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Thread: Mesopredators and Quail

  1. #1
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    Dec 2008
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    Default Mesopredators and Quail

    https://wild-wonderings.blogspot.com...me5G5iaIJXJ8OA

    Here is a link to a new study of how removing coyotes affects mesopredator populations and thus quail populations. Interesting read.
    Trust the dog!

    Troy Smith

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    I have many pheasant hunting friends that kill coyotes when ever they can thinking they are helping the birds. I've never been convinced.

  3. #3
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    South Dakota
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    In the hay day of pheasants in my part of South Dakota in the 50s we had no coyotes and we got along fine. I know we are in different times now but I have yet to see a benefit of having coyotes around and as a live stock man I have seen enough death and destruction to turn a mans stomach. And now we have to deal with the proliferation of Mt. Lions and sooner or later wolves.

  4. #4
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    Here is another good synopsis. Short, but to the point. https://wild-wonderings.blogspot.com...g-factors.html
    Trust the dog!

    Troy Smith

  5. #5
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    Oct 2008
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    Manhattan, Kansas
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    I have shared similar sentiments about red tailed hawks benefitting quail because they displace coops and sharpshins, and eat a lot of snakes and rats, but it's always been a hard sell. People don't seem to care much what the data says, they just want to get those evil hawks...

    I've spent the last 3 seasons flying red tailed hawks for falconry, and they are not hurting quail populations. I've flushed dozens of quail underneath my RTs, and a healthy, hungry red tail doesn't even view quail as a food item.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    South-Central Kansas
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    A small anecdote from our farm seems to match the theory about the damage from mesopredators.

    Our closest neighbor had many (20+?) feral barn cats. I would frequently see them on our property and I think our quail/pheasant numbers were far below what they should have been considering our habitat.

    We started seeing bobcat signs on the property about 2-1/2 years ago and have had numerous sightings since then. The barn cat population seems to have suffered a significant decline over the same period. In fact, I have not even seen a cat in the neighbor's yard this year.

    Our bird population has significantly increased over this same time period. However, there are many other variables - we came out of a drought, etc.

    I don't know if the bobcats ate the feral cats to eliminate hunting competition, or if they just found them to be easy prey. Either way, it appears that a family of bobcats eats fewer birds than multiple families of feral house cats.

  7. #7

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    Hard to beat real life data .

  8. #8
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    Dec 2008
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    Cunningham, Kansas
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    There is only one responsible response, Fishing Rod, Can I borrow your bobcat?
    Trust the dog!

    Troy Smith

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Rolla Mo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishin'Rod View Post
    A small anecdote from our farm seems to match the theory about the damage from mesopredators.

    Our closest neighbor had many (20+?) feral barn cats. I would frequently see them on our property and I think our quail/pheasant numbers were far below what they should have been considering our habitat.

    We started seeing bobcat signs on the property about 2-1/2 years ago and have had numerous sightings since then. The barn cat population seems to have suffered a significant decline over the same period. In fact, I have not even seen a cat in the neighbor's yard this year.

    Our bird population has significantly increased over this same time period. However, there are many other variables - we came out of a drought, etc.

    I don't know if the bobcats ate the feral cats to eliminate hunting competition, or if they just found them to be easy prey. Either way, it appears that a family of bobcats eats fewer birds than multiple families of feral house cats.
    IDK if bobcats eat or kill feral cats, but they do carry a tick born disease that is deadly to domestic cats. I have bobcats on the home place and the kids one house cat has been replaced several times from the effects of the disease.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by watermen View Post
    IDK if bobcats eat or kill feral cats, but they do carry a tick born disease that is deadly to domestic cats. I have bobcats on the home place and the kids one house cat has been replaced several times from the effects of the disease.
    I was going to mention the same thing. We had a couple strays, (probably dumped), that our kids tamed and claimed. They ultimately died of the bobcat tick disease. It's pretty lethal.

    My kids have indoor-only cats now. So hopefully we don't have that problem again.

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