Earthroots is working on a collaborative effort to develop a coexistence toolkit for farmers in eastern Canada to mitigate livestock depredation from both wolves and eastern coyotes.
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Recent long-term research from the United States shows that killing wolves at levels considered sustainable increases livestock depredation the following year. Read the research paper here.
The researchers suggest various effects of wolf harvest that may lead to increased livestock depredation, including:
- collapse of territorial pack structure
- increased breeding pairs following disruption of social hierarchy
- compensatory breeding (increase in number of wolf pups/breeding pair) & smaller pack sizes
- frequent breeder turnover
- loss of knowledge transmission decreasing wild prey hunting success
The odds of livestock depredations increased 4% for sheep and 5–6% for cattle with increased wolf control - up until wolf mortality exceeded the mean intrinsic growth rate of wolves at 25%. Possible reasons for the increased livestock depredations at ≤25% mortality may be compensatory increased breeding pairs and numbers of wolves following increased mortality. After mortality exceeded 25%, the total number of breeding pairs, wolves, and livestock depredations declined. However, mortality rates exceeding 25% are unsustainable over the long term. (Wielgus and Peebles, 2014)