More trappers take part in provincial coyote program

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[Sydney, NS] — More licensed trappers signed up for a provincial (Nova Scotia) coyote trapping program last year bringing the total to 403, up from 366 the previous year.

At $20 per pelt, $66,800 was paid during the 2011-12 season to trappers who harvested and properly prepared 3,340 pelts.

“It doesn’t mean that we have that many certified trappers in the province,” said Bruce Nunn, spokesperson for the Department of Natural Resources.

“We have many more, but that is how many were taking part in the pelt incentive program.”

The pelt program is part of a four-part plan to make the province safer from aggressive coyotes by strengthening their fear of humans and changing their behaviour. It is not intended to reduce the coyote population over the long term.

“We need to create that negative association with humans so they will stay away from us.

“(Trappers) have to check their traps every day and that association with the trap and with the hunter will hopefully create a more negative experience with people and they’ll instinctively learn later that they should stay away.”

Educating Nova Scotians who come in contact with the animals is also part of the provincial program.

“The problem is (coyotes) get a little bit habituated and a little too familiar with humans and we need to discourage that.”

The other parts of the plan include providing Nova Scotians with education materials, training 13 trappers to target aggressive coyotes in selected areas when needed, and hiring a wildlife conflict biologist.

Since the plan was created, government has released educational materials provincewide, including providing posters, bookmarks, and pamphlets to every elementary school.

Provincial staff also promote coyote awareness to schools, community groups and media.

Cape Breton Post

Organizations: Department of Natural Resources

Geographic location: Cape Breton

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