Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Study refutes what some thought was value of #wolf hunt



With so much hostility between wolf advocates and those who want them hunted, trapped and otherwise killed, you might be surprised to know that this wolf advocate sees mostly eye to eye with the farmers of Minnesota, as expressed in your recent article "Ruling that protects wolves hurts farmers."

I quibble a little with specifics, but that is not my point here. I DO think that for wolves to survive, farmers need to feel safe and have autonomy over the protection of their livestock. That might mean the need to kill the occasional wolf.

But that's not what's been happening. There has been a large scale hunting and trapping extravaganza that actually harms the farmers and livestock.

How can that be? Doesn't fewer wolves mean less predation?

It turns out it matters WHICH wolves are killed. Though we think of wolves as single units, they really function in families. A recent study ("Effects of Wolf Mortality on Livestock Depredations," published by Plos One) supports what wolf advocates have suspected: Killing random wolves INCREASES predation of livestock.

With adequate non-lethal deterrence, and the occasional removal of a problem animal, the farmers of Minnesota will be in much better shape than if the hunt is reinstated.

We share the same goal. We understand the need for producers to sometimes kill problem wolves, and we need to find viable solutions. Perhaps tax incentives or credits for non-lethal measures?)
That's why a compromise is the best solution: Move the wolf to "threatened." That enables the taking of wolves who prey on livestock, but doesn't allow the hunt that will make predation worse.

SOURCE