Living with Wildlife

By leaving wildlife alone in their natural habitats and managing potential interactions, we can help ensure residents and their pets stay safe while respecting wildlife. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry advises and supports municipalities to prevent and manage conflicts with wildlife

Don't Feed the Birds

The City works to improve beach water quality and our waterfront parks. You can help by not feeding birds, ducks, geese, gulls or swans. Here's why:

  • Bird poop can be a potential health hazard.
    Parks staff use a sweeper to clean off the pathways on a regular basis, and a special machine to pick up heavy amounts on areas of turf.
  • Feeding can attract many birds, resulting in large amounts of bird poop in the grass, sand and water.
  • Birds that are fed food scraps lose their fear of humans and become aggressive.
  • Birds that eat food scraps do not get all the nutrients found in their natural diet. As a result, they may be less healthy and become dependent on people.
  • Most birds fly south in the winter to find other sources of food. Feeding birds may encourage them to stay here longer and rely on human food to survive.

Prevent Encounters & Conflict with Coyotes

Coyotes are common throughout Ontario, and they can be frequently sighted in areas of Barrie. Coyotes are an extremely intelligent, family oriented, and highly adaptive species. They are normally afraid of humans and avoid people whenever possible. While they generally avoid humans, they can pose a threat to pets. 

If you see a sick or injured wild animal, call the City's Enforcement Services at 705-739-4241. If a wild animal poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety, call 9-1-1.

Coyotes that do not show a natural fear for people may have become used to humans by someone feeding them. Coyotes are easily able to navigate urban landscapes and find natural food sources, like rodents and rabbits. They should remain wild animals with little human interference. They play an important role in balancing the ecosystem in southern Ontario by controlling the populations of rabbits, rats, and mice.

Coyote sightings may increase during certain times of the year:

  • January to February: mating season
  • March to May: den selection and pup rearing
  • September to December: dispersal of pack members

Residents are responsible for preventing problems with coyotes by limiting attractants. Here are some tips to prevent coyotes from coming near your home and/or pets: 

Frequently Asked Questions