Livestock guardian dogs, LGDs, and their use in deterring predators will be the focus of a Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in San Angelo online program at 3 p.m. Nov. 18.
The webinar is part of an ongoing series focused on LGDs that features Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and industry experts covering a wide range of relevant topics.
The main types of predators that will be discussed are coyotes, bobcats, foxes and aerial threats found in the Edwards Plateau. John Tomeček, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist, Thrall, is the featured speaker for this session.
“Dr. Tomeček’s research and extension work focuses on the management of wildlife damage and disease,” said AgriLife Research LGD research specialist Bill Costanzo, San Angelo. “This includes both lethal and non-lethal methods of managing predators, feral hogs and predatory birds.”
Tomeček also works to manage wildlife diseases and helps coordinate community-level programs to teach landowners to self-manage their damage problems.
Predation and profitability
Costanzo said a survey of sheep producers in 2010 by the American Sheep Institute showed more predator control was the top-ranked item Texas producers said would expand their numbers and increase profitability. Yet in that same survey, only 5.8% of Texas respondents reported using livestock guardian dogs.
“Due to current landowner and land-use trends, predator issues are becoming more abundant further complicating the problem,” he said. “LGDs can be an effective strategy for reducing predation, but they must be trained properly and used effectively.”
Costanzo said that managing predation is key to increasing profitability, and the expansion of the use of livestock guardian dogs in relation to decreased predation will be discussed in depth during the webinar.