Washington groups to get one-day notice of wolf culling

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Washington groups to get one-day notice of wolf culling

Post by Koa » Tue May 22, 2018 8:46 am

State vows to give one-day notice of culling wolfpacks
Don Jenkins, May 21
CAPITAL PRESS
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has promised to give a warning of one business day before culling a livestock-attacking wolfpack to give environmental groups time to seek a restraining order.
http://www.capitalpress.com/Livestock/2 ... -wolfpacks

I disagree with this completely. Environmental groups will now be able to delay or stop every culling they can when the culling may indeed be in the best interest of the wolves and of the people.
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Re: Washington groups to get one-day notice of wolf culling

Post by duskypack » Tue May 22, 2018 11:49 am

That's an interesting tidbit. I'd be curious to see what'll happen now that they have that information - and how they'll use it. It's nice that they listen to their environmental groups, even if I (begrudgingly) support wolf cullings.
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Re: Washington groups to get one-day notice of wolf culling

Post by alethe » Tue May 22, 2018 12:30 pm

i disagree with this as well. honestly, environmental groups (peta, the dodo, etc) tend to do more harm than good for animals in most cases. the wolves were being culled for a reason, and typically culling is only done if the population benefits from it. i only see these groups caring about individual animals, not the population as a whole.


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Re: Washington groups to get one-day notice of wolf culling

Post by Koa » Tue May 22, 2018 4:12 pm

duskypack wrote:That's an interesting tidbit. I'd be curious to see what'll happen now that they have that information - and how they'll use it. It's nice that they listen to their environmental groups, even if I (begrudgingly) support wolf cullings.
I agree that it’s good WDFW is listening to constituents and to environmental groups, but they have decided to listen at the wrong time for the wrong cause.
alethe wrote:i disagree with this as well. honestly, environmental groups (peta, the dodo, etc) tend to do more harm than good for animals in most cases. the wolves were being culled for a reason, and typically culling is only done if the population benefits from it. i only see these groups caring about individual animals, not the population as a whole.
Many environmental groups fail to acknowledge the adaptability and resilience of the wolf and do not give the wolf itself enough credit for being able to recover in the way that it has. They claim to be supportive of wolves but I argue they are doing the opposite out of zeal and ignorance.
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Re: Washington groups to get one-day notice of wolf culling

Post by Noctis_ » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:30 pm

The department’s policy on lethal control of wolves was influenced by a study funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that found partial pack removal was most effective in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming if done within seven days of a depredation. If wildlife managers waited 14 days, there was no difference between partial pack removal and doing nothing, according to the study.
Given this, I'd say delaying partial pack removal is counterproductive, since it seems they're only effective within a certain time frame. After that, the whole pack, I'd assume, would need to be culled, rather than only one or two individuals.

It doesn't look like this new policy has caused any problems yet, so we'll just have to see what environmental groups do when they begin receiving notices.
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Re: Washington groups to get one-day notice of wolf culling

Post by Flamesky » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:14 am

I would disagree with the idea that culling is always done in the best interests of the wolf population, especially if it's done on the behalf of ranchers who are grazing their cattle on public lands near wolf pack territory. Splintering a pack can actually lead to more altercations with livestock if you continue to graze cattle in that area. Personally I think culling should only be done as a last resort. I do agree that wolf populations are very resilient and people can underestimate how they recover quickly.
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Re: Washington groups to get one-day notice of wolf culling

Post by Koa » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:46 am

Flamesky wrote:I would disagree with the idea that culling is always done in the best interests of the wolf population, especially if it's done on the behalf of ranchers who are grazing their cattle on public lands near wolf pack territory. Splintering a pack can actually lead to more altercations with livestock if you continue to graze cattle in that area. Personally I think culling should only be done as a last resort. I do agree that wolf populations are very resilient and people can underestimate how they recover quickly.
I did say "may," not "always." And, according to this study, your first point regarding pack splintering by way of culling leading to increased altercations between wolves and cattle does not seem to hold water.

From "Wolf Lethal Control and Livestock Depredations: Counter-Evidence from Respecified Models":
There is widespread acceptance that increased lethal control of wolves reduces the number of livestock killed by wolves [1]. Such acceptance has been rarely subject to empirical scrutiny. To the best of Wielgus and Peebles’s [1] knowledge, to which we concur, the long term effectiveness of lethal wolf control–in reducing livestock depredation–has not been “rigorously tested.” In their recent article “Effects of wolf mortality on livestock depredations” published in this journal, Wielgus and Peebles [1] empirically tested the hypothesis that there is a negative relationship between the number of lethally-controlled wolves this year and the number of livestock depredated the following year. Based on statistical modeling, and in contrast to their hypothesis, Wielgus and Peebles [1] reported that the number of livestock depredated the following year was positively associated with the number of wolves killed the previous year. ... In the spirit of rigor, validity, and the pressing need for effective management and policy decisions, we proceeded to test the replicability of Wielgus and Peebles’s [1] findings, thanks to the open accessibility of this journal to the requisite data. ... The results of our replication suggest that Wielgus and Peebles’s [1] best models were misspecified; their conclusions do not hold in the respecified models. We present alternative conclusions given these new findings.

... We did not find any statistical support for the Wielgus and Peebles’s [1] findings in this replication. This could be because the original models were misspecified. Rather than more culling of wolves leading to more killings of livestock in the following year, our results indicate that more culling of wolves would lead to fewer killings of livestock in the following year than expected in the absence of culling. Two recent studies conducted at the wolf pack level also support our findings directly or indirectly. In the same study area, Bradley and others [3] report that compared to no removal, partial and full pack removal of wolves reduced the occurrence of subsequent livestock depredations by 29% and 79%, respectively, over a span of 5 years. Similarly in Idaho, it was found that killing of wolves would lead to decline in the recruitment (as measured by pup survival to 15 months) in wolf populations [2], which may in turn lead to fewer livestock depredations in subsequent years. How wolf populations respond to lethal control is a complex phenomenon. It seems that wolf removal reduces livestock depredations but the magnitude somewhat depends on the type and timing of removal and timing, as well as the recruitment behaviors of wolves.
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/artic ... ne.0148743

Contrary to your second point, Washington's wolf management plan does enact culling as a last resort, after non-lethal methods have been tried and failed and after wolves have preyed on livestock three times in a 30 day period or four times in a 10 month period.
https://www.agweb.com/mobile/article/wa ... ed-cattle/.
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Re: Washington groups to get one-day notice of wolf culling

Post by Flamesky » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:50 pm

Koa wrote:
I did say "may," not "always." And, according to this study, your first point regarding pack splintering by way of culling leading to increased altercations between wolves and cattle does not seem to hold water.

From "Wolf Lethal Control and Livestock Depredations: Counter-Evidence from Respecified Models":
There is widespread acceptance that increased lethal control of wolves reduces the number of livestock killed by wolves [1]. Such acceptance has been rarely subject to empirical scrutiny. To the best of Wielgus and Peebles’s [1] knowledge, to which we concur, the long term effectiveness of lethal wolf control–in reducing livestock depredation–has not been “rigorously tested.” In their recent article “Effects of wolf mortality on livestock depredations” published in this journal, Wielgus and Peebles [1] empirically tested the hypothesis that there is a negative relationship between the number of lethally-controlled wolves this year and the number of livestock depredated the following year. Based on statistical modeling, and in contrast to their hypothesis, Wielgus and Peebles [1] reported that the number of livestock depredated the following year was positively associated with the number of wolves killed the previous year. ... In the spirit of rigor, validity, and the pressing need for effective management and policy decisions, we proceeded to test the replicability of Wielgus and Peebles’s [1] findings, thanks to the open accessibility of this journal to the requisite data. ... The results of our replication suggest that Wielgus and Peebles’s [1] best models were misspecified; their conclusions do not hold in the respecified models. We present alternative conclusions given these new findings.

... We did not find any statistical support for the Wielgus and Peebles’s [1] findings in this replication. This could be because the original models were misspecified. Rather than more culling of wolves leading to more killings of livestock in the following year, our results indicate that more culling of wolves would lead to fewer killings of livestock in the following year than expected in the absence of culling. Two recent studies conducted at the wolf pack level also support our findings directly or indirectly. In the same study area, Bradley and others [3] report that compared to no removal, partial and full pack removal of wolves reduced the occurrence of subsequent livestock depredations by 29% and 79%, respectively, over a span of 5 years. Similarly in Idaho, it was found that killing of wolves would lead to decline in the recruitment (as measured by pup survival to 15 months) in wolf populations [2], which may in turn lead to fewer livestock depredations in subsequent years. How wolf populations respond to lethal control is a complex phenomenon. It seems that wolf removal reduces livestock depredations but the magnitude somewhat depends on the type and timing of removal and timing, as well as the recruitment behaviors of wolves.
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/artic ... ne.0148743
I recently read a journal article on a study that was published this year about livestock depredations caused by grey wolves in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The study shows another aspect to the issue that supports my claim: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/artic ... ne.0189729
Governments may respond by killing carnivores in an effort to prevent repeated conflicts or threats, although the functional effectiveness of lethal methods has long been questioned. We evaluated two methods of government intervention following independent events of verified wolf predation on domestic animals (depredation) in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA between 1998–2014, at three spatial scales. We evaluated two intervention methods using log-rank tests and conditional Cox recurrent event, gap time models based on retrospective analyses of the following quasi-experimental treatments: (1) selective killing of wolves by trapping near sites of verified depredation, and (2) advice to owners and haphazard use of non-lethal methods without wolf-killing. The government did not randomly assign treatments and used a pseudo-control (no removal of wolves was not a true control), but the federal permission to intervene lethally was granted and rescinded independent of events on the ground. Hazard ratios suggest lethal intervention was associated with an insignificant 27% lower risk of recurrence of events at trapping sites, but offset by an insignificant 22% increase in risk of recurrence at sites up to 5.42 km distant in the same year, compared to the non-lethal treatment. Our results do not support the hypothesis that Michigan’s use of lethal intervention after wolf depredations was effective for reducing the future risk of recurrence in the vicinities of trapping sites. Examining only the sites of intervention is incomplete because neighbors near trapping sites may suffer the recurrence of depredations. We propose two new hypotheses for perceived effectiveness of lethal methods: (a) killing predators may be perceived as effective because of the benefits to a small minority of farmers, and (b) if neighbors experience side-effects of lethal intervention such as displaced depredations, they may perceive the problem growing and then demand more lethal intervention rather than detecting problems spreading from the first trapping site. Ethical wildlife management guided by the “best scientific and commercial data available” would suggest suspending the standard method of trapping wolves in favor of non-lethal methods (livestock guarding dogs or fladry) that have been proven effective in preventing livestock losses in Michigan and elsewhere.
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