News & Information

News & Updates from the park

03

Oct 2016

The Real Story – Kilcona’s Coyotes

Posted by / in Information /

IMPORTANT UPDATE ON COYOTE SIGHTINGS AT KILCONA PARK

Over the weekend Winnipeg media reported that a Kilcona Park visitor was “swarmed” by a pack of coyotes.

Like most rumors, there’s a germ of truth in this story.

As the story went, the unidentified man and his dogs were in a very dangerous situation. The man was walking with his dogs after sunset when the coyotes allegedly began to circle him and his pets.

News reports indicated that the coyotes followed the man and his dogs from the park to their vehicle and that the coyotes continued to follow the vehicle as it left the park. Some authorities even speculated that the animals could be “coywolves” – despite fact that no coywolf populations have been identified in Manitoba.

Today the dog owner confirmed to authorities that these reports were inaccurate.

Authorities conclude that the coyote’s behavior was not at all predatory and the incident cannot in any way be described as “swarming”.

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED IS QUITE A DIFFERENT STORY.

THE DOGS – TWO IRISH SETTERS  AND THE COYOTES INTRODUCED THEMSELVES WITH ALL THE USUAL BUTT-SNIFFING BEHAVIOR THAT WE SEE AT THE DOG PARK EVERY DAY.

Then they spent some time PLAYING TOGETHER.

THE COYOTES DID NOT FOLLOW THE VEHICLE AS IT LEFT THE PARK.

MB CONSERVATION HAS NO PLANS TO TRAP OR DESTROY KILCONA’S COYOTES.

MB Conservation reminds us that every major city in North America, including Winnipeg, hosts a large urban coyote population.

In this Sept. 2009 handout photo provided by Janet Kessler, a coyote is shown on a public street in San Francisco. However you feel about coyotes, they're an increasingly visible fact of life in many San Francisco neighborhoods, often straying beyond protected parkland and out into highly exposed residential areas. Wildlife researchers estimate that about a dozen coyotes live in San Francisco, a city with the second-highest population density in the country that's surrounded on three sides by water. (AP Photo/Janet Kessler) NO SALES MANDATORY CREDIT FOR PHOTOGRAPHER

When coyotes move into the city, most blend seamlessly into the urban environment. Wary of people, they stick to the edges of developed areas, remaining largely unseen during the day.

Studies show that the most successful coyotes are nocturnal—an adaptation they’ve developed to avoid humans. Most rely neither on family pets nor garbage for food. Instead, they stick to rodents, berries and other fruit, deer, and rabbits.

 

Coyote Playing With Captured Vole

coyote-pups

Coyotes have learned how to co-exist with us.  Now it’s up to us to do our part.

There are three types of behaviors that people may mistake for aggression in coyotes: following, staring and howling and yipping.

  1. Following: Coyotes are highly intelligent, curious creatures, very much like our own dogs. It’s not uncommon for them to follow hikers, joggers, or cyclists, particularly if they have a den nearby. This behavior is curiosity, not aggression.

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  1. Staring: Perhaps the most intimidating thing a wild animal can do is simply stare. Those big eyes watching you can seem very frightening. It isn’t about aggression; however, it’s about caution. You might be near a den site, a food source, or even have just startled the coyote. Most of the time, the coyote is watching you because you’re a big, frightening animal, and they don’t know what you’ll do.

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  1. Howling and yipping: The cacophony at night is amazing to hear, and it’s also frequently misunderstood. The scientific explanation is quite simple. What you’re hearing is the family’s GPS. Coyotes use howls and yips to let other family members know where they are, and to let other coyote families know that this is their territory.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Debbie DiCarlo / Rex Features (2731614b) Howling Good Time! Coyote Teaches Pups to Howl Howling Good Time! Coyote Teaches Pups to Howl These two coyote pups desperate to follow in their parent's pawprints start by learning to howl. The stunning images taken by wildlife photographer Debbie DiCarlo shows the cute pups learning the ropes from their elder, as the coyote tips back its head to let out an ear-piercing howl. Debbie, 59, who resides in Ohio, said: "The pups were so cute - exploring, playing and generally learning how to be a coyote. "The magic began when distant coyotes started to howl and the pups and adult started to answer back." DiCarlo got the shot during a spring photography workshop earlier this year at a wildlife preserve in Hinckley, Minnesota, where she was able to photograph baby animals. Charmed by how excited the pups were during the howling lesson Debbie said the shutter on her camera was moving so fast she was worried about it overheating. "I couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear, there was something so special to be amongst them at that moment, and the sight and sound will forever be imprinted in my memory," explained Debbie. The moment was so perfect, in fact, that sceptics accused DiCarlo of snapping a photo of a still life in a museum. Her response: "Howling Lesson has lots of sceptics who believe it to be a museum diorama. In fact, I have read that some think it is too perfect. My reaction? Thank you for such a wonderful compliment!" MUST CREDIT PICTURES TO: Debbie DiCarlo/Rex Features For more information visit http://www.rexfeatures.com/stacklink/KEAVEAORR

Coyotes want what all of us want: a safe place to raise their young and provide for their families.

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Manitoba Conservation Winnipeg District Supervisor, Joe Johannesson has provided KPDC  with a link to two important resources to help us all understand Kilcona’s dog-like neighbours  – a short documentary, “The Rise of the Urban Coyote” and a link to the City of Toronto website, “Wildlife in the City: Coyotes”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldtJjXhN8rI&feature=youtu.be

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=559b83cf89870410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=b220133adc1c1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

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