Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Killing wolves may not protect livestock efficiently

06.04.2006


Lethal measures to control wolf attacks on cattle and sheep are ineffective in the long-term, new study finds



Costly and time-consuming efforts to eliminate wolves that prey on sheep, cattle and other domestic animals are ineffective on a long-term, regional scale, according to an examination of wolf control methods in Alberta and several U.S. states by University of Calgary researchers.

Results of the study were presented today at an annual meeting of wolf scientists, ranchers and wildlife managers near Yellowstone National Park.


Lead author Dr. Marco Musiani, an assistant professor in the U of C’s Faculty of Environmental Design, said the findings could lead to changes in how ranchers and government wildlife authorities deal with problems relating to depredation of livestock by wolves.

Musiani said using lethal control to limit wolf numbers, and therefore curb depredation, requires 30 to 50 per cent of an area’s wolf population to be destroyed year after year. Instead, programs to compensate ranchers and shepherds for stock lost to wolves can be used to offset costs to producers. Such programs convey funds from numerous citizens concerned with nature conservation to the ranchers affected by livestock losses.

"Killing that many wolves would be difficult," Musiani said. "If society wants to co-exist with wolves, it has to accept that there will be losses and address the real issue, which is that if ranchers lose some of their animals, or if animals are injured, it costs them money. There are also significant labour costs for increasing livestock surveillance to prevent attacks."

In addition, livestock producers and wildlife officials could plan activities to prevent wolf attacks during the high-depredation seasons, which are described in the study.

Musiani and colleagues analyzed wolf attack information from Alberta from 1982-1996 and in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming from 1987-2003. The data showed that the common practice of tracking down and killing wolves that prey on livestock did not result in decreased depredation rates regionally, or over the long-term. The study also found that wolf attacks appear to follow seasonal patterns that reflect the food needs of wolf packs and livestock calving and grazing cycles.

"This study shows that wolves are being killed as a corrective, punitive measure – not a preventative one," Musiani said. "People hope that killing individual wolves that attack livestock will rid the population from offenders but this isn’t happening. It seems other wolves simply take their place and you have the same problem over and over again," Musiani said. "To use a human analogy – by putting criminals in jail we are going to obtain a decrease in crime? In many cases, probably not."

The paper "Seasonality and reoccurrence of depredation and wolf control in western North America" is published in the current issue of the Wildlife Society Bulletin and presented by Musiani at the18th Annual North American Wolf Conference at Chico Hot Springs Resort in Pray, Montana. The April 4-6 conference is sponsored by the Madison Valley Ranchlands Group, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Wolf Recovery Foundation, Yellowstone National Park and the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife. The study comes as several U.S. states consider removing the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list after populations that were once extirpated have been re-established.

Musiani has worked on the problem of wolves killing livestock in Canada, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, and the U.S, and has served as a United Nations consultant on the issue.

Grady Semmens | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucalgary.ca/~mmusiani/profile.html
http://www.ucalgary.ca

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World's smallest optical implantable biodevice

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space

26.04.2018 | Life Sciences

First Li-Fi-product with technology from Fraunhofer HHI launched in Japan

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>