Conservation through Science under God

Mitigating human–coyote conflicts in urban areas
Oct 13, 2020 08:40 ET
Original Title: Advancing best practices for aversion
conditioning (humane hazing) to mitigate
human–coyote conflicts in urban areas

Abstract: Coyotes (Canis latrans) are now recognized as a permanent feature in urban
environments across much of North America. Behavioral aversion conditioning, or humane
hazing, is increasingly advocated as an effective and compassionate alternative to wildlife
management strategies, such as trap and removal. Given a growing public interest in humane
hazing, there is a need to synthesize the science regarding methods, outcomes, efficacy,
and other relevant considerations to better manage human–coyote conflicts in urban areas.
This paper was prepared as an outcome of a workshop held in July 2019 by Coyote Watch
Canada (CWC) to synthesize the literature on aversion conditioning. The paper also includes
the deployment experiences of members of the CWC Canid Response Team. Herein, we
propose best practices to enhance the efficacy of aversion conditioning for the management of
urban wildlife, particularly coyotes. We detail recommendations concerning: the importance of
consistency, adaptability, humaneness, and clear goals; training and proactive implementation;
and the need for a comprehensive wildlife coexistence program. We further detail additional
considerations surrounding domestic dogs (C. lupus familiaris), public perceptions, and
defining behavior and conflict. We hope this synthesis will assist wildlife managers and
local governments in identifying and deploying nonlethal human–coyote conflict mitigation
strategies that are effective, humane, and community supported.