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Coyote Conservation

Coyotes have long been one of the most controversial of all non-game animals. Agricultural interests have urged its control by whatever means necessary so that actual and potential livestock losses may be eliminated. Since 1891, when the first programs aimed at control were begun in California, nearly 500,000 Coyotes have been reported destroyed at a cost of an estimated $30 million of the taxpayers' money.

Environmentalists firmly believe that the Coyotes are necessary to preserve the balance of nature. Some sportsmen feel the Coyote is responsible for the declines in game species. Biologists agree that individual animals preying on livestock and poultry should be destroyed but that the species as a whole is not necessarily harmful, because much of its diet is made up of destructive rodents. Biologists also agree that Coyote populations have no lasting effects on other wildlife populations. So the controversy rages on.

Coyotes have recently been classified as non-game animals in California and may be taken throughout the year under the authority of a hunting license. Meanwhile, despite the constant hunting and intensive efforts to reduce the Coyote population, on a quiet night the song of the "Little Wolf" may still be heard throughout the Desert Southwest.

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