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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

The writer of this article on Coyotes in Texas "paints" his perspective on Songdogs from a purely human-centric position...........Positives and negatives of having Coyotes in the landscape strictly from the point of view of how they positively or negatively impact farmers and hunters ...........Yes, Coyotes prey on exotic wild boar piglets, no they do not control pig numbers(a nice touch but not a pig reduction agent)...........Yes, Coyotes keep Raccoons away from Quail,,,,,,,,,,,,,,And Yes, Coyotes also prey on Quail(neutral valuation)...............And yes, Coyotes prey on Deer fawns,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and yes, according to South Carolina studies, they can "dent" deer numbers.................Thankfully, the author grudgingly cites Biologists who feel that limiting deer hunting quotas is the way to keep healthy deer herds---rather than killing Coyotes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,And yes, if you kill Coyotes, likely they will come back stronger than ever due to their ability to increase their litters,,,,,,,,,,and divide up vacant territories with more family units than originally found in a given region before human persecution...................Would love to see the day where we(humans) actually evolve to the point where we discuss wildlife and their rightful place in our world rather than what they do or do not do for us

Coyotes can 

be both good 

and bad for 

Texas wildlife

Published on Saturday, 11 October 2014 19:44 - Written by BY Steve Knight,

The lonesome cry of a coyote is as
 much about the lore of Texas as the
 cattle drives
 up the Chisholm Trail.
While pushing cattle from horseback
are today reserved only for old
movie and books,
 coyotes continue to thrive not only in
rural areas, but within the
 boundaries of Texas’
 largest cities.
Without a greater predator, coyotes are
at the top of the food
chain in Texas. A
 non-game species, coyotes were at
one time highly sought
after by trappers 
who received a good payday for
 their hides, but that market
 disappeared with
 the declining interest in fur.
There is little pressure on coyotes today. 
In the western portion
 of the state coyotes are still controlled by
 ranchers who blame
 them for losses of sheep, goats and young
Hunters also randomly hunt coyotes, some
participating in the
 long-time practice of varmint calling. Others
 are convinced 
that wildlife and coyotes cannot coexist on
the same range.
To that point the truth, as the saying goes
, lays somewhere in
Wildlife experts across Texas describe coyotes as at times 
troublesome, but certainly not the biggest problem facing
 any of the state’s wildlife species.Alan Cain, Texas Parks a
nd Wildlife Department’s white-tailed deer program
 leader said, for example, there are individual instances
where coyotes may
 be an issue with a deer herd, but that isn’t the case across
 the state.
“From a statewide perspective coyotes are not an issue.
We have too 
many deer as it is. On localized places where density is
real low and you 
have low fawn recruitment, yeah, short-time
coyote control
may be
 necessary. They will take a deer or two, but
they are not going to 
expend that much energy to take down a
 buck or doe. If you have 
a coyote problem then you probably have
a bigger issue,” Cain explained.
There are states in the Southeast that believe
coyotes are impacting their
 deer populations, but he said in those cases
 the states are just now
 seeing coyotes for the first time. Cain said
states like Georgia and 
South Carolina have low fawn density, but
they also have fairly
 liberal bag limits based on the size of their
 herd. He believes in
 both cases the states would be better
served by tighten limits 
than worrying about predators.
The biologist said he knows many landowners
who use
 coyotes to
 their advantage in keeping deer numbers down,
 that can’t
 always be done on large acreage simply by
Cain said one argument he hears for taking
coyotes is that
aren’t selective about what bucks they attack,
taking a
 young one that could grow into a trophy.
“In reality that philosophy doesn’t hold up very
well. Also, keep 
in mind if someone were to try to remove coyotes
to benefit the
 deer herd they would have to remove coyotes over
 a fairly
 large area, thousands of acres, to really make a
 Cain said. He added large-scale predator control
 can lead 
to a short-term void that could eventually be filled
by even
 more coyotes.
Cain said an exception could be small-acreage,
 properties with smaller herds and less space for
 the deer to 
escape to.
“If someone was going to try to control coyotes o
r have to 
do it, I would do it in March and April and continue
 July when fawns are most vulnerable,” Cain said.
In recent years quail researcher Dr. Dale Rollins
has held 
predator appreciation days across North and Central 
Texas. He wants landowners and hunters to know
 they can
 make matters worse if they mess with the balance
of nature.
“We’ve done some studies on coyotes at the
 Rolling Plains
 Quail Research Ranch, and to some degree

 the results are
 contradictory, or maybe just illustrating the
inherent therein,” Rollins said.
He said one three-year study looked at the
 diet of coyotes.
 Out of the 1,028 scat samples examined,
 there was 
evidence of a quail in just one. The remainder
 was skunks,
 raccoons, feral hogs and even a badger.
He said a companion study on raccoons
 tagged with GPS 
collars showed coyotes tended to keep
 raccoons, especially
 females with kits in the brush and away
 from nest sites.
“That research supported my contention
 that there are much
 worse predators of quail than coyotes,
 and that coyotes did 
indeed work on some of them,” Rollins said.
However, Rollins added that 30 to 50 percent
 of quail nests
 are lost each summer, and that coyotes are
 a common
He added that coyote numbers on the RPQRR
 near Roby
 are high, and that management efforts to
reduce their 
numbers will be conducted next year.
“If RPQRR was a deer research ranch I’d
have already
 worked on the coyotes via aerial gunning in
 March to
 improve fawn survival, as we have a low deer density.
But it’s
 not, and I don’t mind the coyotes taking the pressure
 off the
 cooker,” he said.
Where hunters, especially in East Texas, may be
themselves in the foot by eliminating coyotes is in
wild pigs.
“I believe that the coyote population in East Texas
positively responded to the increase in pig
over the past three decades,” said Dr. Billy
 Texas AgriLife Wildlife Specialist. “Small pigs
 make ideal
 food items and there are places in the area
river bottoms
 like the Neches that it is difficult to find coyote
scat that 
does not contain pig hair. Again, the predation
level is 
certainly not sufficient to control the pig
population, but
 they are apparently using the young pigs
 as a food 
source extensively.”
Higginbotham added, as do other wildlife biologists,
 that the random removal of coyotes has little to no 
impact on their numbers


Anonymous said...

Though certainly not likely to ever seriously reduce wild pig numbers, I have heard/read where coyote presence CAN be significant in controlling them--but this was in a different locality I'm speaking of--the Great Smoky Mountains(N. C. /tenn.)--where a mostly Russian strain of wild boar got introduced in the early 1900's, and for decades has been considered a destructive "invasive", and much effort within the National Park has been attempted to eradicate them, to no avail. Although OUTSIDE the Park, they are considered valuable big game animals by many(I personally LOVE wild boar, and am glad we have them--and they are not nearly as destructive as that other invasive species--European humans!). The "unofficial" word I've heard involving wild boar in the Smokies is this--before coyotes arrived, only the rare piglet was taken by a bold bobcat or perhaps a black bear now and then--absolutely no impact on the continuously growing population. After coyotes appeared, pairs of coyotes would "tag-team" the sows, one snatching a piglet while the other distracted the outraged sow. Repeating this until they completely or nearly wiped out the litter. Before, sows would raise entire litters with no problem, but since the arrival of coyotes, they are lucky to raise one or two--a significant impact over time! But that's not been "scientifically" studied yet, I don't think. Just the observations/lore of the locals.....L.B.

Rick Meril said...

would be interesting for someone to do a study on coyote impact on piglets......thanks LB