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Tuesday , 22 June 2021

Coyote and wolf numbers slightly down in M.D. program, will begin scent posts next week

The M.D. of Bonnyville’s agriculture department will begin a scent post survey to estimate the total number of coyotes in the area next week.

This will give the county a better understanding of their own numbers so far in their Coyote and Wolf Reduction program.

“We do scent posts every couple hundred metres, actually half a mile apart, then we count the coyote tracks that come into the scent posts. It’s all kind of quantitated by Alberta agriculture, they give us those numbers and give us a rough estimate on how many animals we have in that area,” said Director of Agriculture and Waste, Matt Janz.

“What we’re hoping is, we know that this program isn’t out there to eliminate all the coyotes, we want a good basis on how many animals we have out there. We think coyotes in the landscape is important to have out there. We don’t want to take out too many.

“We just to make sure we’re not on the high side, not on the low side, that we have a healthy number of coyotes out there so that they don’t starve to death, but also have not too may that there’s disease around. If we keep a good number in check, we’ll be doing good,” he said.

The M.D. is seeing fewer coyotes and wolves compared to previous years in their reduction program, Janz said during Wednesday’s council meeting.

Since the start in Oct. 2018, the M.D. has received 438 coyotes and four wolves.

“It’s a little smaller number. We’ve seen it decrease on the number of wolves brought in, so we’ve seen a few less wolves come in, even a few less coyotes brought in in comparison of this time of year to other years,” said Janz.

“We still feel the program is working well. Our predation levels from livestock producers are still on the low side. We haven’t had any in a few months so that’s a positive program,” he said.

Participants receives an incentive of $15 per coyote a $75 per wolf from the M.D. when taken to the ASB/Public Works Shop north of Bonnyville.

The program ends on March 31, 2019.

For more information on the program, go the M.D. of Bonnyville’s website.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.