Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

October 2000


The range expansion and reintroduction of mammalian predators (e.g., wolves, coyotes and bears) coupled with growing disfavor for traditional tools of wildlife management creates an immediate need for alternative, non-lethal, but effective techniques for managing predation on livestock. Scientists at the National Wildlife Research Center are using advanced technology and animal behavior concepts (e.g., aversive and disruptive stimuli) to develop new tools for the prevention of damage by large mammalian predators, and this paper is a review of our pilot studies investigating these techniques. Recently tested tools include behavior contingent disruptive stimulus devices for wolves and coyotes. Experiments indicate the importance of behavior contingent activation for reducing habituation by coyotes (random stimuli = 11 % habituation vs. behavior contingent stimuli = 14 % habituation). Because disruptive stimulus devices will usually be limited to the protection of small areas, aversive stimulus devices (modified electronic training collars), also using behavior contingent activation, are currently being developed and tested, and an automatically attaching telemetry collar is being developed. Although there is no one technique that will be useful and appropriate in all situations, it is possible that modifying widely available electronic devices, according to understanding of animal behavior, may allow the production of affordable and effective non-lethal tools for limiting livestock depredations.