Environment: Sheepmen Are Going to the Dogs

In the great coyote war, a splendid Old World weapon

Coyotes are small (about 30 lbs.), fast, clever and notably fond of mutton chops. For years U.S. sheepmen have trapped them, shot them from airplanes, and laid out wholesale poisons. But in 1972 the Nixon Administration banned the use of poison on federal grazing lands because it kills more than just coyotes. The scattered chemicals—usually a nerve drug called Compound 1080—also felled birds, including endangered species like the bald eagle, not to mention foxes, badgers, opossums, raccoons and pet dogs.

Now coyotes are blamed for...

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