Urban coyotes

What you need to know

About coyotes

  • Live all over North America , including major metropolitan cities
  • Thrive in urban environments where there are many sources of food and they are the top predator
  • Are canines, like dogs
  • Weigh about 9-16kg (20-35lbs)
  • Have a grey-brown or yellow-grey coat and a distinctive black tip on their tail
  • Have yellow eyes, pointy ears and a white throat and belly

How to report coyote sightings and behaviour

Breeding season

January to June is coyote breeding season. Coyotes might be more active and assertive during this time, especially near their dens.

Learn more about coyote behaviour during breeding season 

Coyote behaviour

Coyotes sometimes live alone but often live in family groups. 

In Vancouver, mating pairs begin denning in January and their pups are born in spring. This is the time when coyotes are:

  • Most active
  • Protecting their dens
  • Seeking additional food for their litters

A coyote’s territory includes their den, while their home range is a larger area where they seek food and might overlap with the home ranges or coyotes.

Coexisting with coyotes

Coyotes are not native to Vancouver but have been thriving in the urban environment since the 1980s.

Understanding and respecting coyote behaviour allows humans and coyotes to peacefully coexist. Part of coexisting with coyotes is establishing and maintaining clear boundaries between humans and animals. This means:

  • Preventing coyotes from accessing human sources of food
  • Reminding them that humans are not their friends

In urban areas, coyotes are most often active at night to minimize their interaction with humans, but it is normal to see them during the day.