Traditionally, the best way to get rid of a predatory coyote prowling a farm is with a gun. But new research shows that coyote populations actually rebound more strongly after gun-related deaths, reports Modern Farmer.

In an attempt to regulate the amount of predatory animal killings, the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network launched a no-kill initiative last year. The program certifies farms that use creative, wildlife-friendly methods of protecting sheep, cows, and chickens. The process is anything but easy when predatory animals become craftier every day.

WFEN Executive Director Julie Stein tells Modern Farmer:

“It’s all about adaptive management, using a mix of practices and changing when you have to. Part of what we have in common with predators is that they are highly intelligent. You can try one thing, and it may work for a while, but you can’t leave livestock unobserved for a long time.”

The catch: finding a no-kill way to protect your animals. Many farmers have added extra dogs to protect their sheep, but more unconventional animals are gaining popularity. Both donkeys and llamas have proved themselves to be extremely protective animal guardians.

Both donkeys and llamas have no fear of dogs, allowing them to work alongside farms’ trusted canines. Llamas are extremely defensive against coyotes, sounding an alarm noise before chasing and kicking the invasive predator. Modern Farmer reports that llamas have even been known to kill coyotes.

WFEN aims to certify at least 100 farms for their alternative predator management programs by the end of 2014.


[via Modern Farmer]