POWELL, Wyo. — Wyoming sheep producers lost fewer sheep last year even though predation increased slightly.
According to a USDA survey conducted in January, producers lost an estimated 43,000 sheep and lambs, down from 55,000 in 2011.
The losses were mainly attributed to weather, disease and other environmental factors. Predation rose 6 percent over 2011.
Todd Ballard of the USDA. says the drought drove wildlife out of the mountains in search of water and they encountered sheep at watering holes.
Coyotes were responsible for killing the most sheep among wildlife but eagles have also become a problem as well. Eagles killed more sheep than bears and wolves combined in each of the last two years.