Date of this Version
Foot-hold traps can be used to selectively capture coyotes (Canis latrans) and wolves (C. lupus). However, injuries to captured animals sometimes occur when they struggle to escape. Tranquilizer trap devices (TTDs) reduce struggling and injuries but prototype TTDs were too expensive for widespread use by Animal Damage Control (ADC) operational personnel. For this reason, the Pocatello Supply Depot (PSD) and the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) are investigating alternative TTD designs. A molded-rubber TTD will be available from the PSD for coyotes, and the NWRC continues to explore other cheaper TTD designs. A practical TTD design is now available for use with wolves, and evaluation of foot and leg injuries shows >90% of wolves captured in TTD equipped foot-hold traps had only minor injuries. Conversely, 57% of wolves captured in traps without the tranquilizer had more severe injuries. A training handbook is being developed by ADC operations and NWRC personnel for the operational use of TTDs. The development of efficient, economical tranquilizer delivery systems continues to be an important priority for the NWRC.