September 1, 2016
"This review shows that state and federal agencies are relying on bad science and bad research to justify their use of lethal predator control programs...This research calls for a moratorium on lethal predator control policies until researchers adopt higher testing standards." Click here for short video explaining the findings.
May 11, 2016
17-year study (1995-2012) suggests gov't-sponsored killing sends negative signals about the value of wolves and increases inclination to poach wolves (see Youtube video). Examples of negative signals sent out by WI's state agency over the last 4 years include:
by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies; UW-Madison
August 7, 2015
This research suggests that killing wolves (government or regulated hunting) is not an effective method to increasing tolerance. The research may be helpful to inform other methods of interventions that will successfully increase tolerance.
by Hogberg et al.
An extensive, long-term UW-Madison study showed a decrease in people's tolerance of wolves extending thru the legislated wolf hunt of 2013. Increasing tolerance of wolves via a wolf hunt was promoted by the state agency, hunting groups and legislators as justification for a wolf hunt. Alternative strategies were suggested including other research showing public education promoting benefits of carnivores as critical. The study surveyed the same individuals from 2001 thru 2013.
Research (pdf link) shows core habitat for wolves represents the highest risk to dogs in Wisconsin. Since hunters "voluntarily" place their dogs at risk, this research proposes an alternative compensation model based on the fact that wildlife is intended for public lands and with that comes an accepted level of risk. Some proposed recommendations: compensation based on habitat which determines level of risk; public vs. private land; Reduction of bear-baiting (WI-141 days vs. MN-14 days); . Livestock compensations have been adjusted recently; hound depredations have not and they are individually the most costly.
"In Wisconsin, as in many other states and countries, wolves are now a part of the landscape and with this comes responsibility, for both the government (under the public-trust doctrine) and the private individual, to mitigate conflicts with wolves."
"Utility of livestock- protection dogs for deterring wildlife from livestock farms"
by Gehring et al.
Great Lakes region livestock producers face unique challenges not only from predators but wildlife such as ungulates that can transfer infectious diseases such as bovine tuberculosis to their cattle as well. The research results "provided evidence that LPDs are an effective non-lethal management tool for deterring wolves,coyotes and deer from livestock pastures."
Zachary K. Voyles
"...there is no evidence to suggest that increased hunter take has reduced complaints in Wisconsin...Wisconsin’s bear harvest is not designed at a spatial scale on par with nuisance bears or bear complaints. " Voyles suggests using community members to promote nonlethal measures such as removal of bird feeders, bear-proof containers and promotion of coexistence in general.
In the end, there is no evidence/research to suggest that killing bears is nothing more than a recreational activity that orphans bear cubs with little chance for survival.
2001-2012: Mail surveys and focus groups consisting of bear hunters, deer hunters and livestock owners illustrated that wolf hunts (legalized lethal control) was not found to increase tolerance.
January 5, 2015
Wisconsin-Madison botany professor stated, "Those habitat conditions are deteriorating. It’s a clear signal that we should back off on the density of deer we maintain.” Less wildflowers and regrowth of trees along with a link to decline in songbirds suggested and harm to soil. Link here for research:
Removing protections for wolves not only ignores scientific research but will ultimately strip protections for all species and their habitat.
50 European wildlife biologists suggest that positive public attitude and support along with strong protections illustrate that "...large carnivores can coexist with large numbers of people…"
25 December 2014
"With increasing calls to make policy science-based, political abuse is likely to become more common…"
03 December 2014; "Effects of Wolf mortality on livestock depredations": "Lethal control of wolves appears to be related to increased depredations in a larger area the following year…"
2014; "Heavily hunted wolves have higher stress and reproductive steroids than wolves with lower hunting pressure"; Bryan, Smits, Koren, Paquet, Wynne-Edwards, Musiani.
"Pendulum swings in wolf…."
"To our knowledge, this research provides the first demonstrated link between illegal wildlife killing (in Wisconsin) and management authority under the Endangered Species Act, and suggests that illegal behavior may be moderated with responsible and effective wildlife management programs. We recommend states avoid prescriptive harvest legislation, and we suggest a more incremental shift from federal to state management authority." (see Pdf doc. below)
"Trophic Cascades from Wolves to Grizzly Bears in Yellowstone", 2013; Ripple, Beschhta, Fortin & Robbins. Rare evidence that shows berries as food source for grizzly bears increased following the introduction of Gray Wolves in Yellowstone: Wolves keep elk moving which allows bushes to grow to produce berries.
10 January 2014
"Status and Ecological Effects of the World's Largest Carnivores";
William J. Ripple et al.
"Large carnivores face enormous threats that have caused massive declines in their populations and ...
Wildlife: Denali Wolf packs hammered by hunting“We noticed that human-caused mortality rates were highest during the winter and spring, which correspond to the pre-breeding and breeding seasons for wolves,” said Laura Prugh, co-author and wildlife ecologist at the UAF Institute of Arctic Biologist. “Harvest may lower the odds of pack survival because of this timing, especially when pack sizes are small.”..."Wolf advocates say lack of Denali buffer has economic consequences"; 07/13/2014. (see following pdf for peer-reviewed research pertaining to this article regarding impacts of breeder loss).
Density Dependent Instraspecific aggression regulates survival in Northern Yellowstone Wolves, Journal of Animal Ecology; Cubaynes, MacNulty,Stahler, Quimby, Smith, Coulson (May 2014): 13-year study suggests wolves regulate their numbers; when population increases wolf pack mortality increases.
Fauna & Flora International (May 2014); "Dead or Alive: Comparing costs and benefits of lethal and non-lethal human-wildlife conflict mitigation on livestock farms"; McManus, Dickman, Gaynor, Smuts, Macdonald. "Non-lethal measures were cheaper than lethal control on 91% of the farms in the first year of implementation."
"Reducing numbers of one carnivore species indirectly leads to extinction of others" 04/09/2014 by for Biodiversity's Sake, originally published in journal of Ecology Letters, 02/28/2013.
Biology Letters; Krumm, Conner, Hobbs, Hunter, Miller, "Mountain lions prey selectively on prion-infected mule deer"; (October 2009) "mountain lions were selecting for infected individuals when they targeted adult deer...predators like wolves and coyotes select prey disproportionately if they appear impaired by malnutrition,age or disease."
"Final Review of Proposed Rule regarding Wolves" (January 2014) pdf
USFWS-appointed biologists unanimously conclude flawed process in delisting of wolves.
"Effects of Sport Hunting on Cougar Population, Community and Landscape Ecology"; 15-yr. research out of Washington's Large Carnivore Conservation Lab - as hunting increases so do cougar conflicts.
"Effects of Remedial Sport Hunting on Cougar Complaints and Livestock Depredations" (11/19/2013); Peebles, Wielgus, Maletzke, Swanson