Date of this Version
Predation of livestock and big game remains a matter of concern for ranch managers and operators in the Trans-Pecos. Current evidence indicates that mountain lions (Felis concolor), bobcats (Lynx rufus), and coyotes (Canis latrans) are the primary predators involved, although little information is available on bobcats. A gradual shift from sheep to cattle management has resulted in a corresponding decrease in the intensity of predator control efforts for livestock protection. However, potential lease hunting income has renewed predator control efforts for protection of the 3 primary big game species, pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana). Available information suggests that predator management efforts can be beneficial to big game populations, especially if conducted in a timely and specific manner. Predator populations do not appear to have been negatively affected overall by recent predator management efforts in the Trans-Pecos.