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Coyote Control with Compound 1080 Stations in National Forests

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Through the earlier history of the American livestock industry, particularly in the West, the control of canine predators was of paramount concern to users of the range. Sheepmen especially were subject to ruinous losses from marauding coyotes and wolves; and "killer lobos," or packs led by such wolves, sometimes spread destruction in cattle herds. The demand for control funneled inevitably into the Congress and to western state assemblies. As a matter of course, control was provided, often in cooperation with state agencies, by the Federal Bureau of Biological Survey (now Fish and Wildlife Service), and by trappers hired by stockmen themselves. Steel traps and poisons were the principal control methods, the latter being employed officially by the Biological Survey and too often promiscuously by others. Very appreciable predator control was achieved but unfortunately at the expense of other wildlife. Since much of the poisoning was in the national forests and on public domain, fur trappers, foresters, mammalogists, and conservationists generally became concerned; and in the controversies that followed charges and counter charges were leveled and denied. Somewhat later, in researches concerned with World War II, very potent toxicants were discovered, among them the one now popularly known as "1080." This compound proved deadly to members of the dog family with the inevitable, result that many conservation groups became concerned. The Fish and Wildlife Service, through the Denver Wildlife Research Laboratory had initiated a carefully-planned series of experiments designed to measure the toxicity of 1080 to common forest wildlife and to determine means of employing it as a livestock predator control with the least possible threat to fur and game species. Later ecological studies on forest lands were undertaken. The results, indicating very encouraging progress in protection of forest wildlife, are given in this article.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Wildlife Research Laboratory, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, Colo.

Publication date: 1953-12-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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