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Individual study: An evaluation of predatory suppression in coyotes using lithium chloride-induced illness

Published source details

Horn S.W. (1983) An evaluation of predatory suppression in coyotes using lithium chloride-induced illness. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 47, 999-1009


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

A replicated, before-and-after study in 1983 in a research facility in Colorado, USA (Horn 1983) found that feeding domestic European rabbits Oryctolagus cunniculus baited with an illness-inducing agent to coyotes Canis latrans did not change their predation rate on live rabbits. Coyotes killed all live rabbits presented to them both before and after being fed with rabbit meat and rabbit carcases baited with an illness-inducing agent. The study was conducted in a 6,400-m2 enclosure of unspecified habitat. Three wild-caught adult coyotes were each presented with a series of live rabbits and made 10 consecutive kills. Each then received a control bait package (rabbit meat with an empty gelatin capsule) followed by five further live rabbits. Coyotes then received a bait package with a gelatin capsule containing lithium chloride, followed a day later by a live white rabbit. The next day, they received another lithium chloride-laced bait package followed by another live rabbit. Three days later, they received a lithium chloride-treated rabbit carcass and then live rabbits the following day. Bait packages were 227 g of rabbit meat containing 7 g of illness-inducing lithium chloride in a gelatin capsule. Baited rabbit carcasses were injected with 10 g of dissolved lithium chloride. No additional food was provided between trials.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha )