Coyotes remain constant challenge for Kansas farmers

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN KATHLEEN W. WARD – KSU
In northern states, its often grizzly bears or wolves. To the south,

it can be black bears. For Kansas, however, the predator that always

arouses the most emotion and controversy among state citizens is the

coyote.



?We don?t have the open range conditions that are typical in states

such as Montana and Idaho. So, we also don?t have the coyote problems

they do,? said Charlie Lee, K-State Research and Extension wildlife

specialist. ?But coyotes can cause the occasional loss here,

particularly with sheep or baby calves. And, sometimes they expand

territory into urban areas and become a threat to pets.?



Ironically, many citizens? knee-jerk reaction to this is the

180-degree pole of what?s needed, he said. The approach pro-animal

activists often prefer is off-base, too ?as is their ?bottom-line?

economic argument for protecting the coyote.



?Research suggests you cannot control the number of predators without

removing 75 percent of the breeding population every year,? Lee said.

?People have tried relocating, poisoning, trapping and shooting

coyotes. When the coyotes came under this kind of pressure, though,

they simply started having larger litters of pups. And, a higher

percentage of those pups survived. So, their overall population

numbers stayed pretty much the same.



?In other words, if you eliminate a few individual coyotes, you?ll

have little effect on either the coyote population or their typical

prey of field mice and rabbits.



More effective approaches include reducing rodent populations and

protecting

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