PEI

Coyote sightings 'not surprising' on P.E.I., says Parks Canada

Visitors to P.E.I. National Park and national historic sites should not be alarmed if they see a coyote, says Parks Canada.

Animals are showing appropriate fear of humans

The habitat around Skmaqn–Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst is excellent for hunting small mammals, says Parks Canada. (Submitted by Joedy Harper)

Visitors to P.E.I. National Park and national historic sites should not be alarmed if they see a coyote, says Parks Canada.

Park officials have posted signs at Skmaqn–Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst, on Charlottetown Harbour, letting people know there are coyotes in the area.

"Coyotes exist in habitat surrounding the national historic site," said Hailey Paynter of Parks Canada.

"It's not surprising that they are there due to the composition of the habitat. Coyotes tend to prefer areas of mixed forest, agriculture, open grassland."

Paynter said there is no reason to be concerned if you encounter a coyote. She said the animals in the area have been showing an appropriate fear of humans.

Just passing through

Last year Parks Canada closed some trails at the historic site when coyotes were spotted there.

It studied the animals in the area, and determined they are not denning on the historic site or using it for resting, but appear to be just foraging there.

"All of those open grassy fields in combination with the forest cover are perfect for hunting small mammals," said Paynter.

Coyote sightings are also common in all parts of P.E.I. National Park on the North Shore, she said.

Parks Canada said if you encounter a coyote you should stand your ground, wave your arms to look bigger, and make noise to scare them off.

Paynter said it is also important to not feed the animals and to clean up after yourself so there is nothing for them to eat, because coyotes that associate humans with food can become problematic animals.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker

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