U of C coyote program continues
Published Friday, February 15, 2013 6:20AM MST
Last Updated Friday, February 15, 2013 8:48AM MST
Researchers at the University of Calgary will be continuing their coyote tagging program they started last August to study the animals in the city.
The tag and release program will fit at least ten coyotes with GPS collars and track their movements through the city.
The study is conducted under the support of the City of Calgary.
The data collected from the study will provide insight into how the animals move through the urban environment and how they interact with humans, domestic animals and other wildlife.
“The data that we hope to collect from this study will also contribute to other ongoing studies we are carrying out with support from the City of Calgary,” says Alessandro Massolo, assistant professor of wildlife health ecology in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, in a release.
“These studies include an examination of gastrointestinal parasites in Calgary dogs, urban coyotes and rodents, and another on dog fecal contamination of city parks. All of these are part of a broad, multi-year research program into wildlife health ecology here in Calgary that we hope will provide real, tangible benefits to the community."
The results will also help the city decide on how to improve the management of natural areas, ensuring a better environment for people, pets, and other wildlife.
The program originally began in August 2012, but was put on hiatus by the city.
The study has been under rigorous academic ethics approval since the beginning.
Massolo says that the intent of the program is not to hurt the coyotes.
“The catch and release equipment is humane and not intended to injure animals or people. The devices are toothless, padded with rubber and designed to hold the foot of the coyote. They are configured to ensure the pressure exerted by the device will not fracture or break the limbs of an animal.
“The whole aim of this study is to track coyotes in their movement – hurting them not only runs against our ethics as people who work with and care about animals, it is counter-productive to the research my students and I are undertaking.”