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Dall Sheep: Predation
So are they saying predation control is not a factor because the occassional hard winter is going to even things out anyway?
I am a college educated man, but I always wish research studies/papers had a clear summary in layman's words.....
Very small study using scientific methods that have limited value (small sample size, interview/poll instead of direct biologist observation).
If this really needs to be studied, then there needs to be biologists on the ground and/or you need to do this in more areas.
When your sample size for the predator areas and the non-predator areas are 1, a local variance can completely reverse the study's findings.
There has been an in-depth survey conducted in the sheep unit where I hunted in AK the past few years. Quite a few sheep were collared. Collared sheep that died were tested for cause of death. From what I heard eagles had the highest predation rates on sheep (especially lambs). Avalanches were another big cause of death. The guy I spoke to didn't really mention wolves or coyotes.
In the survey mentioned in the post above there are a lot of unknowns and unanswered questions in regard to actually predation of sheep. With collared animals there isn't any question in regard to the cause of death to most of the collared dead sheep that were recovered.
Agree this study should not be taken as anything more than what was observed in that area at that time. The idea that taking wolves and coyotes from an area will increase a sheep herd to the point of exceeding the carrying capacity of that range in that short of a period seems at least a little biased toward "less' predator control.
The possibility of higher predation by wolves and coyotes in a heavy snow year is as real as the snow depth being a detriment to grazing, but was never considered?