Back away! Act big! Make noise! The three rules to remember in an encounter with an aggressive coyote are represented by the acronym BAM on educational materials released, March 24.
"At this time of year, as Nova Scotians spend more time outdoors, we want them to remember how to avoid coyotes and how to defend themselves if attacked," said Charlie Parker, Minister of Natural Resources. "This campaign teaches that coyotes are part of nature and we need to follow simple rules that help us to live with them, in rural and urban areas."
Colourful signs, bookmarks, pamphlets and online videos advise people to Be Coyote Smart with tips on how to avoid the animals and how to act if an aggressive encounter does occur.
The materials are available online at www.gov.ns.ca/natr , at Department of Natural Resources offices, and will be available to teachers and schools throughout the province.
"Being coyote smart means carrying a walking stick and noisemaker when hiking in woods, not giving food or leaving food for wild animals, and remembering to think BAM if approached by an aggressive coyote – Back away, Act big, and Make noise," said department wildlife conflict biologist, Mike Boudreau.
The province announced a four-step plan last April to address the issue of aggressive coyotes. The steps, which are completed or ongoing are:
The signs that offer advice on what to do if an aggressive coyote approaches will be posted, as appropriate, at parks, hiking trails and other locations. Signs warning of coyote traps in the area will also be posted in appropriate locations as determined by Natural Resources.
The materials released will enhance the province's other public education efforts about coyotes. The Department of Natural Resources has sent experts to give more than 100 presentations at schools and community organizations around the province, provided fact sheets to school boards, outdoor organizations and media outlets, and expanded the coyote information on the government website.