Thursday, July 17, 2008
Fox From a Shepherd's Point of View
Sheep worrying by domestic dog. Sheep mortalities from fox are sufficiently rare that they have never been filmed anywhere in the world.
Anyone interested in the topic of predation of farmstock by wild animals will find the "Maryland Small Ruminant" site very interesting.
"Small ruminants" are goats and sheep, by the way. This page gives links to pages all over the the U.S. and the world covering predation of sheep and goats.
Note the fairly large losses to coyotes and feral or loose dogs, but the very low mortality of sheep to fox. This is a shepherd's page so it comes "right from the woolies mouth," so to speak. As a general rule, they do not seem much concerned with fox predation.
Out of 273,000 sheep and lamb alleged to have been lost to predators (I say alleged because farmers tend to push the numbers up for insurance and reimbursment reasons), only 8,100 were from fox. State break out data can be found here.
(click to enlarge)
Of the total number lost to fox, by the way, 600 were in Texas and 100 in Wyoming -- an average of zero everywhere else (my guess is because the predation is so rare it is not even included on state forms).