Killing coyotes has a price

Killing coyotes pays a bounty

In Canada there are programs to control the number of coyotes. Recently in Nova Scotia the government announced a "pelt incentive" program that pays licensed trappers $20 per animal.

In Saskatchewan the government spent $1.5 million for their five-month coyote control program. This resulted in 71,000 animals killed. The program was launched due to concerns from ranchers and farmers about coyote attacks on livestock.

In a normal year about 21,000 coyotes are hunted or trapped for their fur in Saskatchewan when there is no bounty paid. The government was surprised by the high number from the project. The program ran from November 2009 to march 2010 and many waited until the end of the pilot project to put in their applications.

With about 80% of the municipalities participating in the program it has been found that the average applicant killed about 15 coyotes. The highest number killed by one individual is claimed to be 90.

Now there has to be an assessment of the impact of such a large coyote kill. The government has stated that it was not their intention to kill all the coyotes in the province. One has to wonder about the environmental impact of making such a large cull.

There is now a new initiative which will compensate farmers and ranches for damage caused by predator animals. This program will be run by the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. and will give the farmer 100% of the market value for the livestock that are killed by predators and up to 80% for injured animals. There are have been approximately 1,000 claims filed since April 1st.

We will watch to see what reports come out of Nova Scotia regarding the success of their program. The coyotes in that province have become a concern and need to be controlled.