The Public and Coyote Control

One’s views regarding the relative and absolute merits of coyotes are largely a matter of perspective. Some see the coyote as the devil himself, while others perceive him as a symbol of the wide open spaces. Public opinion related to the need and methods for controlling predators has had considerable impact on the tools available for predator control. Surveys verify that there is a wide difference of opinion between the general public and those whose livelihood is adversely affected by predation losses. For example, in a recent nationwide survey, 91 percent of the sheep producers surveyed favored killing “as many coyotes as possible”, whereas only 38 percent of the “informed public” approved of such control levels. Surveys clearly demonstrate that the public tends to favor control methods that are perceived to be “humane” and “specified”. In general, nonlethal control methods are viewed more favorably than lethal methods. A 1995 survey indicated that Texas respondents were generally more supportive of predator control for livestock protection than respondents from the rest of the United States, although the overall trends were similar.