The chance of seeing wildlife is one of the most exciting things about national parks. However, it is important to treat wild animals with the respect they deserve.
Once animals become accustomed to being around people, they are in danger of losing that very thing that makes them special - their wildness. Approaching them too closely threatens their survival and can pose a risk to you as well. Remember:
- Feeding or enticing wildlife is unlawful.
- Put your food and garbage away. Foxes and other animals may be attracted to your food.
- Keep dogs on leashes at all times. Dogs are prohibited on beaches from April 1 - Oct. 15.
Understanding coyote behaviour
The fall is a time of transition for Eastern coyotes.
The young are approaching adult size as the summer ends, becoming more independent as they hone their hunting and foraging skills and explore areas further away from their den. Throughout the fall, young coyotes leave their den to search for their own territories and mates, testing out hunting techniques and exploring new areas. During this time, coyotes in PEI National Park may approach humans and domestic animals with curiosity as they encounter them for the first time. Generally, this type of behavior is not aggressive and the young coyote will flee with the slightest noise or movement in their direction.
As winter breeding season approaches, adult male coyotes become very protective over their home territories, as this space is associated with the availability of breeding females. During this time, adult male coyotes are very intolerant of other canines within their territories and may demonstrate bold, or even aggressive, behavior towards domestic dogs.
If you are approached by a coyote, it is important to react in the following way:
- Always keep dogs on a leash.
- Do not run. Back away slowly.
- Act big: wave arms and sticks above your head.
- Make lots of noise.
Please report coyote sightings in the park to Parks Canada Dispatch at 1-877-852-3100.
Learn more about what to do when encountering coyotes (PDF, 181 KB).
Although uncommon in the park, ticks are present and may carry Lyme Disease. Learn more about Lyme disease and tick prevention.
There are two main types of jellyfish that surface in our Prince Edward Island waters: the Arctic Red, or Lion's Mane, Jellyfish and the White Moon Jellyfish. The Arctic Red is larger and more common than the White Moon, which is translucent and lacks the long red tentacles.
The tentacles of the Arctic Red Jellyfish are used to stun their prey (zooplankton) before feeding. These are the same tentacles that may give slight stinging or mild burning sensations when people come in contact with them.
There is no need to panic, though; the remedy surrounds you at the ocean's edge! By rubbing wet sand over the irritated area, you can usually alleviate most of the discomfort caused by the sting of an Arctic Red Jellyfish.
If you encounter injured or vulnerable wildlife, please call Parks Canada Dispatch at 1-877-852-3100 so that trained staff, such as veterinarians and wildlife officers, can handle the situation. The Dispatch Centre is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.