Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

April 2007


Published in the Proceedings of the 12th Wildlife Damage Management Conference (D.L. Nolte, W.M. Arjo, D.H. Stalman, Eds). 2007.


Social, political, and legal considerations have contributed to an unfavorable regulatory environment for lethal control of urban coyotes (Canis latrans). I analyze and break adown that environment from a Wildlife Control Operator (WCO) perspective. Currently 3 significant factors frame the issue but a 4th could be emerging. First, our hands are tied: I use the situation in Colorado to illustrate the point. Compounding factors include the need for a paradigm shift in how rules are derived, the lag-time factor in agency response to issues, and the tendency toward bureaucracy/over-regulation. Second, human dimensions rule: I critique the downside of human dimensions in wildlife damage management, including over-reliance on public opinion tools/processes, the sacred cow of humaneness, the influence of animal welfare/rights protagonists, and changing demographics. Third, most people prefer coexistence over lethal control: I briefly look at how this factor defines the current American mind-set but is nonetheless unrealistic. Fourth, the coyotes are coming: I highlight how the burgeoning urban coyote problem could be changing perceptions and attitudes about lethal control and the regulatory environment.