Is Birth Control the Future of Coyote Management?

A research team from the University of Wyoming is studying the possibility of using chemical contraception to help control coyote populations. The group, led by zoology doctoral candidate Marjie MacGregor, has been experimenting with deslorelin, a hormone that makes coyotes sterile.

An Associated Press story on the research has more details:

“Coyotes tend to prey on larger animals, including domestic sheep, pronghorn antelope and mule deer, more heavily when they have pups, MacGregor said. Because coyotes quickly fill territory left empty when their counterparts are gunned down, contraception has potential to reduce depredation better than killing, she said.”

Wyoming Wildlife Service Director Rod Krischke  agreed that contraception could help reduce depredation.

“Basically, if you reduce the reproduction capabilities then you have fewer mouths to feed,” Krischke told the AP. “The hope’s that the territorial coyotes would maintain their territory even though they’re not having pups.”

Trappers and predator hunters will certainly keep an eye on this news as it could affect coyote populations and opportunities for animal damage control trappers in the future.

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9 thoughts on “Is Birth Control the Future of Coyote Management?

  1. How can i get some of the product or another method to slow the population of coyotes? Is it legal to poison coyotes if foods that maybe no other animal eats?

  2. Every time that we try to control something through the use of chemicals, there are consequenses that sometimes take a generation or more to show up. The other night there was a story on the national news that recommended that people limit their consumption of rice and rice based products due to elevated levels of arsenic. This has been traced back to the use of arsenic based insecticides that have become concentrated in the soils and water where rice is grown. If you want to control the coyote population, the most environmentally conscious way to do it is with the old fashioned methods; hunting and trapping. As always, the researchers that are advocating the use of a birth control drug haven’t considered where this drug will travel after the death of a coyote that has been treated with it. What will it do to the scavengers that feed on the carcass of the coyote?

  3. This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. As the indians know you can never control the coyote he is the trickster and will always out smart humans. Can we try this birth control on welfare recipients first and see if it works. Many ranchers have found that if you leave nature to it’s own the numbers are much more stable and everybody lives in harmony. Trapping and hunting these animals is always a better way to deal with this anyway because you instill tradition in our youth.

  4. The anti-hunting and trapping establishment has promoted this approach for years… with limited success. HSUS funded an upwards to $200k study on Fire Island in New York on the deer population there. Guess what – it didn’t work very well. Bottom line is that IF (and it’s a big if…) this was implemented on a large scale for coyotes where potential for success was good, the taxpayers price tag would be big…. and perpetual. Wildlife birth control has long been the anti’s answer to people actually reducing populations traditionally and eliminating our participation in the activity. The good news for hunters and trappers is that proving this would work on a huge landscape is a long way off if ever, and the only ones that would attempt to fund it successfully would be the anti’s – and they are too busy finding ways to increase their donations and well… be anti. cheers!

  5. i was just woundering who was going to get them to line up to get there shot of the wounder drug?

    goverment will spend million to try something like that. all they need to do is put a good $$ bounty on them and there would be plenty of balence and it would cost us the tax payers much less and get the job done.

  6. To quote an old Wyoming rancher,”Them coyotes aren’t breeding with the sheep,they’re eating them!” Just,more feel good publicity by USDA-APHIS-WS and promoted by the animal rights groups’ propaganda. When traps are outlawed,only USDA-APHIS-WS will have traps,with the blessings,of the animal rights groups.Think about it !

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