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Individual study: Microencapsulated lithium chloride bait aversion did not stop coyote predation on sheep

Published source details

Burns R.J. (1983) Microencapsulated lithium chloride bait aversion did not stop coyote predation on sheep. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 47, 1010–1017


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Use taste-aversion to reduce predation of livestock by mammals to deter human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study (year unspecified) in a research facility in Utah, USA (Burns 1983) found that lithium chloride-injected bait did not induce taste aversion that prevented coyotes Canis latrans from killing lambs Ovis aries. Coyotes fed with baits containing lithium chloride (which causes gastrointestinal discomfort) took a similar length of time to kill a lamb after feeding (2.7 days) than did coyotes that had eaten bait without lithium chloride (2.7 days). Eight coyotes were held in separate kennels. At 08:00 each day, an individual animal was let into a 250-m2 pen containing food. If a coyote consumed the food within 10 minutes on three consecutive days, then on the following day bait, in the form of sheep meat contained within sheep hide, was placed in the pen. For four coyotes, the baits contained lithium chloride (which induced gastrointestinal discomfort) and, for the other four, they did not. Coyotes were left in pens until they had eaten at least one bait. Following this, coyotes were let back into the pen along with a live lamb and the time it took for the coyote to kill the lamb was monitored.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)