Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Wolves and Ranchers Can Coexist Now that Fish and Wildlife Will Pay for Livestock Predation—Op-Ed

The following is commentary composed by Joel Thompson of Friends of the Noyo River Conservation Research Center:


Gray wolf, Canis lupus [Gary Kramer / FWS]

California now has about 23 wolves consisting of three packs living and thriving in the northern part of the state.

The recent quarterly report published by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife indicates that there are at least thirteen wolf pups born in 2022!

There are now five new pups in the Lassen Pack and eight pups in the Whaleback Pack. Also noted was the possibility of at least one other wolf pup living among the Beckwourth Pack.

Although most California residents welcome the prosperity of wolves reemerging in the state, there has been controversy from ranchers who fear the loss of their vulnerable domestic farm animals.

However, CDFW has recently implemented a program to appease ranchers by providing compensation for any losses due to predation by wolves. The new program is part of CDFW’s conservation and research efforts meant to aid the repopulation of wolves in California.

With the implementation of new programs to help study and track wolves, and investigate suspected predations — wolves can safely coexist with the ranching community; without fear of financial losses.

Wolves are native to California, and they are considered a keystone species. Without wolves, natural ecosystems are incomplete in their native ranges. The potential for wolves to thrive again throughout California is a welcomed hypothesis to conservation and advocacy groups who continue to work towards improved environmental well-being and healthy populations of native wildlife. California wolves are listed as an “Endangered Species” and are protected by state laws; it is a felony to harm them. As there is the possibility of unknown wolves dispersed throughout the state, CDFW welcomes any inquiries into wolf sightings.

See Footnotes for more information:

[Visit CDFW’s Gray Wolf Page to learn more about wolves or to report wolf sightings: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Gray-Wolf#55967770-californias-known-wolves]

[Article by New York Times, “Wolves Returned to California”: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/11/science/california-wolves-misinformation.html]

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
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