January 3, 2008

Use before Jan. 19, 2008
Contact: Betsy Hodge, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, 315-379-0607

Predators: Coping with Wild Canines
Topic of January 19 Program

Livestock producers, hunters, trappers, landowners and anyone who has ever been interested in or bothered by wild canines will gain tips for coping with coyotes, wolves and foxes on Saturday, January 19, 2008 in Northern New York. Nathan M. Roberts, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Wildlife Biologist Andrew J. MacDuff with DEC Region 6 in Watertown, NY, will be speaking live at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm in Canton, NY, and via videolink to the Cornell Cooperative Extension office in Westport, NY, and other NNY Extension sites, about the predators that frequent New York farm fields. Their presentation is hosted by the North Country Shepherds, a group of small ruminant producers.

Roberts and MacDuff will discuss the history and ecology of coyotes, wolves and foxes in New York and the current status and legal issues related to wild canines. Roberts will have coyote and wolf pelts, skulls and tracks at the Canton location.

Roberts says, �As predator populations increase in New York, there is increasing interest in learning about them and how to live with them. An understanding of the biology and history of the wildlife that inhabit your property is important to managing them.�

MacDuff will be talking about the biology of wild canines and how human encroachment into wild canine habitat areas has changed the predators� behavior.

�Coyotes are now common on the landscape of New York. The public should be aware that there are several legal options available for managing coyotes that have become a nuisance,� MacDuff says.
Program organizer Betsy Hodge, small livestock educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, says, �This is an excellent opportunity for sheep, goat, llama and alpaca producers, hunters, trappers, and landowners to ask questions about what to do about the wild canines on your farms and near our homes. A recent article published by American Sheep International says 72 percent of livestock death losses in the Northeastern U.S. are due to coyotes.�

Hodge adds, �Trying to prevent losses to wild canines costs producers in extra fencing and keeping guardian animals. Those costs can eat away profit rather quickly. The January 19 workshop is a great opportunity to learn about measures we can take to reduce losses and protect profits.�

The free program will begin at noon. Call the local Cornell Cooperative Extension office as soon as possible to ask if a videolink presentation will be offered in your area; some areas will include a potluck lunch as part of the program at Canton and Westport � bring a dish to pass.

For more information, contact Betsy Hodge at betsyhodge@twcny.rr.com, 315-379-0607. To register your interest in attending the program at the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Learning Farm in Canton, call Anita Morrill at CCE at 315-379-9192 x 234. To register for the videolinked program at the Cornell Cooperative Extension office in Westport, Essex County, call 518-962-4810.

The program is made possible by Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County with support from the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program.