USDA Mostly Addressed Doves, Coyotes In 2018 AZ Wildlife Damage Management

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 4:40pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released numbers on wildlife management across the country. That includes removing animals that are considered damaging, like feral swine and doves.

In Arizona, employees with the local Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) killed, removed or dispersed more than 30,000 animals across the state.

The animal most often addressed was the mourning dove. The birds can pose a hazard at airports, where they can get sucked into jet engines.

The second most removed animal in Arizona was the coyote. According to the USDA, coyotes were the native mammal most often removed across the country last year.

Chris Carillo is an APHIS district supervisor in Arizona

“Our goal is not to eradicate or to go out and indiscriminately remove wildlife. It is for a purpose to protect property, human health and safety, natural resources, agriculture,” he said.

USDA employees killed about 600 coyotes in Arizona last year in efforts to manage wildlife damage.

The USDA numbers are small compared to the coyotes killed by Arizona hunters. That number was around 26,000 several years ago. It's a similar story with mourning doves; Arizona hunters killed more than 400,000 of them in 2015.

Carillo said the agency works with local groups to not just kill but also disperse potentially harmful animals.

“So we’re out there at the request of, we call them, cooperators. And with any of our species that we’re requested to manage, the impact to the populations is very, very small,” Carillo said. 

Carillo said at the same time, the agency works on programs to boost local populations of endangered animals.    

All data on APHIS wildlife management is available online. The reports also include cost and disease testing on those animals.