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The Fight Over the Most Polarizing Animal in the West | Outside Online

The Fight Over the Most Polarizing Animal in the West Politics OutsideOnline com

Wolflandia: The Fight Over the Most Polarizing Animal in the WestTwenty years after wolves were reintroduced in the Northern Rockies, many politicians would still love to see them eradicated, and hunters and ranchers are allowed to kill them by the hundreds. But the animals are not only surviving—they're thriving, and expanding their range at a steady clip. For the people who live on the wild edges of wolf country, their presence can be magical and maddening at once.


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I'm surprised by this:

"In 2013, a portion of Wildlife Services’ $84 million budget went toward killing 321 wolves and 75,000 coyotes."

Our town has large amounts of coyotes living very close or within residential neighborhoods, in Summer I hear large groups of them howling every night.  It is ill advised to let pets off leash around here, many people have had their dogs lured and attacked by coyote packs, so here it seems like they have increased in numbers, which surprises me, if they are killing 75,000/year.  Maybe ours have moved from the woods to town, so it just seems like there is more of them?

That's a plausible explanation -- there's not more of them but it seems like there's more. 

Coyotes in the wild have a pretty short life span (3 years). Only the alpha pair are allowed to mate and they have 4 - 7 pups per year.  I have no idea how many alpha pairs there are in the wild but that would help us determine if 75,000 is a lot or notsomuch.

"Indisciminate killing of coyotes... increases the population."

I've heard that.  That if you kill the alpha female, all the other females will immediately go into heat.  A better reducer is: 

"Wolves are natural predators of coyotes, and where wolves have been reintroduced, coyote populations have been reduced by 50 percent"

Now if we can just get that Southern Oregon Wolf and his family to make their way further South ;)

Wow.  Because larger litters!

Yes because large litters. I wonder if there's a way to get the Southern Oregon Wolf to migrate.

Immediately envisioned a trail of sheep crumbs.

trail of sheep


I am disappoint that no wolf is following them.

The 1994 EIS tried to give local stakeholders an idea of what to expect, predicting that a fully recovered wolf population in the Yellowstone area would take a yearly toll of 19 cattle, 68 sheep, and 1,200 ungulates. In central Idaho, wolves would kill 10 cattle, 57 sheep, and 1,650 ungulates per year. Annual livestock depredations would cost between $4,000 and $50,000 in the entire recovery region, and the total loss to the hunter economy would range from $1.6 million to $3 million. However, the EIS anticipated that wolves would give back more than they took, drawing an increased number of tourists and generating a yearly “existence value” of about $17 million.

On the surface, it seems like the economic benefits dwarf the costs, but when it comes to how those benefits and costs are viewed by the public, the picture isn’t so clear. The risks associated with wolves are tied to obvious financial impacts, while the alleged benefits are more abstract and economically dispersed. When a wolf pack kills a calf in a frozen field, it leaves bones and gore scattered on blood-stained snow. The loss to the rancher can be counted in dollars and cents. The same goes for the subsistence hunter accustomed to filling his freezer with several hundred pounds of elk meat every autumn who suddenly has to replace that game with store-bought beef.

That economic argument is fascinating, that wolves give more than they take.

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