Wolves are currently recolonizing Washington State. They are state-listed as endangered throughout the state and are federally listed as endangered in the western part of WA. Wolf/livestock conflicts are increasing as the wolves re-colonize their former range and increase in numbers. The purpose of this program is to minimize and mitigate wolf livestock depredations as quickly and effectively as possible while adhering to state and federal wolf recovery plans (Wiles et al. 2011). This program has two major components and six objectives:
Research into the
- Underlying causes of wolf livestock depredations
- Extent or number of wolf livestock depredations
- Relative impact or percent mortality due to wolf livestock depredations
- Indirect effects of wolves on livestock productivity and space-use
- Effectiveness of non-lethal remedial measures for reducing wolf livestock depredations, and indirect effects and
- Outreach and Extension of current and future research findings to livestock operators and wolf managers to minimize and mitigate wolf livestock depredations.
Research objectives 1 to 4 yield the required “measurements” (underlying site-specific risk, depredation rate, mortality rate, livestock productivity ) necessary to test for the effectiveness of non-lethal interventions (objective 5). This research and extension program was funded for 1 biennium (2 years) but is expected to be funded and last 2 biennium (3-4 years) in order to obtain a sufficient sample size to accomplish the objectives.
This research and extension program was developed, designed, and peer-reviewed in consultation with our State and Federal Program Partners and NGO’s (non-governmental organizations – including WA state livestock and wildlife organizations).