Working with Ranchers to Protect Livestock and Wolves
Defenders of Wildlife’s Suzanne Stone and Roger Olson of the Wood River Project in Idaho demonstrate the proven, non-lethal techniques being used to successfully prevent wolf-livestock conflicts.
Around the world, the conflict between humans and wildlife is escalating as our population expands and our domesticated animals require more and more previously untouched lands. Wildlife has been herded into smaller areas and culling or outright annihilation of some species has been the norm.
The wolves of the Northwest is one species that has been, and still is, under attack from ranchers, but steps are being made to protect them – and the livestock now occupying the lands they once roamed.
Working together, ranchers and Defenders of Wildlife are creating innovative ways for the animals to coexist. Some of the deterrents include guard dogs, portable fencing, starter pistols, flashlights and air horns to keep wolves away from the sheep herds.
According to Defenders, “Wolves are considered a “keystone” species for the outsized role they play in maintaining nature’s balance. By preying on deer, moose and elk, wolves prevent these animals from growing too numerous and destroying native plant communities. As with many predators, wolves often target the weakest members of the herd—the old, sick and young—which helps keep those populations healthy and strong.”
Wolves are just one of the species suffering from human and agricultural encroachment and the Defenders of Wildlife organization is one of many groups working to protect the land, the animals and the people.