Coyotes expanded their range to colonize eastern North America over the last century, where their impacts on white-tailed deer populations are highly debated. In a Journal of Wildlife Management study, researchers conducted the first long-term, large scale assessment and documented no consistent decline in deer harvest numbers after coyote arrival.
For the study, the team evaluated deer harvest numbers from 1980 to 2014 in 384 counties of six eastern US states.
The results indicate that coyotes are not limiting deer numbers and that coyote removal programs will do little to increase regional deer numbers.
"Coyotes on the east coast of the United States have not been limiting deer, so eradicating coyotes is not an efficient way to increase deer numbers in the region," said lead author Dr. Eugenia Bragina, of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
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