Why Killing Wolves Might Not Save Livestock
New study fuels debate over how to reduce attacks on cows and sheep.
In late August, a government sharpshooter in a helicopter hovering above a wooded eastern Washington hillside killed the lead female wolf of the Huckleberry Pack. The aim was to end attacks by the wolf pack, which had killed more than two dozen sheep.
But in the long run, a shooting like this could just make matters worse. A new study has found that—paradoxically—killing a wolf can increase the risk that wolves will prey on livestock in the future.
The research, published today in the scientific journal PLOS One, flies in the face of the common idea that the swiftest and surest way to deal with wolves threatening livestock is by shooting the predators. It adds to a growing understanding