Sheep & Goat Research Journal. Volume 19, 2004
Special Edition: Predation

Contents

Predation and Livestock Production Perspective and Overview
Author: M. Shelton

Economic Impact of Sheep Predation in the United States
Author: K. Jones

The History of Federal and Cooperative Animal Damage Control
Author: D.W. Hawthorne

Status and Management of Coyote Depredations in the Eastern United States
Author: J.M. Houben

The Coyote in the Edwards Plateau of Texas -- an Update
Author: G. Nunley

Coyote Predation Management: An Economic Analysis of Increased Antelope Recruitment and Cattle Production in South Central Wyoming
Author: S.A. Shwiff and R.J. Merrell

Feral Swine Impacts on Agriculture and the Environment
Author: N.W. Seward, K.C. VerCauteren, G.W. Witmer and R.M. Engeman

Managing Wolf Depredation in the United States: Past, Present, and Future
Author: S. Breck and T. Meier

Compensation Programs in Wyoming for Livestock Depredation by Large Carnivores
Author: M.T. Bruscino and T.L. Cleveland

Direct, Spillover, and Intangible Benefits of Predation Management
Author: S.A. Shwiff and M.J. Bodenchuk

Indirect Effects of Carnivores on Livestock Foraging Behavior and Production
Author: L.D. Howery and T.J. DeLiberto

Livestock Depredations by Black Vultures and Golden Eagles
Author: M.L. Avery and J.L. Cummings

Non-lethal Alternatives for Predation Management
Author: J.A. Shivik

Use of Livestock Guarding Animals to Reduce Predation on Livestock
Author: W. F. Andelt

Predacides for Canid Predation Management
Author: K.A. Fagerstone, J.J. Johnston and P.J. Savarie

Selective Targeting of Alpha Coyotes to Stop Sheep Depredation
Author: M.M. Jaeger

Using Genetic Analyses to Identify Predators
Author: C.L. Williams and J.J. Johnston

Economic Impact of Protected Large Carnivores on Sheep Farming in Norway
Author: L.J. Asheim and I. Mysterud

Review of Canid Management in Australia for the Protection of Livestock and Wildlife - Potential Application to Coyote Management
Author: L.R. Allen and P.J.S. Fleming


Article Summaries

Predation and Livestock Production Perspective and Overview

Author: M. Shelton
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Predation (a mode of life in which food is primarily obtained by killing and consuming other animals) is a purely natural phenomenon, but it is a problem when the predator becomes too abundant or it is unacceptable for humans to share individuals of particular species of prey. Predation has likely been a problem since domestication and continues to be a problem which must be dealt with today. Although much of the focus in this compilation of papers is the livestock industry, predation may also be of concern with respect to wildlife species or household pets. The larger predator species may also constitute a direct threat to man. Some predator species (especially wild or feral swine and coyotes) may also interfere with other agricultural endeavors through destruction of fences, damaging crops, or the threat of spread of disease (Sewart et al., - this issue). Predation management with one goal in mind (i.e., protection of sheep) may also have spin-off benefits for other species as well (Shwiff and Merrell, Allen and Fleming, Shwiff and Bodenchuk, this issue).

Economic Impact of Sheep Predation in the United States

Author: K. Jones
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Abstract

Though accounting for less than 1 percent of U.S. livestock industry receipts, sheep and goat operations are still important to the economies of several states in the Southern Plains, Mountain States and Pacific regions. Revenues from sales of lambs and culled ewes amount to more than three-fourths of the total receipts in the sheep industry. However, nearly 4 percent of the animals in the sheep industry are lost each year. Most of this loss is from predation. Predators include coyotes, domestic dogs, big cats, foxes and bears, and eagles. Predator losses are concentrated in the Southern Plains, Pacific States and Mountain regions, due to a high concentration of both sheep and predators in these regions.

Most previous studies have looked at the direct loss from predation. We used the Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN) procedure to construct an input-output (I-O) model of the 10 USDA farm production regions to look at some of the indirect effects associated with predation. The direct value of all sheep and lambs lost due to predation for 1999 was simulated using this I-O model and the regional economic impact evaluated. The simulated impact of predator losses on the U.S. sheep industry showed that a $16 million direct loss in sheep and lambs due to predation results in a more than $12 million additional income loss over the rest of the economy. The economies of the Mountain States, Southern Plains and Pacific were most affected.

Key Words: Sheep, Lamb, Predators, Economic Impact

The History of Federal and Cooperative Animal Damage Control

Author: D.W. Hawthorne
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Introduction

The predecessor of the Wildlife Services program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, was founded by C. Hart Merriam in 1885 with a Congressional appropriation of $5,000. These funds were used to organize a Section of Economic Ornithology as part of the Entomology Division of USDA. Merriam immediately hired longtime friend A. K. Fisher to be his assistant and the two shared a clerk. The new Section proved to be so popular with farmers and politicians that the Congress created a separate Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy in 1886. The Commissioner of Agriculture stated that the principal effort of the Division would be to educate farmers about birds and mammals affecting their interests, so that destruction of useful species might be prevented. One of the first publications dealt with the introduction of the English sparrow into the United States.

Merriam and his assistants began to collect data on the geographic distribution of various birds and mammals of economic importance. "Economic" was gradually dropped from the organization's title, and in about 1890, the title of the Division was changed to the Division of Ornithology and Mammalogy. Early studies detailed the life histories and impacts of jack rabbits, ground squirrels of the Mississippi Valley, and pocket gophers. In addition, field experiments on the control of prairie dogs in Texas and New Mexico were initiated. Merriam and others soon promoted another change in the title of the Division to the Biological Survey, arguing that the name was more apt, and in 1896, the Division was renamed. In 1905, the name was changed again to the Bureau of Biological Survey and this title remained as long as the program was with the Department of Agriculture.

Merriam's dedication to field surveys never wavered, even though it brought him into constant conflict with various Congressmen who did not see the practical value of investigating animals in Canada and Mexico. Merriam insisted that the information was needed to help the farmers in the United States. Nevertheless, his agency was known by some as the "Bureau of Extravagant Mammalogy," and in 1907, several Congressmen attempted to abolish the Bureau's appropriation. In the end, the effort failed, thanks in part to President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt expressed his pleasure at the outcome with a characteristic note to Merriam that read "Bully for the Biological Survey.

Key Words: ADC, Coyotes, Education, History, Predation, Rodents, Wildlife Services

Status and Management of Coyote Depredations in the Eastern United States

Author: J.M. Houben
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Introduction

The populations of coyotes (Canis latrans) have increased dramatically in the eastern United States since the early 1900s (Hilton, 1978; Chambers, 1987; Hill et al., 1987; Witmer and Hayden 1992). The expansion of the coyote range into eastern North America has been summarized by Parker (1995) and characterized as two distinct geographical events: 1) the northern front moving across southern Ontario and the Great Lakes region and 2) the southern front colonizing the southeastern United States from Arkansas and Louisiana. These two fronts expanded throughout the northeastern and southeastern United States during the 1960s and 1970s, finally converging during the mid 1980s in the central Appalachian mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. Upon their arrival, eastern coyotes, like their western counterparts, began killing livestock. There has been concern that coyote depredations in the eastern United States could cause significant impacts on sheep and other livestock industries (Slate, 1987; Witmer and Hayden, 1992; Witmer et al., 1995). Other authors have suggested that coyote predation is an important contributing factor in the decline of the American sheep industry (Terrill, 1986; Hilton, 1992).

Coyote depredations on livestock in the eastern United States have been documented by several authors (Witmer and Hayden, 1992; Witmer et al., 1995; Tomsa and Forbes, 1989). The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) completed surveys of "Sheep and Goat Predator Loss" during the years 1990, 1994, and 1999. Similar surveys of "Cattle Predator Loss" were made in 1991, 1995, and 2000. These nationwide surveys were completed during the final phases of coyote range expansion in the eastern United States and as coyote depredations in the east began to increase. During the 1990s, the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services (WS) programs in Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio initiated programs designed to assist producers experiencing livestock depredations by coyotes. The WS program documents livestock losses, requests for assistance, and management activities through its Management Information System (MIS). WS uses the MIS system to produce annual reports on coyote depredation management activities. The NASS surveys and WS reports have not been analyzed on a regional basis or in the context of the range expansion of the coyote in the eastern United States. This paper reviews these data and examines the effectiveness of WS programs aimed at managing coyote depredation on livestock in the eastern United States.

Key Words: Coyote, Sheep, Cattle, Depredation

The Coyote in the Edwards Plateau of Texas -- an Update

Author: G. Nunley
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Introduction

In the early 1900s, organized predator control was initiated to remove coyotes and wolves from the sheep- and goat-producing areas of Texas. Operations were begun in the Edwards Plateau, the largest area of sheep concentration. The Edwards Plateau and, to a lesser extent, portions of other adjoining ecological areas presently account for 18% (1.2 million head) of the sheep and lambs and 85% (1.2 million head) of the goats in the United States (Texas Agriculture Statistics Service, 2004). These numbers are down in both actual numbers and as a percent of the national flocks. It is important that the industries be protected and preserved. The inventory and distribution of sheep and goats by counties in 2003 is reflected in Figures 1 and 2. The Edwards Plateau itself encompasses about 24 million acres of "Hill Country" in West-Central Texas comprising all or portions of 37 counties (Fig. 3). By the 1920s, many of the interior Edwards Plateau counties were considered to be free of coyotes and wolves.

In 1950, there were 33 counties covering nearly 24,000,000 acres, which were considered to be coyote free (Fig. 4). This area remained virtually void of coyotes for several decades until their encroachment began in the 1960s. This process has been described by several authors (Caroline, 1973; Shelton and Klindt, 1974; Hawthorne, 1980; Nunley, 1985; Nunley, 1995a). The purpose of this paper is to review and update the progress of the re-establishment of coyotes into the Edwards Plateau of Texas, since that reported by Nunley (1995a). This area is historically and currently unique due to its unsurpassed intensive level of coyote control over an extensive area.

Coyote Predation Management: An Economic Analysis of Increased Antelope Recruitment and Cattle Production in South Central Wyoming

Author: S.A. Shwiff and R.J. Merrell
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Introduction

In 1999, a project was implemented for the protection of antelope fawns in two areas of Carbon County, Wyoming. The project was funded by the Wyoming Animal Damage Management Board (ADMB) for the benefit of two antelope areas that were having trouble rebounding to their normal population levels after the severe winters of 1991 and 1992. While the Wyoming ADMB project's main focus was on enhancing pronghorn antelope fawn recruitment, the benefits of coyote population management could have "spillover" benefits to cow/calf producers in the coyote removal areas.

With the decline of the value of coyote fur in the late 1980s, coyote populations have increased in many areas of Wyoming, including ADMB area 63 and ADMB area 55, the two geographic areas in the study (Merrell and Shwiff, in review). ADMB area 61, another geographic area, was the control site. At the ADMB two predator management sites, there are, on average, 4,095 cows giving birth every spring. Since the decline of the sheep industry in these areas in the mid-1970s, no significant coyote management had been conducted. A study on the relationship of coyotes to mule deer fawn recruitment, done on and around area 63 in 1976-79, estimated the area's coyote population at 1 coyote/20.6 square miles (Springer and Wenger, 1981). Population data from the ADMB project for pre-treatment coyote populations in 1999 were 1 coyote/2.2 square mile, a nine-fold increase (Merrell and Shwiff, in review).

Prior to 1972, coyote populations had been suppressed by the use of broad-based poisons such as 1080, thallium and strychnine. After the ban on poisons, coyote populations continued to be suppressed by people hunting and trapping for fur. Many cow/calf producers who historically had been operating in low-coyote population densities, felt that coyote predation on calves was not at a level to cause concern. Our study suggests that these coyote populations should be a serious economic concern to both the producer and the consumer.

Key Words: Antelope, Coyote, Cost-Benefits, Economics, Predation Management

Feral Swine Impacts on Agriculture and the Environment

Author: N.W. Seward, K.C. VerCauteren, G.W. Witmer and R.M. Engeman
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Introduction

More than 30 species of exotic free-ranging mammals have become established in the United States since European colonization (De Vos et al., 1956; McKnight, 1964; Roots, 1976). These species often become serious economic pests and can have grave consequences on their host environments (Cottam, 1956; De Vos et al., 1956; Mayer and Brisbin, 1991). True wild pigs (Suidae) are not native to the United States. Only the collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu; Tayassuidae) that inhabits the southwestern and south-central parts of the United States is native (Mayer and Brandt, 1982; Mayer and Wetzel, 1986). Feral swine (Sus scrofa) in the United States have originated from varieties of domestic swine, Eurasian wild boar, and their hybrids (Jones, 1959; Wood and Lynn, 1977; Rary et al., 1968; Mayer and Brisbin, 1991). Domestic swine were introduced to the United States as early as 750-1000 A.D. during the settlement of the Hawaiian Islands (Towne and Wentworth, 1950; Joesting, 1972; Smith and Diong, 1977). Christopher Columbus introduced domestic swine to the West Indies during the 1400s, where they proliferated and became pests. In the 1500s, Spanish explorers, such as DeSoto and Cortez, were the first to bring domestic swine to the United States mainland (Towne and Wentworth, 1950; Beldon and Frankenberger, 1977). By the 1960s, domestic swine and Eurasian wild boar were established in >20 states (McKnight, 1964). Swine introductions have intentionally or accidentally occurred by a variety of means, including: 1) translocation to establish populations for hunting, 2) escapees from shooting preserves or confinement operations, 3) avoidance of capture by domestic pigs in free-ranging livestock operations, 4) abandonment by their owners, and 5) dispersal from established feral populations (Gipson et al., 1997; Witmer et al., 2004).

Feral swine are the most abundant free-ranging, exotic ungulate in the United States (McKnight, 1964; Decker, 1978) and have become widespread because of their reproductive potential and adaptability to a wide range of habitats. Like domestic swine, litter size depends on the sow's age, nutrition, and time of year. Feral swine are capable of producing two litters per year with average litter size varying from 4.2 to 7.5 piglets (Taylor et al., 1998), but up to 10 piglets can be born during ideal conditions (Conquenot et al., 1996). Mayer and Brisbin (1991) and Mackey (1992) report feral swine populations in 23 states. A Southeastern Cooperative Disease Study (1994) and Nettles (1997) point out an additional 16 states with feral swine populations. An estimated population of 4 million feral swine currently occur in the United States (Pimentel et al., 2000) with the largest populations inhabiting Texas (1 to 1.5 million; Pimentel et al., 2000), Florida (>500,000; Layne, 1997), Hawaii (80,000; Mayer and Brisbin, 1991), and California (70,000; Barrett, 1993). Since 1965, feral swine have expanded their range from 15 (26%) to 45 (78%) of the 58 California counties (Frederick, 1998). Feral swine populations continue to increase (Gipson et al., 1997) because they possess the greatest reproductive potential of all free-ranging, large mammals in the United States (Wood and Barrett, 1979; Hellgren, 1999) and because of the absence of large native predators (e.g., mountain lion (Felis con-color) and wolves (Canis lupus) over much of the area occupied by feral swine. In southwest Florida where feral swine and a large predator coexist, feral swine is the most common food item (42%) in Florida panther (F. c. coryi) scats (Maehr et al., 1990), which may suggest that the presence of a large predator helps regulate feral swine density and associated damage.

Key Words: Depredation, Disease, Eurasian Wild Boar, Feral Swine, Sus scrofa, Wildlife Damage Management

Managing Wolf Depredation in the United States: Past, Present, and Future

Author: S. Breck and T. Meier
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Introduction

With the successful recolonization and reintroduction of wolves (Canis lupus) in parts of the western United States (Bangs and Fritts, 1996; Bangs et al., 1998) and the natural expansion of wolves in the upper Midwest (Fuller et al., 1992; Thiel, 2001), managing conflicts between wolves and livestock is a growing issue for livestock producers, resource professionals, and the general public (Mech, 1996). Unlike the coyote, (Canis latrans) where a great deal is known regarding the biology and ecology of depredation and methods for managing it (Knowlton et al., 1999), very little is known regarding patterns and processes of wolves preying on livestock and effective ways to mitigate this conflict. Understanding the ramifications of growing wolf populations for livestock production and successfully managing these problems will require knowledge of depredation patterns, wolf ecology, livestock husbandry, and the effectiveness of different tools and techniques to manage wolves. As wolf populations expand into more agricultural areas (Mech et al., 2000) such knowledge will become increasingly important.

Here historic records were compared to current data on wolf depredation rates and wolf management techniques relative to the wolf's status on the endangered species list. The objectives were to synthesize the history of wolf depredation and management, present current data of wolf impacts on livestock, and speculate on the future management of wolves so that producers can consider the ramifications of a growing wolf population and possible mechanisms for decreasing the threat.

Compensation Programs in Wyoming for Livestock Depredation by Large Carnivores

Author: M.T. Bruscino and T.L. Cleveland
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Introduction

Common law in America, which has been continually reinforced in the courts of the United States, holds that the people of the state own the wildlife within its boundaries. No person or entity holds absolute property rights to wildlife regardless of the ownership of the land on which the animal is found. The courts have construed that since wildlife belongs to everyone, everyone must share in its keep. As a result of this interpretation, courts have ruled the government, both state and federal, is immune from liability for damage caused by wild animals, unless the government waives its sovereign immunity and voluntarily assumes liability.

The federal government has long invoked its sovereign immunity from liability for damage caused by species managed under federal law, such as migratory waterfowl, passerine birds, and those species listed as threatened or endangered, such as grizzly bears and gray wolves. In addition, many states have traditionally invoked their sovereign immunity from liability for damage caused by wild animals. As an example, the state of South Dakota does not accept monetary liability for damage done by wildlife. Conversely, some states, such as Wyoming, Utah, Washington and Idaho, have waived their sovereign immunity to a limited degree and assumed liability for some types of damage caused by some types of wild animals.

After a century of persecution that resulted in large scale population reductions, large predator numbers have increased over much of their former ranges in North America. Predators such as wolves, cougars and grizzly bears are making a comeback in parts of the West. The comeback is largely due to a variety of changing societal values about predators that have resulted in reduced control campaigns. Along with the increase in predators, predator compensation programs have evolved in some jurisdictions. Currently, fourteen states and four Canadian provinces have government administered programs to reimburse livestock owners for losses caused by some predators. In addition, Defenders of Wildlife, a private conservation group, reimburses livestock producers for losses caused by grizzly bears in two western states and wolves in three western states. Most programs pay for losses caused by only the large predators (black bears, grizzly bears, cougars, and wolves) even though in most states smaller predators, such as coyotes or golden eagles, cause a far more significant monetary loss to the livestock industry. This industry is important, and in some instances critical, to the rural infrastructure and local economies of Wyoming.

Key Words: Compensation, Predators, Livestock

Direct, Spillover, and Intangible Benefits of Predation Management

Author: S.A. Shwiff and M.J. Bodenchuk
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Introduction

Predation management is a controversial and often misunderstood reality of livestock management. Few on either side of the argument would believe that some sort of management is not necessary to limit livestock losses. Opposition to the lethal removal of predators characterizes most debates. While most of the opposition reflects a moral opinion about the manner in which people relate to the natural world, opponents of lethal control often argue that control is not economically justified.

Simple economic justification would require that benefits of predation management outweigh the costs. If the only goal of predation management were to be economically efficient, minimization of costs would be one of the primary objectives; however, current predation management philosophies focus on minimum disruption to natural processes. These include focusing lethal management of offending individuals and populations, and using methods (such as aerial hunting) that are expensive but highly selective and humane. Boardman et al. (1996) discuss that the objective of minimizing costs is the same as maximizing net benefits. The costs of management, while important, play a minor role in the selection of management strategies.

Costs of management include direct expenditures by producers for management programs, governmental expenditures for management and compensation programs, producer and governmental costs associated with preventing predation, and societal values associated with the predators removed. Costs of predation management programs are usually easier to quantify, can have significant variance and typically are concentrated to a few individuals, while the benefits are dispersed among many. For this reason, the authors intend to focus on the benefits of predation management programs.

Key Words: Predation Management, Economics, Benefits, Costs, Livestock Protection

Indirect Effects of Carnivores on Livestock Foraging Behavior and Production

Author: L.D. Howery and T.J. DeLiberto
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Introduction

Direct effects of predation (i.e., killing of animals) can result in significant economic losses to livestock producers. A recent publication by the USDA, Wildlife Services (2002) identified the following losses: (1) livestock losses attributed to predators, predominantly coyotes (Canis latrans), reach about $71 million annually; (2) cattle and calf losses to predators in the United States totaled 147,000 head during 2000. A National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) study valued these losses at $51.6 million; (3) sheep and lamb losses to predators in the United States totaled 273,000 in 1999. A NASS study valued these losses at $16.5 million; (4) In Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, the three major goat-producing states, 61,000 goats and kids were lost to predators in 1999. A NASS study valued these losses at $3.4 million. Although direct losses of livestock due to depredation are often conspicuous and economically significant, they likely underestimate the total loss to producers because they do not consider indirect effects of carnivores as a result of livestock being exposed to the threat of predation without being killed.

Laundr et al. (2001) suggested that behavioral responses by prey species to impending predation might have more far-reaching consequences for ungulate behavioral ecology than the actual killing of individuals by predators. Potential negative, indirect impacts associated with the mere presence of predators include, but are not limited to, increased vigilance and reduced foraging efficiency by prey species, and being forced by predators to forage in subopti-mal habitats that contain lower quality or quantity of nutrients, and higher levels of toxins. Moreover, overuse of and lowered carrying capacity in suboptimal habitats could contribute to resource degradation (e.g., overgrazing in marginal habitats, increased erosion and sedimentation) and lower producer profits due to declines in livestock production (e.g., weight gain, body condition, lamb or calf crop). Thus, indirect impacts of predation may have negative impacts on the ecological integrity of the land, as well as negative impacts on personal, local, and regional economies that depend on livestock production. However, there is little or no published information that addresses indirect effects of carnivores on domestic ungulates.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how the mere threat of predation might influence foraging efficiency and vigilance, diet and habitat selection, skin-gut responses, and social behavior in wild and domestic ungulate prey species. Because there is little or no published information on domestic ungulates concerning these subjects, we rely heavily on wild ungulate studies that have attempted to quantify or qualify the indirect effects of predation. Our aim is to use the wildlife literature as a springboard to stimulate discussion among producers, wildlife damage management professionals, and researchers regarding ways to quantify and address the indirect effects of carnivores on domestic ungulates. We first discuss the evidence from the wildlife literature that supports indirect effects of carnivores on wild ungulates, and then relate that evidence to its potential implications for domestic livestock foraging behavior and production.

Key Words: Cattle, Coyotes, Deer, Elk, Indirect Effects, Predation, Sheep, Wolves

Livestock Depredations by Black Vultures and Golden Eagles

Author: M.L. Avery and J.L. Cummings
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Black Vulture Biology

There are two species of vultures common in North America, the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) and black vulture (Coragyps atratus). In many localities in the United States, vultures are called "buzzards." The turkey vulture specializes in locating and eating carrion. Black vultures also subsist principally on carrion, but at times this species is predatory. Thus, for livestock producers, the black vulture is the species of concern.

Key Words: Black Vulture, Depredation, Golden Eagle, Livestock

Non-lethal Alternatives for Predation Management

Author: J.A. Shivik
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Introduction

The ethical milieu in which wildlife biologists and livestock producers work continues to change as the concepts of environmentalism and animal rights and welfare have become introduced and normalized (Singer, 1975). The American public, including livestock producers, are mired within a typically human psychological quagmire of having a high demand for benefit, but a low tolerance for cost ? that is, economic forces. Americans tend to demand a cheap, reliable food supply, while simultaneously demanding the existence of animals that, through predation activities, drive up production costs. Ironically, members of the urban public who may find fault with food and fiber production practices are also the customers on which livestock producers are dependent.

In the United States, predation management has evolved from an attempt to eradicate or limit predator populations to the application of focused approaches for minimizing the damage done by predators. For coyotes, very large scale population suppression (using 1080), was restricted and sometimes apparently ineffective (Wagner, 1988). Other authors could find little correlation between the number of coyotes removed and the number of sheep kills at a California ranch (Conner et al., 1998). Further studies suggested that at least in some areas, dominant territorial coyotes are responsible for most sheep predation but typical lethal control methods tend to bias capture toward coyotes that are less likely to be livestock killers, thus, typical lethal methods such as trapping, snaring, and using M-44s are sometimes inefficient for solving depredation problems (Sacks et al. 1999, Ble-jwasetal. 2002).

Key Words: Bear, Coyote, Depredation, Lion, Livestock, Management, Non-lethal, Predation, Predator, Wolf

Use of Livestock Guarding Animals to Reduce Predation on Livestock

Author: W. F. Andelt
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Introduction

Predation by coyotes (Canis latrans), domestic dogs, mountain lions (Felis con-color), black bears (Ursus americanus), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), and bobcats (Felis rufus) has been a major problem faced by domestic sheep, goat (NASS, 2000), and cattle (NASS, 2001) producers. Predators were reported to kill 273,000 sheep and lambs (NASS, 2000) and 147,000 cattle and calves (NASS, 2001) in the United States, and 61,000 goats in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas (NASS, 2000) during either 1999 or 2000. Several methods, including the use of livestock guarding dogs, llamas, and donkeys, have been used to reduce these mortalities (Andelt, 1996, 2001). In this paper, I summarize use and effectiveness of livestock guarding animals for reducing predation on domestic sheep and goats. Recent reviews of livestock guarding animals are provided by Smith et al. (2000) and Rigg (2001).

Key Words: Donkeys, Guarding Animals, Guarding Dogs, Livestock, Llamas, Predation

Predacides for Canid Predation Management

Author: K.A. Fagerstone, J.J. Johnston and P.J. Savarie
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Introduction

Throughout the livestock industry in the western United States, control of canid predators was considered to be of considerable importance to the livestock industry, especially to sheep producers, who suffered high losses from coyotes and wolves. In the 19th century, the demand for predator control was communicated to Congress and the western state assemblies, with the result that predator control was provided in western states by the Federal Bureau of Biological Survey in cooperation with state agencies, and by trappers hired by stockmen. Steel traps and poisons were the principal methods used for predator control during the early years of the program. Historically, predacides have been used in the United States primarily to control wolves, coyotes, and red foxes that prey on livestock. Strychnine was employed in the late 1800s and early 1900s to collect wolf carcasses (Quaife, 1973). Strychnine drop baits were employed for coyote and fox control through the 1960s. Drop baits consisted of strychnine tablets put in small pieces of perishable fats then placed around unpoisoned decoy carcasses (Robinson, 1962). Meat baits impregnated with a lethal agent, either thallium sulfate or Compound 1080, were used between 1937 and 1972 (Robinson, 1942). Currently, three predacides are available for use in controlling coyotes, foxes, wild dogs, and arctic fox. This paper will provide a description of these toxicants and the current status of their use in predator control in the United States.

Key Words : Coyote, Compound 1080, Cyanide, Livestock Predation, Predacide, Toxicant

Selective Targeting of Alpha Coyotes to Stop Sheep Depredation

Author: M.M. Jaeger
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Introduction

Research to find more effective and socially acceptable solutions of managing coyote (Canis latrans) depredation has been ongoing for many years. The primary objective is to develop strategies that effectively reduce losses, not simply reduce coyote numbers. An important step in solving such conflicts is to clearly define the problem. In this case, it is important to know which coyotes are most likely to kill sheep and when and where their depredation is greatest. For a control strategy to be effective, it must be appropriate to these three defining characteristics. The hardest of these questions to resolve has been determining if some coyotes are more likely to kill livestock than others and, if so, whether these animals can be relatively more difficult to remove than the others. While the conventional wisdom of trappers supports the existence of particular sheep-killing coyotes, it is another matter to demonstrate that they in fact occur and to explain why.

This paper is a review of our current state of knowledge about the coyotes that kill livestock, particularly sheep, and methods that can be used to target them. The important research findings upon which this is based will be discussed. The main thrust of the paper will deal with a series of studies done in California between 1993 and 2002. These were undertaken jointly by the National Wildlife Research Center (USDA/Wildlife Services) and the University of California at Berkeley. These studies represent the most intensive investigation to date of predation ecology of coyotes in the presence of sheep. In addition, future research needs will be discussed. This review will illustrate the importance of first developing an understanding of the problem before testing methods to alleviate it, that may be inappropriate.

Key Words : Calling, Coyotes, Depredation, Sheep

Using Genetic Analyses to Identify Predators

Author: C.L. Williams and J.J. Johnston
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Introduction

Coyote and dog depredation account for much of the economic losses to livestock in the United States (National Agricultural Statistical Service, 2000, 2001). However, depredation by other species (such as members of reintroduced wolf populations) can be more socially and politically contentious. Predators are often elusive and attacks on livestock are not often witnessed but the species of predator causing stock losses can sometimes be ascertained from evidence near the carcass (such as scat or hair), the attack pattern, or size and spacing of bite wounds. However, these species assignments can be subjective and may be influenced by the experience level of personnel, the condition of the carcass, and knowledge of previous predation history at the site. Variation among conspecific predators in attack pattern, and inter-specific overlap in those patterns, may be another complication to accurate predator species identifications. There are wide ranges in accuracy of identifying species based on scat morphology (Far-rell et al., 2000). Variation in individual feeding preferences (Fedriani and Kohn, 2001) may also complicate accurate species identification from scat. Sociological considerations also may influence results. For example, local or regional compensation schemes may unintentionally result in biases in predator species identification (Cozza et al., 1996). Using common field methods, the accurate identification of the gender of a predator responsible for a specific predation event is unlikely. Likewise, although there may be assumptions about which specific individual was responsible for an attack on livestock, those assumptions may not be based on any concrete data. Clearly, an unambiguous method to determine the predator species would remove identification biases. A method to identify the specific individual responsible for kills would benefit our understanding of predation and would be useful in certain situations. Both methods, even if used strictly in research situations, might ultimately result in improved approaches to minimize livestock losses to predation.

Key Words: Coyote, Forensic, Genetic Analysis, Microsattelite, mtDNA, Predation

Economic Impact of Protected Large Carnivores on Sheep Farming in Norway

Author: L.J. Asheim and I. Mysterud
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Introduction

Norway has historically been a stronghold for carnivore predators. Today there are four protected carnivore species, brown bear (Ursus arctos), wolverine (Gulo gulo), wolf (Canis lupus) and lynx (Lynx lynx), together with the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). The carnivore populations were significantly reduced, and wolves and bears almost eradicated nationally during the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries (Ministry of the Environment, 1992; 1996-97). Today, the species are protected, and management calls for restoring demographically and/or genetically viable populations (Ministry of the Environment, 1996-97). Another proposal is to view Norwegian management goals and responsibilities in accordance to the Bern Convention in combination with those of Sweden and Finland, i.e. shared-predator populations for the Nordic countries (Nordic Farmers Central Council, 1988). The principle has recently been introduced by the authorities for management of wolves in Norway, defining viability based on a common Norwegian-Swedish population.

The suitability of the Norwegian environment for large predators is partly due to its extensive land resources and rugged topography. The soil is generally poor and the area of agricultural land limited. However, due to the Gulf Stream, the climate is wet and relatively mild and well suited for production of grass and herbs. Grazing plants are found throughout the country?s mountains and forests and constitute the basic forage for wild ungulates, herded domestic reindeer and livestock. The production systems have traditionally been of utmost significance for inland settlement and development of the local economy. In post World War II times, the national agricultural policy has supported the development of the systems by protecting the market from foreign competition and by providing relatively generous direct support.

Key Words: Rural Economics, Sheep Farming, Carnivore Management, Depredation, Predator Loss, Norway

Review of Canid Management in Australia for the Protection of Livestock and Wildlife - Potential Application to Coyote Management

Author: L.R. Allen and P.J.S. Fleming
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Introduction

Australia has two introduced canid species ? European red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and wild dogs (which include dingoes, Canis lupus dingo, feral domestic dogs C. l. familiaris and their hybrids). Foxes were introduced into mainland Australia in the 1860s and quickly spread (Rolls, 1984; Jarman 1986). This dispersal and establishment is believed linked with the introduction and spread of European wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cunniculus) (Saunders et al., 1995). Except in Tasmania, where previous introductions appear to have been unsuccessful, and in northern Australia, where the climate is unsuitable and rabbits are essentially absent, foxes have become established throughout in virtually all habitats including urban and residential environments (Saunders et al., 1995). Within decades of their introduction, legislation was enacted proclaiming them as pests to agriculture, and more recently, as a key threatening process to endangered small mammals (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2001). This status has been enshrined in subsequent legislation and strengthened by virtue of foxes being an introduced pest species rather than a native animal.

Dingoes are thought to have arrived in Australia from Southeast Asia about 5000 years before present (Corbett, 1995a). A number of reports have reviewed the origins, ecological significance of dingos, and their morphological and genetic relationship to domestic dogs. Interested readers are referred to Newsome et al. (1980) as one example. Like foxes they are also found in virtually every habitat across the Australian continent and are absent from Tasmania (Fleming et al., 2001). However, because of their longer association with Australia, they are often regarded as a ?native? species (Davis, 2001). Wild domestic dogs have been present since the first European settlement in 1788 (Fleming et al., 2001) and hybridization with dingoes has been occurring ever since (Corbett, 1995a, 2001). Despite the native status of dingoes, all wild dogs and foxes are regarded and managed as pests on agricultural lands, i.e. outside of conservation areas. Pure dingoes alone are afforded legislative protection in areas set aside for conservation (Fleming et al., 2001; Davis and Leys, 2001) yet feral dogs and hybrids effectively enjoy the same legislative protection in conservation areas as dingoes, because they cannot be managed separately.

Keywords : Canid, Coyote, Dingo, Management, Predation, Sheep, Toxicant