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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Evaluation of depredation management techniques for territorial animals using a computer model: coyotes as a case study


For centuries, coyotes have been controlled to protect livestock and/or enhance game populations. The intensity of control has varied widely and many types of control techniques have been used. The effects of these control techniques need to be evaluated to effectively resolve conflicts, to fulfill legal requirements, and to aid the development of new strategies. However, the influence of these techniques on coyote population size and structure is largely unknown. Furthermore, management decisions are often required before experimental tests can be developed, and conducting requisite experimental programs on meaningful scales are logistically prohibitive. Therefore, we developed an individual-based computer model to evaluate the effects of various control techniques on age structure including selective removal, random removal, and denning. This model is part of a larger effort to fully evaluate the effect of current management strategies on coyote populations and to eventually link this population model to a depredation model. Selective and random removal resulted in younger age structures, whereas denning produced population age structures similar to an unexploited population.

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