Published papers | Academic journals | News media
- Paying for Tolerance? The impact of depredation and compensation payments on rural citizens' attitudes toward wolves. Naughton-Treves, Lisa; Grossberg, Rebecca; Treves, Adrian. (2003) Conservation Biology. Vol 17, No 6, Dec 2003. Pages 1500-1511.
As wolf populations recover in Wisconsin, U.S.A., their depredations on livestock, pets and hunting dogs have increased. We used a mail-back survey to assess 535 rural citizens' tolerance for wolves and their preferences regarding 'problem wolf ' management. Specifically, we tested whether people who had lost domestic animals to wolves or other predators were less tolerant of wolves than neighboring residents who had not, and whether compensation payments improved tolerance for wolves. We assessed tolerance via proxy measures related to an individual's preferred wolf population size for Wisconsin and the likelihood s/he would shoot a wolf. We also measured individuals' approval of lethal control and other wolf management tactics under five conflict scenarios. Multivariate analysis revealed that the strongest predictor of tolerance was cohort: bear hunters were concerned about losing valuable hounds to wolves and were more likely to approve of lethal control and reducing the wolf population than were livestock producers, followed by general residents. To a lesser degree, education level, experience of loss, and gender were also significant. Livestock producers and bear hunters who had been compensated for their losses to wolves were no more tolerant than their counterparts who alleged a loss but received no compensation. Yet all respondents approved of compensation payments as a management strategy. Our results indicate that deep-rooted social identity and occupation are more powerful predictors of tolerance to wolves than individual encounters with these large carnivores.
- Non-Lethal Techniques for Managing Predation: Primary and Secondary Repellents. Shivik, John A.; Treves, Adrian; Callahan, Peggy. (2003) Conservation Biology. Vol 17, No 6, Dec 2003. Pages 1531-1537.
ABSTRACT: Conservation biology requires the development of practical tools and techniques to minimize conflicts arising from human modification of ecosystems. We applied behavioral theory of primary and secondary repellents to predator management by using aversive stimulus devices (electronic training collars) and disruptive stimulus devices (behavior-contingent audio and visual repellents) in a multipredator (Canis lupus, Haliacetus leucocephalus, Ursus spp.) study in the United States. we examined fladry and a newly developed disruptive stimulus device contingent upon behavior on six wolf territories in Wisconsin, (USA) and determined that the disruptive stimulus device gave the greatest degree of protection from predation. We also compared the efficacy of a primary repellent (disruptive stimulus device) versus a secondary repellent (electronic training collars) to keep captive wolves from consuming a food source. Disruptive stimulus devices effectively prevented captive wolves from consuming the food source, but did not produce an aversion to that food resource. With training collars, logistical and behavioral variability limited our ability to condition wolves. Our studies highlight the complexity of application of nonlethal techniques in real-world situations.
- Predicting Human-Carnivore Conflict: a Spatial Model Derived from 25 years of Data on Wolf Predation on Livestock. Treves, Adrian; Naughton-Treves, Lisa; Harper, Elizabeth K.; Mladenoff, David J.; Rose, Robert A.; Sickley, Theodore A.; Wydeven, Adrian, P. (2004) Conservation Biology. Vol 18, No 1, Feb 2004. Pages 114-125.
ABSTRACT: Many carnivore populations escaped extinction during the twentieth century as a result of legal protections, habitat restoration, and changes in public attitudes. However, encounters between carnivores, livestock, and humans are increasing in some areas, raising concerns about the costs of carnivore conservation. We present a method to predict sites of human-carnivore conflicts regionally, using as an example the mixed forest-agriculture landscapes of Wisconsin and Minnesota (U.S.A.). W used a matched-pair analysis of 17 landscape variables in a geographic information system to discriminate affected areas at two spatial scales (townships and farms). Wolves (Canis lupus) selectively preyed on livestock in townships with high proportions of pasture and high densities of deer (Odocoileua virginianus) combined with low proportions of crop lands, coniferous forest, herbaceous wetlands, and open water. These variables plus road density and farm size also appeared to predict risk for individual farms when we considered Minnesota alone. In Wisconsin only, farm size, crop lands, and road density were associated wit5h the risk of wolf attack on livestock. At the level of townships, we generated two state-wide maps to predict the extent and location of future predation on livestock. Our approach can be applied wherever spatial data are available on sites of conflict between wildlife and humans.
- Wolf Depredation on Domestic Animals in Wisconsin, 1976-2000. Treves, Adrian; Jurewicz, Randle R.; Naughton-Treves, Lisa; Rose, Robert A.; Willging, Robert C.; Wydeven, Adrian, P. (2002) Wildlife Society Bulletin. 30(1):231-241.
ABSTRACT: As wolves recolonize mixed forest and agriculture areas in the Lake SUperior region of the UNited States, their depredations on livestock are increasing, along with public complaints and compensation payments. We documented 176 complaints about wolves in Wisconsin between 1976 and 2000 and analyzed the regional and temporal patterns for the 87 verified incidents involving the injury or death of 377 domestic animals. Calves were the most frequent target of wolf depredation, but game-farm deer losses demanded higher compensation payments. Sixty-six (66) property owners were affected by wolf depredations over the 25-year period examined. Compensation costs averaged $96.00 per capita of wolf/year. Two-thirds of 71 breeding wolf packs were never suspected of causing depredations, but 4 packs were involved in greater than or equal to 4 incidents. These data were collated to aid in preventing wolf depredation and provide a foundation for policy-making surrounding the impending federal delisting of the wolf.
- Characteristics of wolf packs depredating on domestic animals in Wisconsin, USA. In Predators and People: from conflict to conservation. Edited by Nina Fascione, Aimee Delach and Martin Smith. Island Press: Washington, D.C. Wydeven, Adrian, P.; Treves, Adrian; Brost, Brian; Wiedenhoeft, Jane E. (In press).
ABSTRACT: We have presented a case study of wolf depredation on domestic animals
that increases the predictability of such conflicts and thereby opens new
management options. Our demographic estimates of risk from a given wolf pack
can readily be combined with preexisting locational and temporal predictors of
conflict to focus outreach and reduce depredation problems. Also, our information
on characteristics of packs that attack dogs should be useful to hunters who use
hounds. Minimizing depredations is essential to maintaining public goodwill and
conserving resources and valued wildlife. Our case study was only possible
because Wisconsin invested substantially in the monitoring of its wolf population
and the investigation of depredation claims. Similar analyses might be profitably
done on other group-living carnivores where demographic features are suspected
to influence depredation behavior.