Local ranchers losing livestock to coyotes

Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images via Wyoming public media A coyote runs down the road in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park.

NIOBRARA COUNTY – Coyotes have been credited with poaching livestock from area ranches. Niobrara County ranchers have noticed the disappearance of some of their calves and lambs. These ranchers suspect coyotes are largely to blame.

Niobrara County Predator Management District Secretary-Treasurer Kitson Boldon is well-aware of these issues and has been working with other members of the predator board to address the issues. Boldon told The Lingle Guide there is a horrible problem with coyotes right now, specifically in Niobrara County.

There are several factors in the issue, but one main issue being seen is an influx of coyotes coming from Nebraska and South Dakota, states where Boldon says do not have a very good coyote management program.

Boldon is a Niobrara County sheep producer. In the last year, Boldon has lost 18% of her lambs, mostly from coyotes, but also from Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles. To address the problems, she consults two local trappers, John Graham and Dale Greenough. The two are contracted by the Niobrara County Predator Management District. Graham and Greenough set up traps to catch and euthanize coyotes who are causing losses to area ranches.

Boldon said the coyotes are very healthy this year, despite being mangy in recent years. Boldon said the area has noticed a decline in the rabbit population, and believes the decline is due in large part to predation by coyotes.

Boldon provided some facts on the extermination of coyotes in Niobrara County. In the past three years the predator management district euthanized approximately 1435 coyotes from July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018, 1511 coyotes from July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019, and 1364 coyotes from July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020.

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