25 Feb '12, 10pm

Does Killing Coyotes Do Any Good?

Does Killing Coyotes Do Any Good?

This week Ken Cole at The Wildlife News made an important connection : last year Wildlife Services (a federal agency we’ve written a lot about here at Switchboard ) had to truncate its coyote-killing operations due to budget cuts, but the number of sheep killed by coyotes during that same time ended up falling . Is there a link between these two facts? Well, without knowing how many fewer coyotes Wildlife Services actually killed last year or comparing exactly where coyotes were killed verses where sheep were killed, it’s hard to say, but, counterintuitive as it might seem, this actually makes a good deal of sense. First, there is evidence that programs to reduce coyote numbers through killing actually can have the perverse effect of spurring overall coyote populatio n growth. That’s because as the number of adult coyotes decreases, competition for food also goes down, and...

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/awetzler/_this_week_ken...

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