Nature Saskatchewan, a non-profit conservation organization and advocate for harmony between nature and human culture, believes that the recently-announced bounty on coyotes in Saskatchewan is not the right way to help livestock producers deal with depredation.
Countless studies have proven bounties to be ineffective in stopping problem coyotes from taking livestock. “What our producers need,” Lorne Scott, President of Nature Saskatchewan said, "is an adequately-funded, aggressive control program in areas where depredation is a problem. The focus should be on eliminating problem animals—not a province-wide bounty."
Many farmers and ranchers view the coyote as an ally, helping to control rodent populations, including gophers (ground squirrels). The coyote is a native species and a key predator in prairie ecosystems. It makes little sense to promote poison campaigns to reduce ground squirrel numbers and at the same time, launch a province-wide bounty program to eliminate a main predator of ground squirrels.
Research has proven repeatedly that coyote bounties simply weed out the weak and less wary individuals, leaving the survivors to increase the size of their litters and thereby make up for any short-term or local dip in their numbers. As well, if coyotes are hunted out of a local area, their counterparts from adjacent regions rapidly move in to fill the void.
Scott concluded by saying that “tax dollars would be far better spent by providing resources directly to assist producers where coyote depredation on domestic livestock is a problem."