More On the “Us or Them” Canard

David Cassuto

From the Interesting Summer Reading Desk comes this piece on the persistent and ongoing failure of predator eradication as a management tool and on the continued use and advocacy of said failed method throughout the country.  Here, with a hat tip to, is the abstract for “Us or Them” from Conservation Magazine:

An investigation into the ecological role of coyotes in the Grand Teton National Park found that in the 1940s about 56 million sheep were found in U.S. pastures and public ranges. This number has diminished by 85% over the last 40+ years, largely because of coyotes, according to sheepmen. To combat the problem, the government has spent $1.6 billion to trap and kill coyotes over the last 60 years, a clear example of the common practice of killing predators for population control.
However, various studies suggest that coyote are not entirely responsible for the decline in sheep population and that such forms of predator management are too broad, resulting in unintended consequences. Many fail to take into account the collateral ecological damage of such practices, and by removing one form of predator, many unintended consequences pertaining to plant life and the emergence of other pests and predators are likely to result.

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