Aversive Conditioning Essay Research Paper Aversive conditioning

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Aversive Conditioning Essay, Research Paper Aversive conditioning is a manufactured negative response to certain things, much like the operant conditioning developed by Skinner. The contingent behavior is behavior that, when performed, results in the delivery of specific consequences or reinforcers. This article described the measures taken to make coyotes stop wanting to kill lambs for food. The authors? contention is that it may be possible to reconcile the desires of both ranchers and conservationists. The latter group wishes to enable the coyote and, perhaps other predators, to survive in the open range, as they have for millions of years. Species that kill farm animals include others: mountain lions, bears, bobcats, and red wolves as well as coyotes. This paper on

aversive conditioning mainly addresses whether behavior of coyotes can be altered without affecting their survival in the wild. The question Mssrs. Gustavson and Garcia attempt to address is whether coyotes can be conditioned to kill animals such as mice, rabbits, gophers, and squirrels- species of no economic value in the western United States- while leaving sheep alone. Clearly, sheep have tremendous economic value in terms of meat and wool production, and ranchers as well as the general meat-consuming public have a vested interest in the survival and success of the ranching industry. Just as clearly, environmentalist and conservationists have an interest in seeing that certain species are enabled to survive in their native habitat, and not simply confined in zoos under

whatever terms humans dictate. To see if they could make coyotes stop killing lambs, the authors first took a sample population of coyotes from different regions of Montana where coyotes were notorious for killing shepherds? flocks. They captured seven coyotes, five from the wild and two from captivity. Presumably all of them loved to eat lamb meat. They fed them tainted lamb, wrapped in fresh lamb hide. The meat itself was not toxic to the long-term health of the coyotes that devoured it. Instead, it was laced with lithium chloride, which causes vomiting. One assumption made was that the lithium did not actually affect the taste of the meat. Therefore, the coyotes actually did consume the meat, and uniformly became sick after eating the lamb. As a result of associating the meat

with vomiting the coyotes didn?t want to eat lamb anymore. On the contrary, they ran away and hid from the lambs after having eaten the bad lamb meat. Only weeks afterward did they begin to approach lambs as prey when given the chance, and they didn?t devour their food as they usually did. They tested their food one bite at a time, waiting between bites to see if they got sick. In fact, during an earlier experiment with hamburger tainted with lithium the coyotes all became ill. After the coyotes associated the hamburger with emesis, they didn?t even taste hamburger offered to them. Instead, the coyotes urinated on the meat, turned over their meat dish, or actually buried it. The experiment with lithium-laced lamb was a temporarily successful one in that the coyotes were weaned

off of lamb meat. Despite this apparent success, other problems could arise which this experiment did not address. For example, coyotes might not have any other source of food other than lamb. There may or may not be enough other edible things available to enable coyotes to survive. Lamb is a staple food for coyotes in Montana, and other food sources might not replenish that lost by having lamb removed from the coyotes? diet. It is noted that coyotes feed on mice, squirrels, rabbits, and even grasshoppers. Yet it is by no means certain that these small animals alone would enable coyotes to survive in the wild. Neither author claimed that coyotes kill sheep to drive ranchers out of business, they kill sheep to survive. Furthermore, wrapping lamb meat in sheep skin, which is how