What is the problem with coyotes? What are your thoughts about coyotes? Knowing that each organism plays an important role in an ecosystem, did your feelings about coyotes change? What about this article was most surprising? https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-killing-coyotes-doesn-rsquo-t-make-livestock-safer/ (Links to an external site.)  

The problem with coyotes is that they often attack livestock. This is why they are often killed, in order to protect livestock. However, coyotes regulate the populations of other animals, like raccoons and foxes, and are necessary to healthy balance in ecosystems.

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In order to answer your question, you could point out that according to this article, in 2016 alone 76,859 coyotes were killed by "Wildlife Services (WS), a part of the US Department of Agriculture." They are killed because coyotes are considered to be a big problem for farmers. Coyotes pose a threat to farmers's livestock, as they attack and kill sheep and other animals.

However, as you pointed out yourself, coyotes also play an important part in their ecosystem. For example, they play a vital part in maintaining biodiversity: By attacking animals like foxes or raccoons, coyotes help to ensure that the numbers of these animals remain at a healthy level. Therefore, killing too many coyotes could lead to an unwanted rise in these animals, which in return could lead to further problems. This is why I would agree with the sentiment of this article. Lethal control should never be the only option in order to attempt to protect livestock. Other methods should be considered and employed, too.

With regard to answering your question of what I found most surprising when reading the article, I would say that I was surprised by the fact that using lethal control can actually lead to increases in livestock predation. I would have expected lethal control to lead to fewer coyotes and result in fewer coyote attacks on livestock. I did not expect to read that the opposite is the case and that livestock predations might actually temporarily increase.

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