Wildlife in the city

Wild animals are part of our urban landscape. Healthy, wild animals thrive in London and should always be left alone. Many of our green spaces and environmentally significant areas (ESAs) are connected, creating corridors for wild animals to travel through and preserving biodiversity in our city. Residents are encouraged to learn about the wildlife in our city, so that sharing space with them is safe and enjoyable.

It is important to remember to keep our wildlife wild.  Never feed wildlife. Human food is not nutritious for wildlife and can cause serious health problems. These animals need their natural diets and are able to find their own food.

Getting to know London's wildlife
Canada Geese and other waterfowl
Coyotes

Coyote sightings are common within and around natural areas in the city of London. Coyotes have, in fact, been an integral part of London’s ecosystems for many years. There are many misconceptions of coyotes, their biology, behaviour, and lifecycle, but by applying common sense, preventative techniques, and by being aware of the diversity of wildlife that we share our living spaces with, we can minimize human and wildlife conflicts.

What can I do about a coyote that frequents my backyard?
  • When coyote sightings increase, many times these sightings are due to humans intentionally or unintentionally providing a food source. Never feed a coyote.

  • Check your property for wildlife attractants - An over flowing bird feeder, mishandling of compost, and fallen fruit attract a diverse range of prey species such as rodents, squirrels, chipmunks, insects which coyotes will utilize as food.

  • Keep pet food and water bowls indoors. Pet food will attract coyotes to your yard.
  • Keep trash cans covered.
  • Put garbage at the curb on pick-up day. and not the night before.
  • Apply simple, low intensity hazing techniques - send a clear message to a coyote that they are not welcome. Yell in a firm voice, bang pots, spray a water hose (in warmer months), throw objects toward (not at) the coyote, use a shake can, or open an umbrella.  Flashlights and motion-activated lights may also deter coyotes from entering onto your property.

  • Report any known feeding of coyotes or other wildlife to the City of London Municipal Enforcement:  519-661-4660 or email enforcement@london.ca.

  • Keep pets indoors - coyotes may prey on small domestic animals as food and to eliminate a threat to their territory or pups.

What do I do if I encounter a coyote?

Seeing a coyote should not be cause for alarm. Like all other urban wildlife, they’re looking for food, water and shelter. However, if the coyote is approaching you or in an area that you’re not comfortable with (your backyard, a busy park), here are some things to keep in mind:

  • If possible, pick up small children and pets.
  • Keep pets under strict control - leash dogs and keep them near you on walks.
  • Never run from or turn your back on a coyote/domestic dog.
  • Slowly back away.
  • Head to a busier path or an area where more people are situated.
  • Wave your arms above your head.
  • Be BIG and LOUD! Yell "Go away!"
  • Use hazing techniques such as shaking car keys, popping an umbrella, throwing an object in the direction of the coyote.
  • Always be prepared and aware of your surroundings when enjoying the outdoors. Be a good visitor: "leave no trace". Carry out leftover food, garbage and dog feces.
  • Do not approach coyotes. Avoid coyote dens, and do not interfere with pups, even if it appears the parents have abandoned them. Coyotes will do their best to avoid human contact, but may attack humans when provoked, sick or injured.
Seasonal behaviour that may elevate coyote sightings
  • Winter during mating season (Jan-Feb)
  • Spring during den selection/pup rearing (Mar-Jun)
  • Fall during dispersal of pack members
How do I keep my pet safe outdoors?
  • Supervise your pets while they are in the backyard.
  • Keep cats indoors or in safe outdoor play enclosures.
  • Obey leash by-laws (see Dogs Off-leash Areas By-law PH-7) and keep your dog on a leash during walks.
  • Be aware of wildlife in areas where you walk your family pets.
  • Never allow your pets to chase, harass or corner a coyote.
When should I report a coyote sighting?

Coyotes sightings are common, and coyotes are part of our natural landscape.

If you feel the animal may be sick or injured, or if it is displaying aggressive, threatening or unusual behaviour

Contact:

London Animal Care Centre

121 Pine Valley Boulevard

519-685-1330

All other sightings

Use our online form to report a sighting.

More Information
Foxes
Rabbits
Raccoons
Skunks
Living with urban wildlife

Visit the links below for more information on living with wildlife.

The Ontario SPCA and Human Society is an excellent resource for tips on living with wildlife, how to identify orphaned animals.

Feeding of wildlife

Wildlife experts agree that feeding wildlife, no matter how cute they are, causes many problems for the animals. The City of London discourages the feeding of wildlife for many reasons including:

  1. "People" food isn't good for animals;
  2. Makes wild animals lose their natural fear of people;
  3. Feeding wildlife from or near vehicles is dangerous; and
  4. Wild animals who depend on people for food can cause injuries or spread disease.

Please Don't Feed the Wildlife 

Feeding of Wildlife Regulations are found in Public Nuisance By-Law PH-18

 

City of London Humane Urban Wildlife Policy

 

If you have questions or concerns:

For further information on: Organization Telephone Number/Email
Deer and larger wildlife moving through London's Environmentally Significant Areas (ESAs). Upper Thames River Conservation Authority

519-451-2800

infoline@thamesriver.on.ca

Sick or injured wildlife within the city of London London Animal Care Centre
 

519-685-1330

dispatch@accpets.ca

Dead animals on City streets or City property City of London

519-661-4965

es@london.ca

Reporting suspected cruelty to animals Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) 1-833-926-4625
Helping sick, injured, orphaned and otherwise displaced wildlife Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Centre

519-264-2440

admin@salthaven.org

 

Last modified:Monday, September 25, 2023