Be Wildlife Smart

Seasonal coyote activity 

coyote spotted near campus

Dr. Dianne L. Draper, PhD, Department of Geography

Coyote activity increases during the pup rearing period (spring) and the dispersal period (early fall), especially around greenspaces, like many areas found across campus. 

In spring coyotes (like other wildlife) can be very protective of their new offspring. In fall, young coyotes leave their family for the first time, and can be very fearful and prone to getting into conflict with humans.  

Coyotes will take advantage of easily accessible human food sources any time of year, leading to food conditioning, which is a main cause of unsafe interactions between coyotes, humans, and pets.   

Be wildlife smart. Read educational signage. Pay attention to wildlife closures. 

UCalgary has a Living with Wildlife co-existence program that aligns with the City of Calgary’s practice, but we focus more stringently on prevention, using science and evidence-based decision making.  Living with Wildlife rests on educating the campus community, monitoring wildlife activity, encouraging appropriate human behaviour (e.g., dogs on leash, proper garbage handling), and mitigating situations before significant conflict arises.


The safety of the community and visitors is a priority for the university. Follow these tips to co-exist safely with coyotes:

Help make it safe. Be wildlife smart.

  • Don’t feed coyotes.
  • Give coyotes room to move through and move on.
  • Monitor small children and keep pets on a leash.
  • If a coyote seems aggressive or approaches you:
    • Do NOT run or turn away.
    • Pick up small children and pets, bring your dog very close on leash
    • Scare the animal by waving your arms overhead and yelling ‘go away’. 
    • Maintain eye contact and back away slowly.
    • If a coyote continues to approach you may throw something, pop an umbrella or snap a plastic bag and you must calmly and immediately leave the area. 
    • Call 9-1-1 if your safety or the safety of others is threatened.
    • Call Campus Security at 403.220.5333 if you would like to report encounters that occurred on UCalgary grounds.