Conservation and Trapping News

Livestock Depredation by Coyotes and Domestic Dogs in Mexico
Jan 23, 2023 19:17 ET


The impact of domestic dog and coyote depredation on livestock has received little attention in Mexico. We used livestock depredation insurance claims from 2017 to 2020 and landscape attributes to identify the magnitude of depredation and model the risk of depredation by domestic dogs and coyotes throughout Mexico using maximum entropy modeling. Combined livestock depredations by coyotes and domestic dogs comprised 50.3% of all livestock depredation claims in Mexico. Depredation by domestic dogs was associated with landscape attributes indicative of rural villages and subsistence livestock husbandry. More intensive or larger-scale agricultural land uses (e.g., farming, large ranching enterprises) were associated with coyote depredation, in particular increasing presence of small- to medium-sized livestock (i.e., sheep, etc.). Both domestic dogs and coyotes posed a risk of depredation across much of Mexico (i.e., 23% and 40% of Mexico with > 0.50 likelihood of depredation, respectively), with risk likelihood maps for each canid being similar (i.e., similarity indices = 0.75–0.84) for most risk levels but showing little similarity with respect to regions of high (> 0.70) and very high (> 0.90) likelihood of depredation (similarity = 0.38 and 0.19, respectively). By identifying areas of high depredation risk, our models provide a planning tool to facilitate allocation of resources such as insurance programs, identify areas that would benefit from additional mitigation programs, and provide guidance for managing landscape attributes to decrease risk and limit vulnerability of livestock to predation.

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