Living with Coyotes: Managing Predators Humanely Using Food Aversion Conditioning

Living with Coyotes: Managing Predators Humanely Using Food Aversion Conditioning

Living with Coyotes: Managing Predators Humanely Using Food Aversion Conditioning

Living with Coyotes: Managing Predators Humanely Using Food Aversion Conditioning

Excerpt

This book represents a summary of a major portion of my career as a professor and researcher in experimental psychology. For the past 25 or so years I have investigated both the theory and the application of food aversion conditioning to the management of coyotes and other predators. To say the least, it has been an adventure. It has been a combination of good science; not-so-good science under difficult conditions in the natural environment; sociology; politics; and an attempt to educate students, other scientists, laypeople with an interest in animal behavior, and myself. Most of all, it has become a passion of mine as I have become immersed in the cauldron of scientific controversy and debate.

In this book I have presented excerpts from the scientific literature regarding coyote psychology and biology, I have described in detail some research relating to the use of food aversion conditioning in the control of coyote predation on domestic livestock, and I have included stories and some of the lore that surrounds this often mysterious animal. To make the science more palatable, I have described many anecdotes and personal experiences that I hope will be interesting and entertaining and will make the book readable for everyone with an interest in coyotes and their ecology. The book also contains a sample of the available data on coyotes, food aversion conditioning, and nonlethal management procedures, but certainly not all the information that is relevant. That would be impossible. I hope my selection of material is sufficient to convey the notion of an ecological balance and the impor-

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