Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


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The economy of the State of Nebraska is highly dependent on the agricultural industry. When factors arise that complicate and threaten facets of the industry, those involved, particularly producers, often express a high degree of concern toward those threatening factors. The sheep producers of Nebraska experience this situation with predation. Predators can often cause economic and emotional losses for producers. In 1987, Johnson and Timm estimated that coyotes (Canis latrans) cause $630,000 in damage annually to the sheep industry in Nebraska. Nationally, losses of sheep and lambs to predation is estimated at $21.7 million with coyotes responsible for 63.7% of all losses (Agricultural Statistics Board 1991). These losses affect the attitudes of sheep producers toward predators. These attitudes may in turn, conflict with the attitudes of other segments of the public, such as environmental and conservation groups. We conducted a survey of Nebraska sheep producers to determine: 1) the impacts of predators on the sheep industry of Nebraska, and 2) the attitudes of Nebraska sheep producers toward predators.