Study Finds Coyotes, Bobcats Eating Deer

By Frye, Bob | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 14, 2012 | Go to article overview
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Study Finds Coyotes, Bobcats Eating Deer

Frye, Bob, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

You can't talk about deer in Pennsylvania without someone bringing up the coyotes that eat some of them.

But how big of an impact do they have?

Pennsylvania hasn't studied the issue since about 2000, but another state did more recently, albeit in a backhanded kind of way.

Researchers in Michigan this past winter looked at predation on white-tailed deer in the Upper Peninsula, largely to see how many deer were being eaten by the roughly 700 wolves that live there. What they found is that coyotes and bobcats, in that order, eat more deer than wolves do. Hunters were the third-biggest cause of mortality among deer, with wolves fourth.

Biologists said wolf predation may jump ahead of that by coyotes as the study expands into areas with more wolves.

Eagles back in the wild

Two bald eagles are back to living in the wild after being rehabilitated.

Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife conservation officer Larry Smith picked up the two female birds -- one mature, one not -- at separate spots in Crawford County last year, in April and July. The mature bird had pellet wounds from a gunshot. The younger bird is thought to have suffered from West Nile Virus.

Both were taken to the Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center. In April, after months of treatment, both were released on the Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area of state game land 214.

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