As the Wood River Wolf Project enters its sixth year, new challenges come into play, but the spirit of collaboration that led to the past five years of success is ...
Paul White's insight:
"The Wood River Wolf Project was initiated in 2008 to demonstrate the use of nonlethal deterrents to prevent livestock and predator losses in our project area. Over the past five years, documented sheep losses to wolves in the project area have been far lower than wolf range in other parts of the state during the same period (see map below with last year’s estimates). Last year, we protected more than 27,000 sheep in our 1,000-square mile project area and lost only four in one accidental encounter with an undocumented wolf pack."
Healthy ecosystems need top predators regulating the population of key species. In the Aysén Region, pumas and culpeo foxes are the most significant carnivores, but their numbers have dwindled due to hunting to protect domestic livestock. With ranching a centerpiece of the regional economy and ranchers eager to protect their herd, pumas and foxes continue to be shot, even though doing so violates Chilean law. Protecting livestock from these predators would mitigate the incentive to kill pumas and foxes.
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