Date of Award:

1982

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Ecology

Advisor/Chair:

Frederick F. Knowlton

Abstract

Bands of domestic sheep lambing on the open range in south central Wyoming were monitored for predator losses prior to and following coyote (Canis ·1atrans) removals. Experimental treatments, including 1) no removal (control), 2) removal of 2 adults and their pups, and 3) removal of pups only, were replicated 15 times each. Number of predation incidents (events) was reduced 98.2% by removing adults and pups. The number of sheep killed was reduced by 98.8%. Removing only litters of pups resulted in a decrease of 87.7% total kills decreased 91.6%. in predation incidents, while Overall, 23 of 30 predation sequences terminated immediately, while in all cases predation ceased within 3 days after removing adult coyotes and/or their pups. In terms of "offending individuals", denning can be a very selective means of coyote depredation control. The data suggest that removing only litters of offending adults can be nearly as effective in stopping losses as removing the adults. Biological parameters such as litter size did not appear to influence kill frequencies. A cost-effectiveness analysis was calculated.

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