Coyote pups in our area are born in April—or the first week of May at the latest. After a two month gestation period, the pups are born blind and unable to take care of themselves. The newborns rely on their mother for food, and she relies on the other pack members for food while she nurses the pups. After about three weeks, the pups start to leave the den and explore their new world.
With new pups to feed and protect, coyotes may become defensive when approached by people or pets near their den sites and territory. A coyote pack numbers between two and seven individuals with multiple den sites for the breeding alpha pair in the pack. A mother coyote will frequently move her pups to the other dens to maintain hygiene and their hidden cover. Greg Hart, Urban Wildlife Programs Coordinator for SPES reminds us that, “We can keep our pets safe at this time of year by keeping our dogs on a leash and cats indoors.” Make sure to report your all of your sighting to SPES’s Co-Existing with Coyotes program. We monitor coyote activity across Vancouver and post all sightings on our interactive map.
Hart explains that, “Coyotes are normally timid and shy animals. We can do our part to keep them wild by scaring them away and removing potential food sources near our homes.” Reducing food sources—like loose garbage, open compost, wild fruits, pet food and bird seed—will help coyote the new coyote pups learn to hunt their natural foods: rodents such as rats and mice.
These simple actions help keep people, pets and coyotes safe. For more information or to report a coyote sighting, please call 604-681-WILD or visit our website.
By Greg Hart, Urban Wildlife Coordinator