Falling Coke machines are an absolute everyday hazard compared to coyotes.
      Hell, falling coconuts kill 150 people every year!
      Get a grip!


      May 24, 2013 at 7:51pm

      The people of Phoenix aren't that fond of them either.

      Bob B.

      May 25, 2013 at 8:33am

      Re. Martin citing my including of dogs as"beloved pets" threatened by coyotes,I'm a cat person,not a dog person,&think I'd support a(grandfathered)city ban on dog breeds most associated with attacks on humans,just as I'd support a ban on coyotes.Btw,I know of a pit bull owner who bragged about his tough pit bull that had "already killed two cats"

      Imo,coyotes should be treated in a similar way as we treat bears&cougars wandering into town.There's no talk of"co-existing"in the city with bears or cougars.Instead,any presence of them prompts
      immediate emergency action to tranquilize,capture& relocate,or kill.

      Though domesticated dogs do kill cats sometimes,it's on a small scale,as they do not depend on cats for food,whereas many city coyotes kill&eat cats as regular easy meals.Coyotes are a far greater threat to cats than are dogs.

      It shouldn't be just the "smart",tuned-in pet owners Martin cites who learn about the large threat posed by coyotes to their pets.Imo,the City should be sending mailings to all Vancouver residents on an annual basis, at least,informing residents of the wide prevalence of coyotes&the carnage they're causing predating on pets. The city should also do the same via large ads in local papers,etc.

      Too many cat owners have been left uninformed about the huge risk they now run letting cats roam.They're likely to learn only by word of mouth from neighbor news of local cats being killed,or the harder way by having their own cats killed.Both the City's "education" program&its hands-off policy re. coyotes are insufficient.Note that in the article(which appears to quote the City's coyote program)coyotes' threat to pets is soft-pedaled as mere coyote-pet "conflicts".A stat is cited of 1,159 reported coyote sightings across Vancouver in the past 18 months.But they don't dare release estimates as to how many cats&dogs were killed by coyotes in that time.Hey,they don't want pet owners riled against their dubious "co-exist" policy.Cat owners view their cats as part of their family.It's irresponsible for the City to have policies insufficient in reducing cat killings.

      Imo,it may be best cats not be allowed to roam,for the safety of cats,&also of birds cats may prey on.My two cats go outside but only when I'm out with them, supervising.They take me for walks as I follow them around my 'hood. They never get a chance to predate or be predated on.