Captive coyotes Canis latrans can be conditioned to avoid pulegone, but not eggs, when presented with pulegone-treated eggs. Pulegone is found to render eggs inviable

  • Published source details Hoover S.E. & Conover M.R. (2000) Using eggs containing an irritating odor to teach mammalian predators to stop depredating eggs. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 28, 84-89


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use aversive conditioning to reduce nest predation by mammalian predators

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Use aversive conditioning to reduce nest predation by mammalian predators

    A replicated, controlled experiment with 12 captive coyotes Canis latrans (Hoover & Conover 2000) found that they preferentially consumed eight untreated eggs from untreated nests, compared to four untreated eggs from nests sprayed with pulegone (mint extract) or four eggs sprayed with pulegone, over a three day period. A second trial with 29 coyotes found that, during a five-day conditioning period when coyotes were presented with eggs injected with 1 ml pulegone, they opened and consumed fewer eggs each day (from 100% to <40% opened, <8% consumed). However, after the conditioning period, coyotes continued to eat 100% of untreated eggs when presented with them, either singly or alongside pulegone injected and sprayed eggs.


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