Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

April 1995


In an enclosure-type study, I investigated the use of odor, auditory, and visual cues to enhance lithium-chloride (LiCl)- induced prey aversion in coyotes (Canis latrans). Eight adult, male, wild-caught coyotes that killed 2 adult sheep during successive daily, 1 -hr trials were assigned to LiCl- and sodium-chloride (NaCl)-bait groups. The 4 LiCl-bait coyotes were sequentially presented with leg-of-sheep and whole-sheep carcasses injected with a 33% LiCl water solution (4.5 ml/kg) 1 -hr daily until bait shy. The 4 NaCl coyotes were exposed to baits and carcasses injected with 25% NaCl/water solution (4.5 ml/kg) for matched trials. Additionally, 2 coyotes within each LiCl and NaCl group were presented with baits/carcasses sprayed with cologne and fitted with a red collar and attached bell, and 2 "reference coyotes" within each LiCl and NaCl group were offered similar baits/ carcasses without these stimuli. Following onset of bait aversion, coyotes were again paired for 1 hr daily with a live sheep that had either the "stimuli" or "no stimuli" affixed until 2 sheep were killed. Coyotes required 7 to 23 1-hr exposures to LiCl meats to cease ingestion (develop bait shyness). Coyotes presented both LiCl-baits/carcasses and subsequent live sheep affixed with stimuli showed greater suppression of predation, but this effect was of limited duration (<9 pairings with sheep).