Nova Scotia

No coyote cull for Nova Scotia

There won't be a cull of coyotes in Nova Scotia even though the Department of Natural Resources is getting a record number of calls about them.

There won't be a cull of coyotes in Nova Scotia even though the Department of Natural Resources is getting a record number of calls from the public about them.

Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell says experts have told him shooting coyotes to reduce their numbers may do the opposite.

"If you remove enough animals out of the population, all that really means is the food supply left in proportion to the remaining population is greater," he said.

"That means that the remaining population really has more food available to it. That means that the females would generally be in better condition, and if they're in better condition they ovulate more, and so you get … higher numbers in your litters."

At least three schools in the province have warned parents about coyotes spotted close to school property after a heightened awareness of the animals since a Toronto woman was killed in Cape Breton in October.

Taylor Mitchell was hiking on the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park when she was attacked by two coyotes. Both animals involved in the attack have since been killed.

MacDonnell said staff with the Department of Natural Resources will only kill coyotes if they present a threat to people.

"If the coyote's been seen but it doesn't appear to be particularly aggressive and it's just really moving through, I don't think we'd be too concerned about that," he said.

"If there are … altercations, that it doesn't seem to run off easily or it would stand its ground if people are near it, that's a little bolder animal and we would have more concern about that."

Officials say the risk of a coyote attack is extremely low and they're reminding people not to feed the animals.

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