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this is an excerpt from

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF
ANIMAL PREDATORS
The mission of Storey Publishing is to serve our customers by
publishing practical information that encourages
personal independence in harmony with the environment.

EDITED BY Deborah Burns


ART DIRECTION AND BOOK DESIGN BY Michaela Jebb
TEXT PRODUCTION BY Erin Dawson
INDEXED BY Nancy D. Wood

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY BY Don Johnston_MA/Alamy Stock Photo, back (top middle); Donald M. Jones/
Minden Pictures/Getty Images, front (top left); Fred LaBounty/Alamy Stock Photo, back (top right); John
Foxx/Getty Images, front (top right); Juniors Bildarchiv/GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo, back (bottom right);
Mike Lentz Photography/www.mikelentzphotography.com, back (top left & bottom left); Robert McGouey/
Wildlife/Alamy Stock Photo, front (bottom)

INTERIOR PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS appear on page 280.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY Elayne Sears, 117, 242255, and scat


MAPS, TRACKS, SILHOUETTES, AND GRAPHICS BY Ilona Sherratt

2017 by Janet Vorwald Dohner

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, except
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Storey Publishing Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data


210 MASS MoCA Way
Names: Dohner, Janet Vorwald, 1951- author.
North Adams, MA 01247
Title: The encyclopedia of animal predators : learn about each predators
storey.com
traits and behaviors; identify the tracks and signs of more than 50
predators; protect your livestock, poultry, and pets / Janet Vorwald Dohner.
Printed in China by R.R. Donnelley
Description: North Adams, Massachusetts : Storey Publishing, 2017. |
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2016059717 (print) | LCCN 2017004014 (ebook) |
ISBN 9781612127057 (hardcover : alk. paper) | ISBN 9781612126999 (pbk. :
alk. paper) | ISBN 9781612127002 (ebook)
Subjects: LCSH: Predatory animals. | Predatory animals--Control.
Classification: LCC QL758 .D64 2017 (print) | LCC QL758 (ebook) | DDC
591.5/3dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016059717
Contents
PA R T I 1 CHAPTER 6
Weasels: Mustelidae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Predators in the Wolverine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
124

Modern World Fisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130


American Badger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
CHAPTER 1 Weasels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
The Predation Situation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Mink . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
American Marten . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
CHAPTER 2
Whos Out There? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 CHAPTER 7
Raccoons: Procyonidae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
PA R T I I 23
Northern Raccoon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
Predators Up Close
CHAPTER 8
CHAPTER 3 Skunks: Mephitidae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154
Canines: Canidae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Striped Skunk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
Wolves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Spotted Skunks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Coyote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Foxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 CHAPTER 9
Opossums: Didelphidae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
CHAPTER 4 Virginia Opossum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
Cats: Felidae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Mountain Lion (Puma, Cougar, Panther) . . . . . . . . . . . 78 CHAPTER 10
Jaguar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Rats: Muridae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166
Bobcat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Norway Rat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .168
Canada Lynx . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 Black Rat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
Other Cats Jaguarundi, Ocelot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 Cotton Rat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169

CHAPTER 5 CHAPTER 11
Bears: Ursidae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Domestic and Feral Animals . . . . . . . . . . 171
American Black Bear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Swine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
North American Grizzly or Brown Bear . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Dogs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Other Bears Kodiak Brown Bear, Polar Bear, Domestic Cats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
Hybrid Bears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
CHAPTER 12 PA R T I I I 237
Birds of Prey: Accipitrimorphae . . . . 185
Eagles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
Prevention and
Hawks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 Protection
Vultures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
CHAPTER 18
CHAPTER 13 Nonlethal Prevention Methods
True Owls: Strigidae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 and Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239
Great Horned Owl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
Barred Owl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 CONCLUSION
Other Owls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207 Moving Forward Together . . . . . . . . . . . . 267

C H A P T E R 14 Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
Crows: Corvidae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210 Predator Control Guides for Home, Recreation,
American Crow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 Farm, and Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
Common Raven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212 Organizations Providing Additional Resources
Black-Billed Magpie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214 for Predator Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272
CHAPTER 15 Online Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273
Snapping Turtles: Chelydridae . . . . . . 217 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275
Common Snapping Turtle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218
Alligator Snapping Turtle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219

CHAPTER 16
Gators and Crocs: Crocodilia . . . . . . . . . 222
American Alligator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223
American Crocodile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225

C H A P T E R 17
Snakes: Colubridae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
One of the fundamental relationships in nature is that of
predator and prey. To feed her fledglings, an eagle swoops with
speed and grace to snatch a rabbit on the run. A wolf pack
cooperatively chases down an elk, and with that success the
whole pack eats. We humans are the ultimate predators, killing
both to eat and to survive when threatened by an animal.
In the modern world, many of us are somewhat Between the two points of view protecting
removed from the predatory act, other than observ- our domestic animals and valuing nature and all of
ing a cat catching a mouse. Others of us, however, its inhabitants lies coexistence. Coexistence is
might walk out in our fields on a beautiful morning possible, and it begins with knowledge. Knowledge
to find a gruesomely slaughtered lamb or a pile of of our predators behaviors and habits is essential.
decapitated chickens. Even in that moment of great Knowledge arms us when we encounter a predator
anger and grief, the reality of predator and prey is on a walk in the backcountry. With knowledge, we
inescapable and basic. We cant live in a world with- learn how to design and implement predator-friendly
out predators; therefore, we must learn to coexist systems that protect both our stock and ourselves.
with the wild hunters around us while protecting Some of the methods of predator protection
what we raise. are old, as ancient as the shepherd who watched
his sheep with his guardian dogs. Others are new, as
Coexistence wildlife biologists help us understand the predators
For a long time, humans believed we could extermi- around us rather than succumb to old myths or prej-
nate all large predators and shape the earth as we udices. These methods may require as much or more
saw fit. We have since found that predators, both effort than simply eliminating all the predators, but
large and small, are essential to the healthy func- when we value a balanced and sustainable world,
tioning of the earths ecosystem. We have learned to they are worth the effort.
appreciate the beauty of wild animals and their lives. Consumers of meat, milk, or eggs can come to
Many people now work to save animals threatened value predators and coexistence as well, just as they
with extinction, not only because our world is health- learn more about the reality of the lives of the farm-
ier when it is biologically diverse but also because our ers and ranchers who provide them with food.
lives would be less rich without these animals.

Is not the sky a father and the earth a mother, and are not all living things with
feet or wings or roots their children?
Black Elk (Oglala Sioux)

2 | P R E DATO RS I N T HE MO DER N WO R L D
CHAP TER 2

Whos Out
There?
When a livestock or poultry owner discovers the carcass of an
animal, it can be emotionally and financially devastating. Owners
ask themselves what they could have done differently to protect
their animals. Protection begins with an understanding of what
threats exist in the place where you and your animals live.
Three factors help to determine your potential poultry, or pets. Learning about predator ranges,
threats: the region where you live; your homes livestock death statistics, and the migration
location, from city to suburb to semirural exurb of predators into suburban and urban environ-
to truly rural area; and finally, the animals you ments informs farmers and homeowners alike.
keep, whether large stock or small animals,

12
Poultry Damage ID Guide Common Predators
After identifying potential culprits below, check individual profiles in Part II for additional details,
observations, tracks, and scat.

Note: Predators can occasionally be active during nonnormal times or behave in atypical ways.

Mountain Lion
Opposum
Marten
Magpie
Bobcat

Human
Badger

Coyote

Fisher

Hawk
Eagle
Crow

Mink
Lynx
Dog

Owl
Cat

Fox
Day
Dusk
Time


Night
Dawn
Eggs eaten
Eggs

Eggs missing
One bird missing
Missing
Birds

Multiple birds missing


One or more chicks missing
One or two birds killed
Several birds killed
(Partially or Mainly Eaten)

Chick or chicks killed

Heads removed or eaten


Dead Birds

Bodies piled together

Missing limbs or heads pulled



through fence

Breast or anal area eaten

Abdomen eaten
Breast and legs eaten
Talon punctures on head
Teeth or Talon


or body
Marks

Bites on neck
Bite on head or neck
Many bites on head, neck, body,

or legs

18 | P R E DATO RS I N THE MO DER N WO R L D


Diagnosing Scat, Tracks, and Gait

By observing the signs of visiting animals, you can learn a great deal
about what lives in your area, even before you acquire livestock. Record
notes and take photographs for future reference and comparison.

Scat can vary in size and content for Scat


every individual, but it can reveal clues
about the type of animal and its diet. It
can be especially useful when combined
with other signs. Both fresh scat and
dry scat are potentially dangerous to
humans. Handle either with great care,
Red Wolf Black Bear
and do not inhale dry particles.

Track size varies with age and gender of Tracks


the animal, regional or subspecies vari-
ations in size, the surface of the track
impression, and the weather. In this
5"
5 in.
book, track sizes measure the deeper 4 in.
4"
3"
3 in.
minimum impression, not the more 212"
2.5 in.

variable, broader surface outline. Tracks


may also reveal tail drags. Wolf
Wolf Large Dog
Large Dog Coyote
Coyote Red
Red Fox
Fox

Gait, or the way an animal moves,


Gait
leaves a typical pattern of prints and
can be classified into broad predator
types of walking, trotting, waddling, and
bounding. Stride impressions also vary Bounding: Weasel
Bounding: Weasel
individually and with terrain. Animals
may walk or trot with a direct-register
(rear foot lands in front print), overstep
(rear foot lands beyond the front print),
or understep (rear prints behind front Waddling: Raccoon
Waddling: Raccoon

prints). Canines often side-trot with an


angled body, their hind prints to one side
of their front prints. In a straddle trot,
the hind tracks go to both sides of the
front tracks. Strides are measured from Walking: Bobcat
Walking: Bobcat
the point one foot touches the ground to
the next point of that same foot.

Trotting: RedFox
Trotting: Red Fox

PREDATORS UP C LOSE | 27
MOUNTAIN LION
MOUNTAIN LION

M
(Puma concolor cougar)

ountain lions once roamed throughout the Western Hemisphere


from the Yukon in northern Canada to the southern Andes
Mountains in Chile. They were found in virtually every type of ter-
rain, from high mountain forests to deserts to tropical wetlands. The
mountain lion was present nearly everywhere in the lower states.

Mountain lion, puma, cougar, or panther the lord of the


forest once ruled from coast to coast.

78 | P R E DATO RS U P CLOSE
MOUNTAIN LION
With this widespread presence, the big cat came to down the eastern coast. Panther and painter are
have more names than any other animal on earth still used in the southeastern states, although the
including cougar, puma, catamount, mountain lion, mountain lion is definitely not a panther. In ,
and panther. From Mexico southward it is still called the famed naturalist Comte de Buffon first recorded
by its Spanish names leopardo and el leon; indeed, the name cougar, probably evolved from Portuguese
Vespucci, Columbus, and Cabeza de Vaca all men- based on native Guarani, and puma itself was not
tioned the lions they discovered in the New World. used until . Biologists finally settled on the
For some time, European fur traders believed name Puma concolor, or one color.
they were seeing only female lion pelts and that the
larger males were hiding somewhere deep in the Used as early as 1777, puma is a Spanish word and
forests or mountains. Later it was widely believed originated with a native Quechua word mean-
ing powerful. The Cherokee klandagi meant
that mountain lions were a light-colored African or
lord of the forest, and the Chickasaw keo-ishto
Asian leopard or panther. In the Carolinas, Georgia,
described the cat of the gods.
and Florida, it was often called tyger. Catamount or
cat of the mountains was used from New England

Mountain lions can be found


in the western states from Texas
north to southeastern Alaska,
including the Rocky Mountains, the
Cascades, and the Sierra Nevada.
Breeding populations may be found
in the western areas of Oklahoma,
Nebraska, and North and South
Dakota. Lone mountain lions have
also been seen in Minnesota,
Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana,
Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Louisiana,
and Arkansas, as well as reports from
farther east, such as Connecticut.
In Canada, mountain lions are found
in the Yukon, British Columbia,
Saskatchewan, and Alberta, with
Mountain Lion Ranges sightings in Ontario, Quebec, New
Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
Western mountain lion
While some sightings may
Confirmed sightings
be attributed to escaped pets
or misidentification of bobcats,
Florida panther mountain lions are undoubtedly now
reclaiming some of their lost habitat.
Confirmed sightings

CATS | 79
D A M A G E I D: American Black Bear

AMERICAN BLACK BEAR


PREY ON T I M E O F D AY
Livestock, poultry, beehives Day, night, and dusk
near humans

METHOD OF KILL

 Hair, tracks, scat usually found in area of damage; veg-  In open area, kill sometimes dragged into cover and
etation smashed down around kill; distinctive musky covered with debris, bear returning at dusk to feed
odor of bear even as carcass decomposes

 Carcasses showing deep teeth marks 12 inch in diame-  Where stock is confined or unable to escape, 2 or
ter on skull or neck and shoulders behind the ears; neck 3 sheep killed
or spine broken; at times, nose or face deeply bitten
 Eggs or nestlings stolen
 Large claw marks of 12 inch on neck, shoulders, and
 Beehives and frames broken and scattered, bear
sides of larger animals, either from striking or straddling
returning until all eaten
 Body opened, internal organs or udders on lactating
 Corn or oat crops with large areas of smashed stalks
females removed and eaten first, then hindquarters
and entire cob of corn eaten
and other flesh fed on
 In orchards, bark clawed off to mark tree and to eat
 Skin of large prey torn off and inside out; skeleton
inner bark; branches torn off; bushes smashed
often left intact and attached to skin; remains not
scattered, unlike with wolves and coyotes.

TRACK GAIT
Front 3348 inches long, 3146 inches wide; Walking stride 1728
rear 538878 inches long, 3126 inches wide. inches, may be direct-
Rear foot resembles human footprint, slightly register or overstep; lope
Front pigeon-toed. All 5 toes, claw marks, and front or gallop can be longer at
heel pad may or may not be visible; hair may 2460 inches.
obscure track details. Can be distinguished
from grizzly bear by smaller size, shorter claw
marks, and greater curve in arc of toes.

S C AT 7"

Cylindrical, thick, blunt ends, 7 inches


long and 1 inch in diameter, usually
coiled, black to brown color. Can
resemble human feces except con-
tents may reveal hair, bone, and plant
Rear
fibers. Looser and softer if feeding on
berries. Left uncovered at site of kill.

109
DOGS
When Good Dogs Go Bad
Roaming domestic dogs chase and injure stock If you catch the dog or dogs in the attack,
for fun, not for food. Owners are often shocked take the following steps immediately:
that their beloved and friendly pet killed farm ani-
1. If the dogs are friendly, restrain them and call
mals or poultry. In addition to establishing good
the animal authorities rather than their own-
fencing and using livestock guardian dogs (LGDs),
ers. Take photos of the dogs before releasing
owners can protect their animals by practicing
them to the authorities. Record all identifying
good prevention strategies:
information from tags.
Do not allow unsupervised contact between your
own pet dog and your stock, especially if the dog 2. If the dogs run away, try to follow them
is from a breed with a high prey or chase drive. calmly. They are less likely to run if you dont
chase them. Take photos. Most dogs will
Do not let your dog play with neighbor or roam-
return home. Do not confront the owners
ing dogs, which may lead to dangerous play
who may deny their dogs involvement,
behavior with your stock.
remove evidence through bathing, or create
Be very cautious of visiting dogs, and strongly an alibi before the authorities arrive. Call the
discourage neighbor dogs from entering your authorities.
property.
3. If you cant restrain or follow the dogs, write
If you use an LGD, discourage anything more down an accurate description of their sizes,
than cursory familiarity between your LGD and ears, tails, coat color and length, markings,
your pet dogs. Definitely do not allow neighbor and so on. Again, take photos if possible.
dogs to visit your property and interact with
your LGD. You want to maintain your LGDs 4. Take more photos to document the full
defensive aggression against a roaming dog extent of the attack.
that might easily threaten your stock.
Call the authorities even if you come upon the
attack after the dogs have gone. Even if they cannot
What to Do When a Domestic Dog
establish ownership, you have a record of the attack
Attacks Your Animals
and may be eligible for monetary compensation
Dog attacks are often very emotionally disturb- from local government sources or insurance.
ing because of the violence and widespread In some areas, owners of stock have the
destruction or mutilation of your animals. It is right to shoot a dog that is attacking their ani-
helpful to plan ahead and know which authori- mals; however, the laws differ in various states,
ties to contact in your area, as well as what fur- provinces, and municipalities. If you shoot some-
ther actions to take. ones pet, you may find yourself involved in a legal
action or lawsuit.

DOMESTIC AND FERAL ANIM A LS | 177


Dealing with Eagles
Homes and Yards
Attractants include rodents and free-ranging birds
and rabbits.

Livestock Husbandry
Bald eagles can be attracted in large numbers to
large-scale pastured poultry operations. Newborns
are very vulnerable during birthing seasons. Eagles
will also prey on - to -week-old lambs and kids as
they begin to wander or play farther from mothers,
but not generally after weeks of age.

Set up birthing sheds or protected pens less


than or acres in size. Temporary pens for
night and early morning are very useful since
HUM A N IN T ER AC T ION
eagles are unlikely to enter smaller spaces.
Eagles are important apex predators in the eco-
system. Golden eagles are more likely to prey on Use livestock guardians, particularly dogs that
young lambs, goats, and calves than bald eagles are. alert to aerial attacks. Livestock guardians are
Occasionally eagles will prey on young swine or more effective in areas small enough for them
other animals such as domestic rabbits, waterfowl, to actively protect, rather than very large spaces
poultry, and small pets. Primary losses of larger with scattered stock or poultry.
stock occur in grazing areas in Colorado, Wyoming,
Provide brushy grazing or shelters, which is
Montana, Utah, and Texas but also happen else-
safer than large open pastures.
where in their range. Predation of lambs and kids on
range during birthing seasons appears to be increas- Provide an active herding and human presence
ing, but both eagles feed on livestock carcasses left to discourage eagles.
by other predators, which can confuse observers.
Remove all carrion. Do not feed eagles.

L EGA L I T IES Mount or suspend clothed scarecrows, with


The federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act movable arms, on high points near nightly
and Migratory Bird Treaty Act protect bald and bedding areas, to scare eagles for up to weeks
golden eagles, their nests, and nest sites. Killing (after which they become used to them).
eagles without permit is illegal, as is possessing,
Use portable electric netting to subdivide large
selling, or trading any live or dead eagle, feathers,
pastured poultry areas.
or eggs. Harassing, harming, hunting, shooting, and
trapping are also illegal. Hazing with gunfire, explo- Use netting or wires over pastured poultry to
sives, and airplanes is prohibited without permit. disrupt aerial attacks.
Only USDA-APHIS-ADA personnel are permitted
Use rounded corners to reduce smothering
to conduct permitted depredation activities after a
during an attack.
formal assessment. Relocation is generally a failure,
with most eagles returning to their home territories. Remove roosting sites.

19 0 | P R E DATO RS U P CLOSE
AMERICAN ALLIGATOR

AMERICAN ALLIGATOR
W
(Alligator mississippiensis)

hen European explorers first encountered the American alligator,


they confused it with the very real and legendary Old World Nile
crocodile. The name alligator came from the Spanish el lagarto, or
the lizard, which became alagarto in Florida. Soon gaining the
nickname gator, they were hunted into near extinction in the s
and s. With protection, the population has now very successfully recovered.

DES C R IP T ION Alligators swim, propelled by their long, strong


The osteoderms or scutes on the alligator are olive- tail, at speeds as high as mph. They can dive for
brown or black with an off-white underside. Young long periods. On land they either crawl or sprawl
alligators have yellow stripes on their tails. The snout and can rise up on their legs for a high walk, with
is broader than that of the crocodile, and the large speeds of to mph for short distances. Alligators
fourth tooth in the lower jaw is not visible when will crawl to new bodies of water if necessary. They
the mouth is closed, unlike the crocodile. Although can stand and step forward in a lunge. They are also
an alligator is mature when it reaches to feet in strong climbers.
length, females will grow to to feet long and Alligators have a wide range of vision and are
males to to feet long, weighing pounds. excellent at seeing and sensing movement. They also
Larger animals are frequently seen. Females take have a good sense of smell. Their jaws are extremely
to years to mature, and males to years. Life powerful in biting and gripping but comparatively
span is uncertain but ranges from to years in weak in opening against restraint.
the wild and as long as years in captivity.

Most active when the temperature is between 82 and 92F, alligators


will bask or seek warmer water to keep themselves warm.

GATORS AND C ROCS | 223


As social herd animals, guardian llamas will act
protectively in defense of their flock mates.

Advantages Considerations
Generally aggressive and effective against small Cannot protect against more than one roaming
canines, such as foxes, coyotes, or dogs. dog or coyote.

Able to guard sheep, goats, cattle with calves, Vulnerable to multiple dogs or coyotes and
deer, alpacas, or poultry. bears, mountain lions, or wolves.

Easy to feed and fence with stock. Does not provide protection against most small
predators, feral animals, or raptors.
Best suited to flocks of less than animals in
fenced pastures without dense vegetation and May injure or attempt to breed stock, especially
close to the farmstead. intact males.

Long working life. May injure working farm dogs.

Naturally social to pasture mates and bond If not socialized and trained, can be dangerous
readily to stock. to humans and difficult to handle.

Creates little disturbance or threat to neighbors. Often do not work well in pairs, since a single
llama will bond better to stock.

Not suited to hot, humid weather.

26 2 | P R EV E N T I O N A ND PROTECTIO N
Beehives
In addition to the threats of disease, mites, and other Raccoons. Place a heavy rock, brick, or cement
pests, beehives are highly attractive to some animal block on top of the hive to prevent raccoons from
predators. Bears are the major threat, capable of removing top boards.
causing serious destruction and significant economic Skunks. Raise hives higher than a skunk can
loss. A clean, well-tended bee yard will discourage reach, up to feet. Place plywood with a nail pin-
predators and reduce temptations; however, good cushion in front of the hives. Predator-proof fenc-
fencing can exclude raccoons, skunks, and bears. ing, chicken wire, and netting will keep skunks away
Strapping the hive together and weighing down the from hives. Bury wire netting, mesh, or hardware
top will also make it harder for a predator to take it cloth inches down and extending out inches.
apart or gain access. Bears. Place electric netting or fencing around
Mice. Install mouse guards to prevent mice the hives, and use sturdy livestock panels for the best
from entering the hive, especially before winter. combination of deterrents.
Wooden reducers can be enlarged by chewing mice.

Backyard beekeepers can prevent predation by grouping their hives together, surrounding them with closely spaced
electric fencing, and weighing down the hive top.

26 6 | P R EV E N T I O N A ND PROTECTIO N