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 Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

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: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife

14.12.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Magic number colloidal clusters

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>