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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, April 27, 2018

"Lethal interventions by the State of Michigan against wolves in the vicinities of verified livestock losses during the 16 years between 1998-2014 did not appear to reduce future losses"............. "These findings are preliminary pending experiments with stronger inference"........... "Nonetheless, given the severe ethical issues involved in implementing harmful or lethal removal(killing) of Wolves, the lack of effectiveness of these lethal control argues for their curtailing in favor of non-lethal alternatives that are effective"........... "In the State of Michigan, there is strong scientific evidence for the effectiveness of at least two non-lethal methods (fladry and livestock guarding dogs)"............... "No peer-reviewed scientific study has ever shown lethal methods (where killing Wolves so as to protect against future livestock losses) to be effective in Michigan"............... "Indeed, our review suggests no study in the USA has yet proven with strong inference that killing wolves is effective in preventing future livestock losses"............ "Although it may seem obvious that killing a predator whose jaws are about to lock on a calf should protect the calf, government lethal methods are not implemented in that way".............. "Virtually all are indirect methods such as traps placed far from the depredation site and long after a calf is killed"............ "Therefore, rigorous scientific evaluations are a necessary prerequisite before implementing an intervention, especially given the ethical and legal obligations to balance protection of livestock and wild animals for the broad public interest"........... "The US Endangered Species Act mandates the use of the “best scientific and commercial data available” when making conservation and management decision for listed species............... "Following recommendations for ethical wildlife management, lethal management should be discontinued, as currently the harm it causes wolves and livestock is not offset by benefits"............. "If lethal methods are still necessary in some situations, these should be constantly monitored and evaluated by independent third parties to measure their effectiveness or lack thereof"


PLOS ONE | ; January 10, 2018

Killing wolves to prevent predation on livestock may protect one farm but harm neighbors

Francisco J. Santiago-Avila1*, Ari M. Cornman2, Adrian Treves1
1 Carnivore Coexistence Lab, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, 2 Department of Natural Resources, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Manistee, Michigan, United States of America

Large carnivores, such as gray wolves, Canis lupus, are difficult to protect in mixed-use landscapes because some people perceive them as dangerous and because they some- times threaten human property and safety. Governments may respond by killing carnivores in an effort to prevent repeated conflicts or threats, although the functional effectiveness of lethal methods has long been questioned. 


We evaluated two methods of government inter- vention following independent events of verified wolf predation on domestic animals (depre- dation) in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA between 1998–2014, at three spatial scales. We evaluated two intervention methods using log-rank tests and conditional Cox recurrent event, gap time models based on retrospective analyses of the following quasi- experimental treatments: (1) selective killing of wolves by trapping near sites of verified depredation, and (2) advice to owners and haphazard use of non-lethal methods without wolf-killing. The government did not randomly assign treatments and used a pseudo-control (no removal of wolves was not a true control), but the federal permission to intervene lethally was granted and rescinded independent of events on the ground.


 Hazard ratios suggest lethal intervention was associated with an insignificant 27% lower risk of recurrence of events at trapping sites, but offset by an insignificant 22% increase in risk of recurrence at sites up to 5.42 km distant in the same year, compared to the non-lethal treatment. Our results do not support the hypothesis that Michigan’s use of lethal intervention after wolf depredations was effective for reducing the future risk of recurrence in the vicinities of trapping sites.

Examining only the sites of intervention is incomplete because neighbors near trapping sites may suffer the recurrence of depredations. We propose two new hypotheses for perceived effectiveness of lethal methods: (a) killing predators may be perceived as effective because of the benefits to a small minority of farmers, and (b) if neighbors experi- ence side-effects of lethal intervention such as displaced depredations, they may perceive the problem growing and then demand more lethal intervention rather than detecting prob- lems spreading from the first trapping site. 


Ethical wildlife management guided by the “best scientific and commercial data available” would suggest suspending the standard method of trapping wolves in favor of non-lethal methods (livestock guarding dogs or fladry) that have been proven effective in preventing livestock losses in Michigan and elsewhere.

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