Methods & Practices that Promote Coexistence
(Note: Much of the information gathered on this topic on this page come from these sources: People and Carnivores, Western Wildlife Outreach, Living with Wolves, National Resources Defense Council, Keystone Conservation & their websites and full documents are posted on this page)
When developing strategies for reducing risk to livestock and fostering coexistence, one must look at the situation from the perspective of the wolf. Wolves are opportunistic hunters so when hunting their prey, they often focus on the weakest animals in a herd and are experts at detecting injured or diseased animals. Additionally, wolves are very good at detecting when a healthy prey animal is at a disadvantage - hindered from escape by deep snow for example. Along with being natural hunters, wolves are also scavengers, meaning that they will feed on and be attracted to dead animals and rotting carcasses. It is common for wolves to be blamed for kills when they have been scavenging on a carcass, leaving the true cause of death undetermined.
Below you will find a brief explanation of some of the more utilized non lethal and preventative measures which are intended to help livestock producers minimize the risk of wolf depredation on livestock along with a section about culling wolves/removal of "problem" wolves.
The risk of depredation will vary depending on individual locations
and each individual situations of each rancher. To remain effective, it is recommended that methods and devices, used to prevent depredation, vary and switch to keep wolves from getting used to them and losing their natural wariness. Wolves are quick learners and can overcome their fear of scare devices, especially if exposed to the same devices repeatedly for a long time. Increasing a predator's perception of risk can help reduce the chances of depredation, but being proactive to prevent predators from being attracted to livestock operations is the best strategy of all.
Progressive livestock producers combine good husbandry with knowledge of land conservation and wildlife behaviour. Establishing a balance and measure of predictability with carnivores requires creativity, flexibility, commitment and patience. While the number of progressive ranchers are increasing, they are still a minority. They garner respect not only for their courage in working towards coexisting with predators, but in standing between the wolf and it's would be hunter, sometimes alone and against the tide of old prejudices that continue to persist in many communities.
"Effective management of predator damage is also a conservation issue, and the edges - that is the intersections of carnivores, people and livestock- are where efforts need to be focused."
~ John A Shivik, Utah State University, USDA/APHIS/WS National Wildlife Research Center Predator Research Center
Wolves, like all canines, have an excellent sense of smell and can detect prey miles away. An appealing scent is enough to draw any predator into an area, including grazing ranchlands. Any dead or dying animal left out in the open is an attractant for scavengers and can be easily identified by predators as easy prey. When wolves become used to an easily attained food source they will often return to the area which can then increase the risk of depredation. As a general practice, carcasses should be removed as soon as possible to avoid attracting predators to the area. Many livestock producers accomplish this by carcass burial (in pits or dumps on their property, incineration, and/or composting. An electric fence is often added to the perimeter of a carcass pit to deter scavengers and other predators from entering.
Carcass removal programs are another alternative if constructing a carcass pit or burying carcasses is not an option. These programs have proven highly effective at reducing conflicts with bears and wolves. The carcasses are picked up weekly during busy periods (calving season) and deposited in a composting facility surrounded by electric fencing. Many regions in Alberta are slowly adopting this practice as a way of reducing conflicts and getting rid of carcasses.
Check out this video trailer: People and Carnivores: Boneyards, Bears and Wolves - Trailer
Erecting Barriers: Fencing, Fladry & Penning
Throughout North America, Europe and Asia, the use of barriers has been effective to deter predators such as wolves and bears. Some fencing techniques are permanent and some are portable and can be used with good results even in open range situations. To increase the effectiveness of fencing, many other techniques are used in combination such as electrified fencing and use of fladry - hanging a series of red/orange cloth flags at 18 inch intervals along a thin rope. The flagged rope can be used alone or strung up along a fence line.
Fencing used specifically to deter wolves and other predators from livestock is most effective for smaller numbers of livestock, when installed around a smaller acreage or pasture, or when livestock is gathered in a reasonable protected area.
Types of fencing vary and may include strand electric, mesh panels or other hard barriers. It is also important to note that a large number of large scale grazing operations use barbed wire fencing. This type of fencing is generally designed to keep livestock in and not deter predators from entering pastures. Predators can easily pass through or go under or over barbed wire fences.
- Permanent Fencing: Must be sturdy, free of gaps, and tall enough to keep predators from getting over it. Wolves and coyotes will also dig in order to get to their prey or food source. This requires the bottom electric wire to be placed no more than 6 inches from the ground (People and Carnivores). Non electric wire fence should be buried and anchored. Studies have shown that, the closer the fenced livestock is to human habitation, the less depredation occurs. The drawbacks of using permanent fencing include cost, maintenance and time.
- Portable Fencing: Since permanent fencing is generally not a practical solution for preventing depredation on large grazing allotments or large operations, portable fencing may be an alternative and can be constructed from various types of materials. Other kinds of temporary and/or portable fencing can be erected to protect vulnerable animals at critical times such as calving/lambing.
- Fladry and Turbofladry: Flady was first used by hunters in Europe to direct wolves into an specific area and trap them. Wolves were then afraid to cross the fladry barrier and were shot. In Canada and the USA, researches have adapted the fladry technique as a non lethal tool for keeping wolves and other predators out of livestock areas. Something about the movement of the flags causes the wolf to remain outside the line of fladry. Studies done in Washington by the Department of Fish and Wildlife used this method successfully to protect a cow carcass for a prolonged period of time. Remote cameras also showed wolves making frequent attempts to approach the carcass, but tracks and camera images determined that the fladry was not breached.
Turbofladry was developed by researchers in Idaho. Turbofladry is basically fladry hung on an electrified fence line powered by solar powered batteries. Predators that then try to cross the barrier experience an electric shock.
Fladry fences are less expensive to produce than permanent fencing. It is also fairly easy to move and can be set up over large areas with minimal manpower. Regular maintenance of flady is required in order to be successful. Fladry is most effective as a short term deterrent as wolves may lose their fear of fladry after a period of exposure. The utilization of turbofladry enhances the negative experience when predators come into contact with it and thus reduces the chances of wolves losing their fear of fladry and can extend the time that the barrier remains effective (Western Wildlife Outreach).
Bringing a herd or flock of livestock into temporary or permanent pens overnight is a strategy that can reduce depredation incidences if the flock is easily manageable. It requires the herd to be habituated to night penning. Additionally, a herding dog may help the process. Eventually, the animals should start heading to the night pens willingly. Another advantage of night penning is that many livestock producers have expressed the benefit of being able to frequently monitor the health of their animals. (Western Wildlife Outreach)
Birthing Pens are another form of temporary fencing (or permanent) where livestock animals are given extra protection during vulnerable times. Birthing on open grazing land is not recommended, especially in areas where predators are present. Birthing animals and newborns are very vulnerable to depredation. Additionally, blood and afterbirth are strong attractants to all predators and scavengers.
Working with Guard Animals
Using guardian animals is one of the oldest methods used to protect livestock. Livestock producers around the world have long relied on dogs to protect livestock from predators. In many instances, the mere presence of dogs is enough to keep predators away. The use of livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) in North America has been increasing since the mid 1970s. Common breeds used as LGDs include the Great Pyranees, Anatolian Shepherds, Akbash, Maremma, Komondor, and Alentejo Shepherds. LGDs are not to be mistaken for herding dogs as the two functions, guarding and herding, are quite different and other breeds are used to herd.
Properly reared LGD are exposed to livestock from birth so that they come to regard the livestock animals as an extension of their pack.
Instinct will do the rest. It is important that these dogs bond with livestock and not people and they should not be treated as pets. Desirable LGDs stay with their livestock and defend them by alerting people to the presence of predators rather than fighting off predators which can result in injury of death. It is typically advised that LGDs are supported with a human presence (such as a range rider or herder) who can aid in scaring predators away.
The effectiveness of using LGD:
Researchers in Massachusetts, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife Research Center in Colorado, and the United States Sheep Experiment Station in Idaho placed LGDs on farms and ranches throughout the United States to test the effectiveness of using guard dogs. Almost immediately, they received reports of fewer livestock losses from predators. Turkey and Italy also suggest that, if properly managed, LGDs can be effective in protecting livestock against various predators.
Other aggressive breeds of animals that are often used as guardian animals include donkeys, mules and llamas. Donkeys and
mules naturally hate dogs and are not afraid of them. They will associate with other species in the absence of their own kind. There is limited scientific literature available on the use of donkeys as guardians of sheep, cattle and goats against predators. A large number of livestock owners, however, do find them extremely effective in predator control. Low costs and compatibility with other predator control methods contribute to the popularity of their use.
Llamas are aggressive toward both dogs and coyotes and are the most
recent guard animal to be used for non lethal predator control. After spotting an intruder, most llamas will alarm, then charge toward the animal chasing it, kicking and pawing, and at times killing it. Llamas are easy to handle and can usually be trained in a short period of time. In a study done at the University of Iowa, llamas were utilized as a part of an integrated sheep protection program. The conclusion of the study revealed that 95 percent of all llamas used became effective guard animals. Once a llama becomes familiar with an area and is attached to the sheep, the pasture becomes the llama’s territory and the flock becomes the llama’s family group. The Iowa study indicated that depredation was higher in flocks with more than one llama. This research group experienced seven percent loss to predators with the use of multiple llamas compared with one percent loss in flocks protected by one llama so it is recommended that only a couple of donkeys/llamas should be used because they may herd by themselves ignoring the flock.The study also showed that introducing a llama to a flock in a corral resulted in less depredation than those that were first placed in an open field with their new flock. Even though the Iowa study didn’t involve the use of llamas as guard animals with cattle, many Missouri cattle producers utilize them with productive results and report that llamas seem to bond with the cattle just as easily as they do with sheep or goats.
Switching Grazing Sites
Relocating livestock to an alternate grazing site may sometimes be necessary and often as a last resort because proactive measures cannot always be implemented quickly. In some regions in North America, conservation groups or land trusts have purchased grazing permits from livestock owners on a voluntary basis to stop conflict and lethal wolf control. This approach has enabled livestock producers to continue raising livestock in other areas where opportunities for conflict are minimal.
Full scale studies have shown that both livestock and the land benefit when rotating grazing sites. Alternatively, small scale, strictly applied rotational grazing has proven to be of little benefit. Cooperative agreements to temporarily switch or permanently retire grazing lands can help reduce depredation and provide benefits to other wildlife species.
Such methods don't go without critics though who argue that these approaches promote wolves over livestock on public lands. However, according to Defenders of Wildlife, there are many examples of ranchers, conservationists and government officials successfully working together to adjust the timing and location of grazing allotments to minimize wildlife conflicts and still allow livestock grazing activities to continue.
Lastly, switching grazing sites may only need to be done temporarily as depredation often occurs during times when livestock are most vulnerable - calving periods or when grazing occurs near den sites in the spring when wolves are feeding offspring.
Rotating grazing sites can present at a challenge because of many
factors. The logistics of the move, the costs associated with it as well as conflicting viewpoints of all stakeholders all contribute to the barriers. Defenders of Wildlife state , "... it can also be an opportunity to bring people together to jointly find a solution that helps the producer, the livestock and the wolves."
Louise Liebenberg (owner/operator of The Grazerie Ranch speaks about successful coexistence with wildlife:
Working with Ranchers to Protect Livestock and Wolves:
Using Guard Animals to Protect Livestock:
Living with Livestock and Wolves:
Livestock Management for Coexistence with Large Carnivores, Health Land and Productive Ranches:
Livestock Guardian Dogs - Texas A&M
Predator control should not be a shot in the dark
Increasing Human Presence: Range Riders & Herders
Livestock losses from wolves often happens when ranchers are unaware that there is even a wolf pack nearby or when livestock are left out to graze on their own with little or no supervision. Increasing the human presence on a range with riders, herders or shepherds allows for livestock to be monitored frequently, allows for wolf activity to be monitored and their behaviour patterns altered, and is one of the best ways to deter wolves and other predators.
Interestingly, shepherding is among the oldest occupations, beginning some 5,000 years ago Asia where sheep were kept for their milk, meat and wool. Over the next thousand years, sheep and shepherding spread throughout Eurasia and other parts of the world. In order to maintain a large flock, sheep had to have been able to move from pasture to pasture. This required the development of an occupation separate from that of the farmer. The duty of shepherds was to keep their flock intact, protect it from predators and guide it to market areas in time for shearing.
Since the 1980s, studies have repeatedly proven that timely husbandry is a necessity to decreasing the risks of depredation. Wolves are naturally wary of humans and will routinely avoid livestock when humans are nearby. Therefore, increasing human presence on the range with riders or herders allows for livestock and predator activities to be monitored more frequently and intensively and is a good way to keep predators away. The main methods of human presence are as follows:
Shepherds: a person who tends to, herds, feeds and/or guards herds of animals.
Herders: someone who keeps herd animals together in a flock or group
Range riders: individuals hired to monitor a herd (typically cattle and
horses), spend time with a herd, and be present to watch livestock, monitor for wolf tracks and scat, and keep an eye on the whole operation.
The most effective human presence is an experienced range rider/herder who is aware of his/her surroundings, is familiar with the terrain, and who knows the characteristics of the livestock breed and their behaviours. Range riders can check for unusual agitation in livestock that may indicate predators are in the area. Riders can also listen for howling and look for other signs that predators are present such as tracks, and scat. A good range rider will learn how to distinguish wolf signs from those of other predators and will be able to assess conditions that may make livestock more vulnerable to wolves, avoiding these areas when present. Range riders also detect livestock losses early. The early detection of the carcass, before it was scavenged, helps alleviate confusion over what predator species killed the livestock and riders can see that the carcass gets removed and disposed of quickly. Range Riders can also be used to haze and harass wolves that may show interest in livestock but are not actively attempting to kill livestock. Ideally, a Range Rider can reduce the frequency of encounters between wolves and livestock thus decreasing the likelihood of depredation. Unlike cowboys of the past, range riders of today may perform their jobs using a variety of transportation methods: horseback, truck, ATV, dirk bikes or motorbikes. They often rely on modern day tools as well such as cell phones, radios, GPS and computers.
Cattle on public grazing lands are often spread out across wide areas, which may include rugged, partially forested land. Range riders then, have to cover a lot of ground and may not be in the tight location at the right time to respond to wolves. Even so, the chances of preventing a loss are better than in locations where human presence is limited. In a range rider study, sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife between the year 2005-2008, there was a reported low to zero loss of livestock in comparison to the higher losses recorded before riders were used.
Riders and herders can monitor livestock closely, and provide other advantages as well such as preventing livestock from overgrazing sensitive landscapes and stream beds, reducing chances of livestock theft and detecting early signs of illness/injury and even the presence of toxic plants that may harm livestock.
Key Factors for Increasing Range Rider and Herder Effectiveness:
- Monitor the land regularly and ideally when wolves are most active
- Cattle and sheep require the most protecting at vulnerable times such as calving, lambing and early turnout.
- Pay particular attention to the behavior of horses and dogs. They are usually aware of predator presence before humans.
- Consider modifying grazing practices. Bunching cattle together and moving them often will make it more difficult for predators to isolate an animal than to pursue individual animals dispersed across a vast landscape.
Using Scare Tools & Tactics
Scientists and other researchers are continuously developing and testing methods to keep livestock safe from predators. In North America, the use of alarm systems and non lethal ammunition have proven to be effective in many cases. Some methods require aquiring government permits along with training.
Alarms: Alarms and other scare devices used to deter predators include any kind of sound and/or light system that emits signals to scare predators away from livestock. They are best used where livestock are kept in close proximity to each other or confined.
- RAG box's (Radio activated guard systems): Consist of a receiver, two loud speakers, a bright strobe light, and an internal computer that collects and stores information received from transmitters on the wolves' radio collars. The boxes are triggered when a wolf, wearing an activated radio collar approaches within a certain distance of the box. The flashing lights and noise usually scare off wolves and reduce their interest to enter the or remain in the area. To keep wolves from getting used to one sound, RAG boxes produce different kinds of alternating sounds from sirens, to human voices, to gunshots, to helicopters, etc. Wolves often lose fear of these devices if exposed to them repeatedly and so they are most effective as a temporary deterrent. Another obvious drawback to the use of RAG boxes is that they only work for radio collared wolves. Studies by the USDA Wildlife Services found that RAG boxes are most effective for small pastures (60 acres or less). The boxes are not designed to protect cattle in large, open range operations. In a study done in Idaho in 2001, 4 wolves out of 8 pack members from the White Hawk pack were fitted with radio collars. When they moved into the the proximity of range land, researchers placed 5 RAG boxes in range to protect approximately 70% of the 1000 cow-calf pairs that grazed on the small pastures from late February to May. They found that through March, the RAG boxes activated 10 times in response to radio collared wolves. During this time, no calves were killed. The White Hawk pack was present near the fields almost every night for another 25 days and the RAG box computers indicated that the scare devices were activated when the wolves were present. The computers also recorded wolves leaving the pastures after the devices had fired. Eventually, the pack got used to the devices and started to staying near them after activation - stressing the importance that other non lethal measures are needed in conjunction with RAG box use or use of this tactic is only a short term solution. Other motion detecting devices and lights have also been used with varying degrees of success.
Non lethal ammunition/Hazing: Use of hazing tools is regulated in North America and in some area not permitted or legal. We mention it here because it is an method being utilized in some parts of North America with varying success rates and to illustrate that options exist even if not permitted to be used in this province yet. Non lethal ammunition either makes a loud explosive sound to scare predators away (ie. fire cracker shells) or strikes an animal with enough force to frighten it away (rubber bullets, bean bag shells, paintballs). There are some defects to using these methods. Wolves may learn to avoid the shooter but not the pasture/livestock as they become accustomed to the noise/ tactic. Another drawback is that this method requires constant human presence and diligence when using and it is not always 100% reliable. Additionally, it can also cause serious injury to the animal by hitting it in an eye or other vulnerable body part. Finally, the use of cracker shells in dry areas or fire hazard zones risks ignition from sparks.
Bio-fencing: There has been limited research on the use and effectiveness of bio-fencing as a wolf deterrent. According to sources, the way that it works is by utilizing strong odors in wolf urine (gathered from captive wolves) to make a spray that can be used to create a "bio-fence" around the area where livestock is to be protected. The urine of wolves from an unknown pack may act as a biological barrier that keeps wolves from entering the target pasture. Drawback include production difficulty and availability of wolf urine but has shown promising results when used in some regions of the USA.
Other Methods Worth Considering
Many ranchers and farmers co-exist with wildlife including predators and they often do so in their own way, relying on their own ingenuity to ward off predators and protect their livestock. Other methods used by livestock operators to prevent wolf-livestock conflicts are anecdotal and often involve approaches and techniques not yet scientifically analyzed or studied completely.
- Aggressive Livestock Breeds: Some livestock owners utilize long steers in their herds as this breed is known for it's aggression towards predators and thus, like other more popular guard animals, discourages the wolf. Other aggressive breeds that show similar behaviour are Brahman and Corrientes. Brahman also have superior maternal instincts which helps to protect calves. Some drawbacks to using these breeds are that they may pose an increased risk to people and pets on public land.
- Herding Methods: Different types of herding methods may play a role in discouraging predator attacks on livestock. One such method involves modelling livestock management on the grazing patterns and cycles of large wild herds. It is based on the idea that herding is the natural defense of ungulates that are threatened by predators such as wolves. With many eyes to detect danger, it is one of nature's most effective defenses against predators. Additionally, it is more difficult and dangerous for wolves to isolate and target animals from a herd than to pursue individual animals dispersed over a large land area. Natural defense behaviours in cattle have been somewhat lost however, research has indicated that instincts and courage can return and behaviours relearned when stock owners and range riders reform their herds. Older animals can then teach defensive behaviours to younger animals. Benefits with this kind of stewardship include easier handling, herding and roundup.
Another practice involves modeling livestock grazing patterns on the natural grazing patterns of large wild ungulate herds, as compared to the common practice of simply turning out livestock to disperse over large land areas with little supervision and intermittent care. This newer method involve moving high density herds of livestock through a series of small pastures - similar to rotational grazing but more flexible and by taking cues from nature rather than a fixed schedule. This benefits the land as the movement of livestock optimizes differing plant species at their peak nutritional value, minimizes overgrazing of desirable plants, enhances soil stability, function and ability to hold moisture, and prevents sediment loss. New grazing patterns like this resemble the fluid grazing patterns of wild ungulate herds that are kept on the move by predators and it allows the land to recover. Additionally, this type of grazing prevents the scattering of animals that makes them vulnerable to depredation. These techniques have been applied to grasslands, shrub land, savannas, and woodlands dispelling the myth that these techniques only work on specific landscapes.
There is some promising research that has shown that running sheep and cattle together (called a flerd) can reduce predator losses. In order for mixed species grazing to be effective as a predator deterrent though, the sheep and cattle must bond together. Young lambs can be bonded with cattle by penning them in confinement close to the cattle.
When bonded lambs and cattle are turned out to pasture, the lambs will follow the cattle. When they are threatened by a predator, the lambs will run and huddle among the cattle. This practice is most relevant for open range situations.
- Calving strategies: Scheduling and managing condensed calving seasons, in predator occupied areas, has many advantages. Not only can this reduce conflicts with predators when livestock are vulnerable, but it allows for livestock producers to monitor the calving period more closely and to address problems sooner if they arise.
Culling Wolves/Predators & Eliminating "Problem" Wolves
Lethal control measures are common responses to depredation events, however, lethal wolf control is more likely to increase depredation, as it is difficult to identify and target the individual wolf/wolves responsible even by experts. Studies also indicate that, even if individual wolves are
selectively targeted and killed, depredation may still occur as pack disorganization can promote new individuals and/or new packs of carnivores into the territory which can have a greater impact on property and livestock (Treves, A. (2009). Hunting for large carnivore conservation. Journal of Applied Ecology , 46, 1350-1356).
Studies have shown that killing wolves at random increases the risks of livestock depredation as family packs become fragmented and, often times, the inexperienced and desperate pack members that are left, turn to easier prey , often being livestock. Additionally, orphan wolves and fragmented packs become vulnerable to other packs that may come in and take over the territory - which may also bring depredation problems. Effectiveness of Lethal, Directed Wolf-
Depredation Control in Minnesota. (2008). The Journal of Wildlife Management , 72 (3), 778-783.)
'The traditional approach to reducing livestock depredation by wolves is to cull as many wolves as possible near ranching operations. Numerous recent studies are showing that this lethal approach is having the opposite effect of reducing livestock depredation.
Wielgus et al. (2014) studied 25 years of wolf depredation statistics in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Their findings confirmed that the year following the lethal wolf cull, there was an 8-9% increase in livestock depredation by wolves. This is explained by the phenomena that exploited packs will produce more breeding pairs to restore the wolf population. These new breeding pairs do not have additional wolves to hunt their traditional wild prey, so they go after the easy livestock kills to feed their pups.
Harper et al. (2008) studied the effects of lethal wolf culls in Minnesota. They reached the same conclusion as the Wielgus study that killing high number of wolves did not result in reduced livestock depredations, but just the opposite. Livestock depredations are up in years following the lethal wolf killing'.
While some government agencies use poison or distribute poison to ranchers, most people have an aversion to the use of toxicants. The dangers of poison on the landscape, along with more guns, and more traps outweigh the the safety concerns of predator presence on the landscape.
The use of bounties (both wolf and coyote) as a means to deal with depredation issues has also proven to be non effective - again targeting all wolves and not specifically "problem" wolves. Ontario ended coyote culls years ago as bounties proved ineffective at lessening populations and predation problems. Coyote bounties in the past have led to rodent
problems which in turn, became a problem for farmers and their crops. Similarly, in the MD of Greenview, after allowing a wolf bounty, many areas experienced an over population of elk which became a problem for their crops. Reducing wolf populations can lead to an increase in coyotes and ungulates, and a decrease in many other important animals (like beavers), within an ecosystem thus causing cascade effects - all from disrupting the ecological role of this keystone species.
GENERAL TIPS FOR COEXISTING WITH PREDATORS FOR EVERYONE
At Your Home:
While Camping, Hiking, Outdoors:
In Your Community:
- Do not feed wolves and other wildlife
- Since garbage can attract wolves and other wildlife, keep garbage in a secure location
- Do not leave any food outside, including scraps, pet food, or livestock feed. When possible, feed animals inside.
- Keep dogs under supervision. Wolves can be highly territorial toward other canids
- Do not leave pets outside unattended, especially at night
- Take steps to avoid rodent infestations as they can attract predators
- Avoid ornamental fruit trees or pick up fruit immediately if any has fallen - fruit may attract predators to your yard
- Avoid having bird feeders in your yard as these may also be predator attractants
While Camping, Hiking, Outdoors:
- Never feed, approach, or allow wolves to come near, or they may lose their fear of people.
- Do not bury garbage. If you pack it in – pack it out!
- Keep a clean and orderly camp. Cook and store food away from sleeping areas. Suspend food, toiletries, garbage and other loose objects on a rope between trees, or in secured kayak hatches, out of reach of wildlife. Wolves have been reported removing personal and other non-food items from campsites.
- Stay away from fresh wolf kills or other carcasses you may come across, as well as avoid dens, and rendezvous sites.
- Wash dishes in a container and dispose of grey water in an outhouse or toilet, not on the ground or in the forest, or even in your fire pits.
- Near the coast use areas below high tide mark, away from camp, in an area of high tidal exchange for toilets – do not use the upland areas, wolves will feed on human excrement.
- Keep dogs on leash to avoid encounters. If you encounter a wolf, make the dog heel next to you immediately. Standing between the dog and the wolf often ends the encounter, but never try to break up a fight between a wolf and a dog.
- Read a news articles from 2016 regarding wolves becoming conditioned to trash left at campsites: Bow Valley Wolf Pack
In Your Community:
- Remind your neighbors to never feed wolves and other wildlife.
- Promote the reduction of potential wildlife food sources in and around your community.
- Notify authorities about wolves or other wildlife that seem comfortable around people, seek human food, or frequent human areas. Early intervention can keep a problem from getting worse.