Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell has announced a four-part program to reduce aggressive coyote behaviour and make communities safer.
The program includes:
"The aggressive coyote situation is a serious issue in many communities, and our decision today is based on all available science and professional experience," said Mr. MacDonell. "These new measures are designed to change the behaviour of aggressive coyotes so they retain fear and avoid humans."
The new pelt incentive enhances a partnership with the Trappers' Association of Nova Scotia and nuisance wildlife operators by adding $20 for pelts sold to fur auction houses. It is designed to increase trapper participation.
"The pelt incentive plan is not a traditional bounty that simply provides money for dead animals, but rather it is a way to change coyote behaviour and reduces a problem wildlife population," said Mr. MacDonell. "Our wildlife biologists indicate that this trapping incentive program should help discourage over familiarity and boldness of coyotes towards humans."
The pelt incentive program, which will begin with the trapping season Oct. 15, is available to licensed trappers only.
The department will also train 15 trappers across the province to deal with aggressive coyote encounters with humans, especially close to settled areas, and reduce the risk to human safety.
The province will soon hire a wildlife biology specialist to develop a program to more fully address human wildlife conflict in Nova Scotia, develop and enhance community education programs, and conduct research on human-wildlife conflict and dealing with aggressive wildlife.
To better inform Nova Scotians about coyotes, the Department of Natural Resources will offer to speak with various organizations around the province and provide print and web-based information.
The department has a new policy on dealing with wildlife threats, which requires immediate action on animals that behave aggressively towards people.
The department reminds pet owners to keep pets under supervision when in wildlife habitat, particularly during open season for trapping.
People should contact local Department of Natural Resources offices when coyotes, or other nuisance wildlife, create a concern for human safety, property is destroyed, or a diseased or injured animal is found.
A list of local offices can be found at: www.gov.ns.ca/natr/staffdir/offices.asp  . Encounters may also reported by calling 1-800-565-2224.
For more information on coyotes in Nova Scotia, visit www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/nuisance/coyotes-faq.asp  .