Guard Dog Blog

on Livestock Guardian Dogs and small farm life…

The Much Maligned Coyote


A well written, thoughtful examination of who and what coyotes are – to us and to the environment.

The Prairie Ecologist

Here in Nebraska, we’ve lost most of our largest predators.  Bears and wolves are gone (excepting rare long-distance wanderers).  Mountain lions are making a slow comeback in the northern and western parts of Nebraska, but the agricultural character and fragmented nature of our state makes it difficult to imagine a much stronger presence of large predators than we have right now.  That’s not a critique – it’s just reality.  It’s difficult to know what effect the absence of those predators has on our wildlife and natural landscapes, but based on what we know from research elsewhere, it’s surely significant.  Throughout the world, and across a wide range of habitat types, major predators stimulate complex cascades of impacts far beyond simply suppressing the populations of their favored prey species.  In fact, the diversity and abundance of many plant, invertebrate, and wildlife species have been shown to decline dramatically when dominant predators…

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Author: offleash

Small farmer, student of canine life, advocate, dog rehab and behavior specialist.

2 thoughts on “The Much Maligned Coyote

  1. We are literally surrounded by coyotes here. And have never lost a calf or lamb to them. Our local population has an agreement with the donkeys as to which side of the fence they belong on, and as a rule they behave quite nicely. We’ve had a few people offer to come and shoot them but we always say no. If you have well behaved coyotes, you need to leave them be. Upsetting the social order could open up the area to others who may not be so well behaved. They eat their weight in rodents, following the tractor and baler around the field for hours at a time.

  2. This is one of the biggest reasons to have LGDs – they protect our stock while leaving the wild predators alone unless they’re actually trying to harm the stock.
    (If course, here in SC coyotes are a hybridized invasive species and compete with native bobcats and the few panthers that are left for food. That’s why the state of SC encourages the hunting of these critters and established open season on them year round)

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