Coyote sightings are on the rise in Edmonton, with the city getting an influx of calls from people spotting the animals near the river valley.

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Park Ranger Ramsey Cox says cleaning up garbage and fallen fruit keeps coyotes from wandering into neighbourhoods looking for food. (CBC News)

But park ranger Ramsey Cox says that doesn’t mean that there are more coyotes - just that people are seeing them more often.

"In the winter, you see, a lot more because there's less foliage on the trees," he said.

There are about 2,000 coyotes in the city and, Cox says, the population has remained steady over the past 5 years.

He says January and February is mating season for the animals, meaning they are more likely to venture out from the tree cover.

"So they'll take more risk to getting out there to meet a potential mate."

If someone sees a coyotes, Cox advises making noise and lots of movement to scare the animal off.

He adds that things like cleaning up garbage and picking up fruit that has fallen from trees can keep coyotes from wandering into neighbourhoods.