Mostly Trapping

Evaluating Red Wolf scat to deter Coyote access to urban pastureland
Sep 26, 2020 06:42 ET
Original Title: Evaluating red wolf scat to deter coyote
access to urban pastureland

Abstract: Depredation of domestic livestock by wildlife is a leading source of human–wildlife
conflict, often requiring intervention at the local level. Historically, these interventions have
resulted in the use of lethal methods to remove the offending animal. In response to increased
public opposition to lethal control methods, wildlife managers have sought to identify effective
nonlethal biological options to mitigate wildlife depredations. In 2018, we tested the concept
of a biological deterrent using red wolf (Canis rufus) scat that had historically been spread
along fence lines to prevent depredation of lambs (Ovis aries) and kid goats (Capra aegagrus
hircus) at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine 32-ha Teaching
Animal Unit (TAU), North Carolina, USA. To conduct the study, we deployed paired camera
traps at 3 locations where we had previously observed coyotes (C. latrans) accessing the
TAU. The study was conducted over a 94-day period alternating between no scat and freshly
collected scat that was placed every 3 days from adult male red wolves. The study period
overlapped lambing and kidding season. In addition to coyotes, the camera traps routinely
detected red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and raccoons (Procyon lotor). The red wolf scat we placed
at the access point did not deter any of the mesocarnivores from entering the pasture.