The Vancouver Park Board has announced new coyote-related trail closures at Stanley Park, although they aren’t related to aggressive behaviour this time around.
The closures affect the Reservoir Trail and parts of the Eagle and Hanson trails.
The move is meant to prevent conflict with coyotes who are protecting their young and currently in their denning season.
“Coyotes begin breeding in January with litters of pups born in spring. During this time, coyotes are more active as they establish and protect their dens, and seek food for their young,” the board said in a public notice.
“Typically only seen at dusk and dawn, they will often be spotted in the daytime, and behave more boldly to ensure their families are kept safe. This could look like ‘escorting’ humans and pets away from their dens and standing their ground, or acting more defensively if they perceive a threat.”
The park board was forced to implement multiple closures in Stanley Park last year after at least 45 recorded incidents of attacks or aggressive behaviour.
In September the park was closed for two weeks while conservation officers undertook a cull when four animals were captured and killed. With denning season now underway, the park board says it is aiming for “peaceful coexistence”.
Visitors to the park are being reminded never to leave food on the ground or offer it to wildlife, to respect trail closures, and to keep animals leashed at all times.
People are also reminded to give wild animals space, and to stand their ground, making themselves large and aggressive if they are approached by a coyote.
Anyone caught feeding wildlife in the park could be subject to a $500 fine.