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Scientific Reports




Nature Publishing Group

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Medium and large carnivores coexist with people in urban areas globally, occasionally resulting in negative interactions that prompt questions about how to reduce human-wildlife conflict. Hazing, i.e., scaring wildlife, is frequently promoted as an important non-lethal means for urbanites to reduce conflict but there is limited scientific evidence for its efficacy. We used a population of captive coyotes (Canis latrans) to simulate urban human-coyote interactions and subsequent effects of hazing on coyote behavior. Past experiences with humans significantly affected the number of times a coyote approached a human to necessitate hazing. Coyotes that had been hand fed by adults had to be more frequently hazed than coyotes with other or no past experiences with adults. Past experience with children had no impact on the number of hazing events. The number of times a coyote approached an adult or child was reduced across days based on the accumulative number of times hazed, suggesting coyotes learn to avoid behaviors warranting hazing and that this could be used as a non-lethal management tool. However, prior experience and whether the interaction is with an adult or child can alter the outcomes of hazing and must be considered in determining the efficacy of hazing programs.