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Journal Article

Effect of Coyote Removal on Sheep Depredation in Northern California

Mary M. Conner, Michael M. Jaeger, Theodore J. Weller and Dale R. McCullough
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 62, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 690-699
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3802345
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3802345
Page Count: 10
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Effect of Coyote Removal on Sheep Depredation in Northern California
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Abstract

We used 13 years of historical data to investigate effects of coyote (Canis latrans) removal on depredation of domestic sheep. The 2,168-ha study area maintained >1,000 breeding ewes that produced lambs yearly. Records from 1981 through 1994, which included numbers of sheep, numbers of sheep known killed by coyotes, known numbers of coyotes removed, and annual numbers of trapper hours were summarized and analyzed on a yearly, seasonal, and monthly basis. We used regression analysis and found that annual, seasonal, or monthly depredation losses were not correlated with number of coyotes removed. Both annual number of lambs killed and number of coyotes removed were positively correlated with number of trapper hours. We used a cross-correlation analysis to detect any relation between coyote removal and subsequent depredation losses at all monthly intervals from 0 to 24 months. We found a trend of low negative correlation between depredation losses and number of coyotes removed for lags of 2-12 months, suggesting some reduction of sheep killing due to control efforts. Low correlations within years may be due to inconsistent removal of depredating coyotes while removing primarily young, nondepredating coyotes. Lack of correlation between years may have occurred because past control efforts have not had a lasting reduction on coyote density due to immigration, the compensatory nature of control efforts on coyote mortality, reproductive compensation in the resident coyote population, or all 3 factors.

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