The Town of Stouffville is home to over 150 species of wildlife, including several species at risk. Wildlife animals enrich our lives and contribute to a healthy and diverse ecosystem. Learn about local wildlife, how to peacefully coexist with them and what to do about sick, injured or nuisance animals.

Living with urban wildlife

Observing and interacting with wildlife is common in Stouffville. Here are some tips to avoid potential conflicts and peacefully coexist with wildlife:

  • Admire wildlife from a distance. Never approach, chase, or harass any wild animal
  • Don’t leave pets or small children unattended in a backyard. Always check your property for wildlife before allowing your dog or small child outside
  • Keep dogs on a leash unless in a designated leash-free area. Never let your dog chase or approach a wild animal
  • Keep your property clean and free of any garbage, piles of leaves, food scraps, excess bird seed, etc.
  • Never feed a wild animal. Feeding wildlife, either intentionally through handfeeding, or unintentionally through leaving your compost bin open, is both dangerous and illegal
  • Wildlife-proof your home to ensure animals cannot access areas such as attics, chimneys, or sheds

Learn more about preventing conflicts with wildlife or contact us to learn how to wildlife-proof your property.

Nuisance animals

The Town is not responsible for removing nuisance animals from private property, such as raccoons in an attic or squirrels in a chimney. We believe in peaceful co-existence with our wildlife whenever possible.

If a wild animal is causing significant damage to your property, you may wish to contact a humane wildlife removal service. This is often a more humane option than trapping or harming the animal.

Sick, injured, or orphaned wildlife

If you see a sick or injured wild animal, please contact us right away at 905-640-1900 ext. 2230. Do not touch or try to contain the animal yourself.

If you see a baby animal that seems to be orphaned, please contact us at 905-640-1900 ext. 2230 for guidance. Many animals, such as rabbits or deer, will leave their young unattended for long periods of time.

Our team of Animal Services officers are trained to safely contain, assess, and provide medical care to the wildlife in our community. They work closely with wildlife veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitation centres in Ontario to treat, rehabilitate, and release as many animals as possible.

Learn more about wildlife rehabilitation efforts in Ontario.

Common wildlife in Stouffville

Stouffville has many unique natural features such as wetlands, kettle lakes, forests, and rivers that offer ideal homes for several wildlife species. Learn more about some common types of wildlife in our community.

While removing beavers from an area may save a few trees, leaving them in place brings in an abundance of life to our community.

When beavers build dams in urban areas however, they can sometimes flood roadways or cause damage to property. Learn how to manage conflict with beavers in urban areas.

Beavers are called the “architects of biodiversity”, building impressive structures in our waterway that can cause areas of land to flood. Turning streams into ponds creates more habitat for other types of wildlife to thrive, such as fish, frogs, turtles, muskrat and otters. Beavers also open forest canopy by cutting down trees and letting in the light. This allows more plants to grow, creating more wildlife habitat.

Canadian geese are one of the most common animals in our community. They play an important role in our ecosystem by consuming and dispersing various seeding plants and contributing to soil health through nutrients found in their feces.

You should never approach a Canada goose, as it can be protective of their mate, nest and young. Avoid feeding geese as they can become dependent on us for food. Things like bread and crackers provide no nutritional value to geese and can be harmful to all waterfowl.

Under the federal Migratory Bird Convention Act, it is illegal to harass, move, harm or kill any migratory bird or migratory bird eggs. It is also illegal to disturb the nest site of a migratory bird without a permit. If a goose or duck is nesting on your property, be patient and leave them alone until the eggs hatch and the birds leave the nest.

Learn more about how to deter geese and other birds from nesting on your property.

Coyotes are one of the most important animals to the ecological health of our community. Being the top urban predator, they keep our wildlife populations in balance.

Coyotes are generally shy and cautious unless they are sick or have been fed by humans. They are active year-round but are most often seen at dawn, dusk, and late at night. Coyotes typically breed between late January and early March and may be bolder and take more risks during these months.

Coyote attacks are very rare. However, it is important to take some basic precautions when walking in areas where coyotes live.

To avoid conflicts with coyotes:

  • Do not leave food on your property
  • Keep dogs leashed
  • Keep cats indoors
  • Never chase, corner, or harass a coyote
  • Supervise children and pets outside

If you encounter a coyote:

  • Do not run or turn your back on the animal
  • Make loud noises
  • Make yourself appear as large as possible
  • Throw objects in the direction of the coyote to scare it away

If you see a coyote that you believe poses an immediate danger to public safety, call 9-1-1.

If you see a coyote that appears to be sick, injured, or orphaned, contact us at 905-640-1900 ext. 2230.

Learn more about managing conflict with coyotes in our community.

Ontario is home to eight species of native turtles. Unfortunately, our turtle populations are declining rapidly. The wood turtle and spotted turtle are now endangered and the other six species are at risk of becoming endangered.

Our team is available 24 hours a day to help protect these incredible animals. Please contact us immediately at 905-640-1900 ext. 2230 if you see a turtle:

  • On the road
  • Laying eggs
  • With an injury

We help turtles safely cross roads, protect their nest sites from predators and provide first aid for injured turtles.

Learn about the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre and their efforts to protect and conserve Ontario’s native turtles and their habitat.

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