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About the Researcher

PROGRAM LEAD

Dr. Robert Wielgus

 

GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

Azzurra Valerio

This project is ongoing as part of Azzurra Valerio’s Ph.D. project. We will radio-track 6 wolf packs (3 packs in NE WA and 3 packs in the North Cascades of WA) and 18 cattle herds (9 herds in NE WA and 9 herds in the North Cascades of WA) over 4 years and employ various non-lethal interventions (fladry, range riders, guard dogs, bio fencing, cow bells, etc.) to examine the efficacy of such interventions in reducing wolf/ livestock depredations and wolf/livestock indirect effects (weight loss, pregnancy, spatial overlap).

 Zoe Hanley

This project is ongoing as part of Zoe Hanley’s Ph.D. project. We will analyze all documented wolf livestock depredations in ID, MT, and WY over the last 15 years to determine which environmental factors (wolf pack composition, residency time, cattle herd composition, residency time, season, prey base, vegetation, physiography, etc.) if any, contribute to higher risk of wolf  livestock depredations. We will use that data to create a wolf livestock depredation risk map for WA.

Gabriel Spence

This project is ongoing as part of Gabe Spence’s MS project.The project intends to determine the kill rate of wolves on livestock by monitoring wolves.  We will put GPS collars on at least 1 wolf in each of 6 packs that have territories that overlap summer livestock grazing areas; 3 packs in Northeast Washington and 3 packs in the North Cascades of Washington.  We will then investigate GPS clusters to locate and identify possible livestock kills.  Investigation of such clusters may also discover natural prey kills.  From this data we will determine the kill rate (kills/day/pack) of wolves on both livestock and wild prey for the grazing season (May – October). In addition, all GPS locations from wolves will be analyzed for space use, and relative densities of livestock and wild prey will be calculated.  We intend to determine how wolf kill rates relate to the density of prey and livestock (functional response). Additionally we will analyze how wolf use of grazing areas relates to cattle use and density. 

Jeffery Brown

This project is ongoing as part of Jeff Brown’s MS project. We will radio-track calves from 18 cattle herds (9 herds in NE WA and 9 herds in the North Cascades of WA) over 4 years and investigate VHF mortality signals to identify and determine wolf livestock mortality rates in WA.