Friendly Fridays: Are Coyotes friends of Cattle?

Have you ever heard someone say that coyotes are actually friends of cattle? Most ranchers think of predators, like coyotes and bobcats, as pests, however these predators may do more for ranchers than they think! Domestic cattle compete for food resources with wild herbivores, from rabbits to bison.

You would think that the bison would be the greater competitor for grazing, however, a recent study found that rabbits ate 34.1% of the vegetation on a landscape, while bison consumed only 15.7%, showing greater competition with rabbits than with bison!

When wild predators are present in a landscape, they help to keep rabbit populations low, which reduces the amount of vegetation grazed down by rabbits. So, coyotes and bobcats, actually help ranchers by keeping rabbit populations down and available vegetation for the cattle to graze high. How cool is wildlife?!

Diana Lakeland

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