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Livestock Management for Coexistence with Large Carnivores, Healthy Land and Productive Ranches

Authors:
  • Shining Horizons Land Management / Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative
Article

Livestock Management for Coexistence with Large Carnivores, Healthy Land and Productive Ranches

Abstract

Livestock–large carnivore coexistence practitioners can be more effective by expanding from a direct focus on carnivores and predation-­prevention tools to the broader social-­ecological context of ranches and rural communities, especially livestock management. Ranchers can apply many of the same approaches that work for rangeland health and livestock production to reduce conflicts with large carnivores. This paper synthesizes evidence from the rangeland, wildlife, and animal sciences into a cohesive argument: modeling livestock management after the grazing patterns and reproductive cycles of wild ungulates in the presence of their predators can improve rangeland health and livestock production—and increase the ability of ranching operations to coexist with native carnivores. The central anti-predator behavior of wild grazing animals is to form large, dense herds that then move around the landscape to seek fresh forage, avoid fouled areas, and escape predators. They also have their young in short, synchronized birthing seasons (predator satiation). Grazing management involving high stocking density and frequent movement, such as rotational grazing and herding with low-­stress livestock handling, can improve rangeland health and livestock production, by managing the distribution of grazing across time, space, and plant species. Short calving seasons can increase livestock production and reduce labor inputs, especially when timed to coincide with peak availability of forage quality. Such livestock management approaches based on anti-­predator behaviors of wild ungulates may directly and synergistically reduce predation risk— while simultaneously establishing a management context in which other predation‐prevention practices and tools can be used more effectively.
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©!2015!People!and!Carnivores!
(formerly!Keystone!Conservation)!
Bozeman,!Montana,!USA!
http://www.peopleandcarnivores.org!
Livestock!Management!for$!
Coexistence*with!Large&Carnivores,"!
Healthy(Land(and(Productive(Ranches!
Ranchers!can!apply!many!of!the!same!management!approaches!that!work!for!land!health!and!
livestock!production!to!prevent!conflicts!with!large!carnivores.!
!
A!white!paper!
By!Matt!Barnes!
People&and&Carnivores&
Abstract!
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Livestock!Management!for!Coexistence!with!Large!Carnivores,!Healthy!Land!and!Productive!Ranches!
©!2015!People!and!Carnivores! ! !
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©!2015!People!and!Carnivores! ! !
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©!2015!People!and!Carnivores! ! !
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Livestock!Management!for!Coexistence!with!Large!Carnivores,!Healthy!Land!and!Productive!Ranches!
©!2015!People!and!Carnivores! ! !
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?:"%* 2-2$.* 3$/-0* >"&:* &:$* F8$%&"'0A* Can! modeling! livestock! management! after! the! grazing!
patterns! and! reproductive! cycles! of! wild! ungulates! in! the! presence! of! their! predators! improve!
rangeland!health! and! livestock!production,!and! increase!the!ability!of!ranching! operations!to!coexist!
with! native! carnivores?!H#"7$0($*"0* 3$:-#"'.-,* $(','/6;* 2.$7-&'.92.$6* "0&$.-(&"'0%;* -07* /.-@"0/*
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Livestock!management,!specifically!rotational!grazing,!herding!with!low@stress!livestock!handling,!and!
synchronized! calving! in! short! seasons,! in! some! cases!corresponding!with! those! of! wild! ungulates,!
canwhile! maintaining! or! improving! rangeland! health! and! livestock! productiondirectly! and!
synergistically!reduce!predation,!while!establishing!a!management!context!in!which!other!predation@
prevention!practices!and!tools!can!be!used!more!effectively.*
!
Acknowledgements!
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Livestock!Management!for!Coexistence!with!Large!Carnivores,!Healthy!Land!and!Productive!Ranches!
©!2015!People!and!Carnivores! ! !
16*
Literature!Cited!
M7-4%;*R<T<;*=<?<*T,-.);*?<j<*g,'2&$0%&$"0;*-07*j<R<*e',$%)6<*L[[\<*O-&(:"0/*&:$*('>*>"&:*5'.-/$*.$%'8.($%<*
Rangelands*LaCJDAZd9\J<*
M7-4%;*!<E<;*-07*I<N<*R-,$<*L[[a<**?"4"0/*-07*%60(:.'0"("&6*'5*2-.&8."&"'0*"0*M,-%)-0*(-."3'8<*Journal!of!
Mammalogy*d[AJad9J[X<*
M07$,&;*N<W<*L[[\<*T-.0"#'.$%<*In:*g.-8%4-0;*b<=<*m$7<n<*=-0/$,-07*>",7,"5$<*R$0#$.;*T`;*QGMA*G'("$&6*5'.*
=-0/$*O-0-/$4$0&<*2<*LUU9LZZ<*
M07$,&;*N<W<*JKKX<*Q%$*'5*,"#$%&'()*/8-.7"0/*-0"4-,%*&'*.$78($*2.$7-&"'0*'0*,"#$%&'()<*Sheep!&!Goat!
Research!Journal*L[AdJ9dZ<*
M07$,&;*N<W<;*-07*G<S<*]'22$.<*JKKK<*!"#$%&'()*/8-.7*7'/%*.$78($*2.$7-&"'0*'0*7'4$%&"(*%:$$2*"0*
T','.-7'<*Journal!of!Range!Management*ZUAJZ[+J\d<*
I-",$6;* R<N<;* j<H<* E.'%%;* H<M<* !-(-;* !<=<* ="&&$0:'8%$;* O<I<* T'8/:$0'8.;* R<N<* G>"5&;* -07* b<!<* G"4%<* L[[\<*
O$(:-0"%4%* &:-&* .$%8,&* "0* ,-./$* :$.3"#'.$* 7"%&."38&"'0* 2-&&$.0%<* Journal! of! Range! Management*
X[AUa\9XKL<*
I-",$6;* R<N<;* -07* O<* G&$2:$0%'0<* JKLU<* Y0&$/.-&"0/* %&'()4-0%:"2* "0&'* .-0/$,-07* 4-0-/$4$0&<*
Stockmanship!Journal*JCLDAL9LJ<*
I-",$6;* R<N<;* ]<T<*e-0N-/'0$.;* =<* N$"04$"%&$.;* -07* R<* j$0%$0<* JKKa<*H#-,8-&"'0* '5* ,'>9%&.$%%* :$.7"0/*
-07* %822,$4$0&* 2,-($4$0&* 5'.* 4-0-/"0/* (-&&,$* /.-@"0/* "0* ."2-."-0* -07* 82,-07* -.$-%<* Rangeland!
Ecology!&!Management*\LAJ\9Ud<*
I-.0$%;*O<g<*JKLL<*!'>9"028&*/.-%%5$7*,"#$%&'()*2.'78(&"'0*"0*&:$*M4$."(-0*N$%&A*(-%$*%&87"$%*'5*
$(','/"(-,;*$('0'4"(;*-07*%'("-,*.$%","$0($<*Rangelands*UUCJDAUL9XK<**
I-.0$%;*O<*JKLZ<*!'>9%&.$%%*:$.7"0/*"42.'#$%*:$.7*"0%&"0(&;*5-(","&-&$%*%&.-&$/"(*/.-@"0/*4-0-/$4$0&<*
Stockmanship!Journal*XCLDAUL9XU<*
I-.0$%;* O<;* -07* M<* ]",7* m$7%<n<* JKLU<* G&.-&$/"(* /.-@"0/* 4-0-/$4$0&* 5'.*('42,$1* (.$-&"#$* %6%&$4%*
m%2'0%'.$7*"%%8$n<*Rangelands*UZCZDAL9\\<*
I-.0$%;*O<;*-07*j<* ]'>$,,<* JKLU<* O8,&"2,$92-77'()* /.-@"0/* 7"%&."38&$%* 8&","@-&"'0* -(.'%%* :$&$.'/$0$'8%*
4'80&-"0* ,-07%(-2$%A* -* (-%$* %&876* '5* %&.-&$/"(* /.-@"0/* 4-0-/$4$0&<* Rangelands*UZCZDAZJ9
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-55$(&*%2-&"-,*:$&$.'/$0$"&6*'5*/.-@"0/<*Rangeland!Ecology!&!Management*\L9UaK9Uaa<*
I-.0$%;* O<g<;* ?<j<* G&$55$0%;* -07* !<=<* ="&&$0:'8%$<* JKLL<* E.-@"0/* 2$."'7*%&'()"0/* .-&$* 7."#$%* ,"#$%&'()*
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[&:*Y0&$.0-&"'0-,*=-0/$,-07*T'0/.$%%A*R"#$.%$*.-0/$,-07%* 5'.* -*%8%&-"0-3,$*%'("$&6<*J9a*M2.<*JKLLV*
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Behavioral!Ecology!and!Sociobiology*XA[L9[[<*
I$./$.87;*M<?<*L[dL<*?:$*2'28,-&"'0*760-4"(%*'5*S$>5'807,-07*(-."3'8<*Wildlife!Monographs*JZ<*ZZ*2<*
I$./$.87;*M<?<;* ]<H<* I8&,$.;* -07* R<=<* O",,$.<*L[aX<* M0&"2.$7-&'.* &-(&"(%* '5*(-,#"0/* (-."3'8A* 7"%2$.%"'0*"0*
4'80&-"0%<*Canadian!Journal!of!Zoology*\JALZ\\9LZdZ<*
I.-7,$6;*H<]<;*-07*R<]<*b,$&%(:$.<*JKKZ<*M%%$%%"0/*5-(&'.%*.$,-&$7*&'*>',5*7$2.$7-&"'0*'5*(-&&,$*"0*5$0($7*
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"42,"(-&"'0%* 5'.* ,"#$%&'()* 4-0-/$4$0&* -07* (-.0"#'.$* ('42$0%-&"'0* %(:$4$%<* Biological!
Conservation*LXXA[UK9[U\<*
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,"#$%&'()+>',5*"0&$.-(&"'0%*'0*N$%&$.0*.-0/$,-07%<*Rangelands*UXCZDA\9LL<*
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I$0$5"&%*'5*.'&-&"'0-,*/.-@"0/*'0*.-0/$,-07%A*-0*$#-,8-&"'0*'5*&:$*$12$."4$0&-,*$#"7$0($<*Rangeland!
Ecology!&!Management*\LAU9Ld<*
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Livestock!Management!for!Coexistence!with!Large!Carnivores,!Healthy!Land!and!Productive!Ranches!
©!2015!People!and!Carnivores! ! !
17*
-%%$%%4$0&;*.$('44$07-&"'0%;*-07*)0'>,$7/$*/-2%<*N-%:"0/&'0;*RT;*QGMA*QGRM*S-&8.-,*=$%'8.($%*
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%$4"-."7*.$/"'0%q*Journal!of!Soil!and!Water!Conservation*XXAJ[K9J[\<*
I8&,$.;*b<j<*JKKK<*T-&&,$*7"%&."38&"'0*807$.*"0&$0%"#$*:$.7$7*4-0-/$4$0&<*Rangelands*JJCJDAJL9JU<*
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N''7*I855-,'*S-&"'0-,*b-.)<*Canadian!Journal!of!Zoology*\ZAJKdJ9JKda<**
T"8((";*b<;*-07*!<*I'"&-0"<*L[[a<*N',5*-07*7'/*7$2.$7-&"'0*'0*,"#$%&'()*"0*($0&.-,*Y&-,6<*Wildlife!Society!
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T'05$.$0($<*!"0(',0;*SH;*QGMA*Q0"#$.%"&6*'5*S$3.-%)-<*2<*JK[+JLX<*
T'&$;*G<*JKKX<*G&'()4-0%:"2A*-*2'>$.58,*&'',*5'.*/.-@"0/*,-07%*4-0-/$4$0&<*M.(';*YR;*QGMA*QGRM*S-&8.-,*
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0-&"#$*80/8,-&$*$('%6%&$4%<*Journal!of!Range!Management*XXAZUK9ZXJ<*
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'0*.-0/$*3$$5*('>*2.'78(&"#"&6<*Journal!of!Animal!Science*\[AUXZU9UX\K<*
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Livestock!Management!for!Coexistence!with!Large!Carnivores,!Healthy!Land!and!Productive!Ranches!
©!2015!People!and!Carnivores! ! !
18*
American!Naturalist*LULAdaL9d[a<*
W.61$,,;*j<O<;*M<*O'%%$.;*M<=<H<*G"0(,-".;*-07*T<*b-()$.<*JKKd<*E.'82*5'.4-&"'0*%&-3","@$%*2.$7-&'.92.$6*
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/.-@"0/*%6%&$4%*-07*/.-@"0/*2.$%%8.$<*Journal!of!Range!Management*XLAJaJ+Ja\*
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©!2015!People!and!Carnivores! ! !
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Livestock!Management!for!Coexistence!with!Large!Carnivores,!Healthy!Land!and!Productive!Ranches!
©!2015!People!and!Carnivores! ! !
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Livestock!Management!for!Coexistence!with!Large!Carnivores,!Healthy!Land!and!Productive!Ranches!
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Livestock!Management!for!Coexistence!with!Large!Carnivores,!Healthy!Land!and!Productive!Ranches!
©!2015!People!and!Carnivores! ! !
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Livestock!Management!for!Coexistence!with!Large!Carnivores,!Healthy!Land!and!Productive!Ranches!
©!2015!People!and!Carnivores! ! !
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... They combined "pressure and release" herding, a form of interacting with livestock that takes advantage of livestock prey responses, to move livestock in a way that both enhances the choices and natural behaviors of the individual animal 34,35 . These techniques apparently improve livestock stress, health and yield (Fig 1) [34][35][36] . This combination of techniques creates a positive association between human actions and herding, which helps make livestock more willing to remain as a herd relative to those who are aggressively handled and therefore associate herding with stress 34,36 . ...
... These techniques apparently improve livestock stress, health and yield (Fig 1) [34][35][36] . This combination of techniques creates a positive association between human actions and herding, which helps make livestock more willing to remain as a herd relative to those who are aggressively handled and therefore associate herding with stress 34,36 . ...
... L-SLH is a form of livestock handling designed to reduce livestock stress, thereby increasing livestock health and yield. It has been identi ed by some livestock owners in Western North America as a useful means of retraining herding behavior and reducing livestock vulnerability to carnivore attacks, especially in free-ranging herds 36,37 . However, this method is still relatively uncommon, many owners instead preferring handling methods that prioritize speed and e ciency over animal welfare and stress 34 . ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Given the ecological importance of top predators, societies are turning to non-lethal methods for coexistence. Coexistence is challenging when livestock graze within wild predator habitats. We report a randomized, controlled experiment to evaluate low-stress livestock handling (L-SLH), a form of range riding, to deter grizzly (brown) bears, gray wolves, cougars, black bears, and coyotes in Southwestern Alberta. The treatment condition was supervision by two newly hired and trained range riders and an experienced L-SLH-practicing range rider. This treatment was compared against a baseline pseudo-control condition of the experienced range rider working alone. Cattle experienced zero injuries or deaths in either condition. We infer that inexperienced range riders trained and supervised by an experienced rider did not raise or lower the risk to cattle. Also, predators did not shift to the cattle herds protected by fewer range riders. We found a correlation suggesting grizzly bears avoided herds visited more frequently by range riders practicing L-SLH. More research is required to compare different forms of range riding. However, pending experimental evaluation of other designs, we recommend use of L-SLH. We discuss cobenefits of this husbandry method.
... Other approaches stress adaptation on the human side, such as monitoring of predator populations to reduce predator-livestock overlap, and adoption of livestock husbandry techniques to reduce attractants to and interactions with predators (Stone et al., 2017;Martin, 2021b). Adaptations on the livestock side (although largely driven by humans) include switching to livestock breeds better able to defend themselves against predators, training livestock to adopt behaviors similar to wild ungulates that make them less vulnerable to depredation and negative encounters (Barnes, 2015), and synchronizing the calving season with that of wild ungulates to cause "predator saturation" (Breck et al., 2011). A wide suite of approaches has been applied to wolf conflict management in the western U.S. (Table 2), many described in "hands-on" guides aimed at supporting livestock producers with deterrence and husbandry techniques (e.g., Gese et al., 2005;Western Wildlife Outreach, 2014;Stone et al., 2016;ODFW, 2019;Lance et al., n.d.). ...
... Herding or range riding to protect livestock; removal of livestock carcasses and bone piles; additional protection of calving/lambing areas; prompt removal/treatment of sick or injured livestock; changes to timing of turnout onto grazing allotments; relocating herds or changing pasture use; techniques of "low-stress livestock handling" (Bangs et al., 2006;Barnes, 2015;Stone et al., 2017). ...
... Livestock guardian dogs; fladry and electrified "turbo-fladry" (Davidson-Nelson and Gehring, 2010;Lance et al., 2010;Iliopoulos et al., 2019;Young et al., 2019); noise-makers; non-lethal munitions; automated devices such as Foxlights and radio-activated guard boxes(Bangs et al., 2006;Barnes, 2015;Stone et al., 2017).Lethal controlTargeted removal of "problem wolves" in areas where conflict occurs. Removal may be incremental (one wolf targeted at a time) or full pack removal. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
) Understanding Human–Canid Conflict and Coexistence: Socioeconomic Correlates Underlying Local Attitude and Support Toward the Endangered Dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Bhutan.
... Low-stress livestock handling as predator deterrent -Experts such as Bud Williams and Temple Grandin rst developed L-SLH by combining pressure and release herding to move livestock in a way that both enhances the choices and natural behavior of the individual animal, thereby apparently improving livestock quality of life, health and yield [34][35][36] . This combination of methods may restore the innate herding instinct in ungulates that is frequently lost when livestock is tightly herded and aggressively moved between pastures 34,35 . ...
... Low-stress livestock handling as predator deterrent -Experts such as Bud Williams and Temple Grandin rst developed L-SLH by combining pressure and release herding to move livestock in a way that both enhances the choices and natural behavior of the individual animal, thereby apparently improving livestock quality of life, health and yield [34][35][36] . This combination of methods may restore the innate herding instinct in ungulates that is frequently lost when livestock is tightly herded and aggressively moved between pastures 34,35 . Livestock owners who have used the method in regions with high predator numbers report that since L-SLH makes herding a more positive experience for livestock, domesticated ungulates more readily maintain herds that behave similar to wild ungulate herds, which reduces vulnerability to wild predation 37,38 . ...
... L-SLH is a form of livestock handling designed to reduce livestock stress, thereby increasing livestock health and yield. It has been identi ed by some livestock owners in Western North America as a useful means of retraining herding instincts in livestock and reducing livestock vulnerability to carnivore attacks, especially in free-ranging herds 35,38 . However, this method is still relatively uncommon, many owners instead preferring 'traditional' handling methods, which prioritize speed and e ciency over animal welfare and stress 34 . ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Given the ecological importance of top predators, societies are turning to non-lethal methods for coexistence. Coexistence is challenging when livestock are released within wild predator habitats, even when people supervise or use lethal methods. We report a randomized, controlled design to evaluate low-stress livestock handling (L-SLH), a form of range riding, to deter grizzly (brown) bears, gray wolves, cougars, black bears, and coyotes in Southwestern Alberta. The treatment condition was supervision by two newly hired and trained range riders and an L-SLH practicing range rider. This treatment was compared against a baseline pseudo-control condition of the single experienced range rider working alone. Cattle experienced zero injuries or deaths in either condition. We infer that inexperienced range riders trained and supervised by an experienced rider did not raise or lower the risk to cattle. Also, predators did not shift to the cattle herds protected by fewer range riders. Pending experimental evaluation of other designs, we recommend use of L-SLH.
... Other approaches stress adaptation on the human side, such as monitoring of predator populations to reduce predator-livestock overlap, and adoption of livestock husbandry techniques to reduce attractants to and interactions with predators (Stone et al., 2017;Martin, 2021b). Adaptations on the livestock side (although largely driven by humans) include switching to livestock breeds better able to defend themselves against predators, training livestock to adopt behaviors similar to wild ungulates that make them less vulnerable to depredation and negative encounters (Barnes, 2015), and synchronizing the calving season with that of wild ungulates to cause "predator saturation" (Breck et al., 2011). A wide suite of approaches has been applied to wolf conflict management in the western U.S. (Table 2), many described in "hands-on" guides aimed at supporting livestock producers with deterrence and husbandry techniques (e.g., Gese et al., 2005;Western Wildlife Outreach, 2014;Stone et al., 2016;ODFW, 2019;Lance et al., n.d.). ...
... Herding or range riding to protect livestock; removal of livestock carcasses and bone piles; additional protection of calving/lambing areas; prompt removal/treatment of sick or injured livestock; changes to timing of turnout onto grazing allotments; relocating herds or changing pasture use; techniques of "low-stress livestock handling" (Bangs et al., 2006;Barnes, 2015;Stone et al., 2017). ...
... Livestock guardian dogs; fladry and electrified "turbo-fladry"(Davidson-Nelson and Gehring, 2010;Lance et al., 2010;Iliopoulos et al., 2019;Young et al., 2019); noise-makers; non-lethal munitions; automated devices such as Foxlights and radio-activated guard boxes(Bangs et al., 2006;Barnes, 2015;Stone et al., 2017).Lethal controlTargeted removal of "problem wolves" in areas where conflict occurs. Removal may be incremental (one wolf targeted at a time) or full pack removal. ...
Article
Full-text available
In resource management, new terms are frequently introduced, reflecting ongoing evolution in the theory and practice of ecology and governance. Yet understandings of what new concepts mean, for whom, and what they imply for management on the ground can vary widely. Coexistence – a prominent concept within the literature and on-the-ground practices around human-wildlife conflict and predator management – is one such term, widely invoked and yet poorly defined. While for some coexistence is the latest paradigm in improving human-wildlife relations, the concept remains debated and indeed even hotly contested by others – particularly on the multiple-use public lands of the American West, where gray wolf conservation, livestock production, and the claims of diverse stakeholders share space. The multiple meanings of coexistence present serious challenges for conservation practice, as what the concept implies or requires can be contested by those most central to its implementation. In this study we examine wolf-livestock management – a classic case of human-wildlife conflict – by focusing on the experiences and perspectives of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) managers. We reviewed coexistence’s multivalence in the literature on human-wildlife conflict, complementing semi-structured interviews conducted with USFS employees on case study forests from across the western states. Through this, we highlight the complexity and multi-dimensionality of the concept and the unique yet under-explored perspective that resource managers bring to these debates. This work draws on insights from political ecology to emphasize the situatedness of manager practice – taking place within a broader set of relations and contextual pressures – while extending political ecologists’ traditional focus on the resource user to a concern with the resource manager as key actor in environmental conflicts. Through our engagement with the experiences and perceptions of USFS managers, who must balance conservation aims with long-established land uses like livestock grazing, we hope to clarify the various dimensions of coexistence. Our hope is that this work increases the possibility for empathy and collaboration among managers and stakeholders engaged in this complex socio-ecological challenge.
... Guardian dogs and electrically-charged fences around calving areas or sheep pastures have also proven to be effective (Huygens & Hayashi 1999, Smith et al. 2000, DeBolt 2001, Andelt 2004, Miller et al. 2016, Scasta et al. 2017, Smith et al. 2018, Kinka et al. 2019, although with the important proviso that applications in practice are limited to productive rangelands where livestock can be concentrated and entailing the expense and logistical difficulties of supervising guardian animals, closely surveilling livestock, and deploying fencing. Intuitively, increased oversight by human caretakers also has a role to play in reducing depredations (e.g., Barnes 2015), although the extent of this benefit has not been conclusively demonstrated by research. ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
For perhaps 30,000 years grizzly bears ranged throughout the mountains and riparian areas of what would eventually become the southwestern United States. But in a remarkably short 50-year period between 1860 and 1910 Anglo-Americans killed roughly 90% of the grizzly bears in 90% of the places they once lived. Most of the remaining grizzlies had been killed by the 1930s. This report provides a detailed account of natural history, relations with humans, and current and future prospects for grizzly bears of the Southwest, emphasizing the millennia prior to ascendance of Anglo-Americans. The report’s narrative is essentially chronological, starting with deep history spanning the late Pleistocene up through arrival of European colonists (Section 3.1); the period of Spanish and Mexican dominance (Section 3.2); and then the period of terminal grizzly bear extirpations that began with the political and military dominance of Anglo-Americans (Section 3.3). Section 4 examines current environmental conditions and related prospects for restoring grizzly bears to the Southwest. Section 5 completes the chronological arc by forecasting some of what the future might hold, with implications for both grizzly bears and humans. The background provided in Section 2 offers a synopsis of grizzly bear natural history as well as a summary of foods and habitats that were likely important to grizzlies. Throughout the Holocene there was a remarkable concentration of diverse high-quality bear foods in highlands of the Southwest, notably in an arc from the San Francisco Peaks of Arizona southeast along the Coconino Plateau and Mogollon Rim to a terminus in the White, Mogollon, and Black Range Mountains in New Mexico. Additional high-quality habitat existed in the Sacramento, San Juan, Jemez, and Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico and adjacent Colorado. Grizzlies in the Southwest survived remarkable extremes of climate and habitats for perhaps as long as 100,000 years. They also survived substantial variation in human-propagated impacts that culminated in the Crisis of 875-1425 C.E.—a period typified by episodic drought and the highest human population densities prior to recent times. In contrast to relatively benevolent attitudes among indigenous populations, there is little doubt that the terminal toll taken on grizzly bears by Anglo-Americans after 1850 C.E was driven largely by a uniquely lethal combination of intolerance and ecological dynamics entrained by the eradication or diminishment of native foods and the substitution of human foods, notably livestock, that catalyzed conflict. More positively, the analysis presented here of current habitat productivity, fragmentation, and remoteness—as well as regulations, laws, and human attitudes—reveals ample potential for restoration of grizzlies to the Southwest, including three candidate Restoration Area Complexes: the Mogollon, San Juan, and Sangre de Cristo, capable of supporting around 620, 425, and 280 grizzlies each. Major foreseeable challenges for those wishing to restore grizzly bears to these areas include sanitation of human facilities, management of livestock depredation, education of big game hunters, coordination of management, and fostering of accommodation among rural residents. Climate change promises to compound all of these challenges, although offset to an uncertain extent by prospective increases in human tolerance. But the evolutionary history of grizzly bears also provides grounds for optimism about prospective restoration. Grizzly bears have survived enormous environmental variation spanning hundreds of thousands of years, including many millennia in the Southwest. Grizzlies survived not only the inhospitable deeps of the Ice Ages in Asia and Beringia, but also the heat and drought of the Altithermal on this continent. It was only highly-lethal Anglo-Americans that drove them to extinction in the Southwest, which is why human attitudes—more than anything else—will likely determine prospects for restoring grizzly bears.
... There has been a push for applied research on tools to mitigate conflict, but much of this research misses the socio-ecological nature of the problem. For example, livestock-carnivore conflict is one of the most pervasive forms of HWC (Inskip and Zimmermann, 2009;Lute et al., 2018) and management strategies in North America have long relied on lethal strategies aiming to reduce carnivore numbers or eradicate them completely (Reynolds and Tapper, 1996;Berger, 2006;Barnes, 2015). These strategies have recently become less viable for a variety of social reasons (Berger, 2006;McManus et al., 2015;Slagle et al., 2017;Lute et al., 2018) and ecological reasons (Bergstrom, 2017;Lennox et al., 2018;Moreira-Arce et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Human-wildlife interactions are embedded within socio-ecological systems (SES), in which animal behavior and human decision-making reciprocally interact. While a growing body of research addresses specific social and ecological elements of human-wildlife interactions, including conflicts, integrating these approaches is essential for identifying practical and effective solutions. Carnivore predation on livestock can threaten human livelihoods, weaken relationships among stakeholders, and precipitate carnivore declines. As carnivores have received greater protection in recent decades, researchers and managers have sought non-lethal tools to reduce predation and promote coexistence between livestock producers and carnivores. For these tools to be successful, they must effectively deter carnivores, and they must also be adopted by producers. Relatively few studies examine the practical and context-specific effectiveness of non-lethal tools, and even fewer simultaneously consider their social acceptability among producers. To address this gap, we suggest that a tool's ecological effectiveness and social acceptability be analyzed concurrently to determine its social effectiveness . We thus paired an experimental study of a carnivore predation deterrent called Foxlights® with qualitative interviews of livestock producers in Northern California. We placed camera traps in sheep pastures to measure the response of coyotes ( Canis latrans ) to experimentally deployed Foxlights and interviewed livestock producers before and after the experiment. Our experiment revealed weak evidence for reducing coyote activity with Foxlights, but interviews revealed that the potential adoption of tools had as much to do with their social acceptability and implementation feasibility as with evidence-based measurements of tool effectiveness. Interviewees viewed Foxlights as potentially effective components of husbandry systems, despite the data suggesting otherwise, demonstrating that scientific reductionism may lag behind producer practices of systems-thinking and that isolated demonstrations of a tool's ecological effectiveness do not drive tool adoption. Future empirical tests of non-lethal tools should better consider producers' perspectives and acknowledge that data-based tests of ecological effectiveness alone have a limited place in producer decision-making. Iteratively working with producers can build trust in scientific outputs through the research process itself.
... We are also excited to explore the emergent property of distinct persistent subherds that 523 appears to emerge when the desired mean inter-animal distance of the cows is < 20 m. If this desire 524 is either genetically encoded or management-determined (or both), and this subherd behavior is 525 important to reducing the risk of death by larkspur, how might it affect other negative outcomes, 526 such as overgrazing of riparian areas or exposure to predation by carnivores [59]? 527 Though ABMs have some limitations, we believe they offer an exciting new tool for 528 understanding the grazing behavior of livestock. ...
Preprint
By killing cattle and otherwise complicating management, the many species of larkspur ( Delphinium spp.) present a serious, intractable, and complex challenge to livestock grazing management in the western United States. Among the many obstacles to improving our understanding of cattle-larkspur dynamics has been the difficulty of testing different grazing management strategies in the field, as the risk of dead animals is too great. Agent-based models (ABMs) provide an effective method of testing alternate management strategies without risk to livestock. ABMs are especially useful for modeling complex systems such as livestock grazing management, and allow for realistic bottom-up encoding of cattle behavior. Here, we introduce a spatially-explicit, behavior-based ABM of cattle grazing in a pasture with a dangerous amount of Geyer’s larkspur ( D. geyeri ). This model tests the role of herd cohesion and stocking density in larkspur intake, finds that both are key drivers of larkspur-induced toxicosis, and indicates that alteration of these factors within realistic bounds can mitigate risk. Crucially, the model points to herd cohesion, which has received little attention in the discipline, as playing an important role in lethal acute toxicosis. As the first ABM to model grazing behavior at realistic scales, this study also demonstrates the tremendous potential of ABMs to illuminate grazing management dynamics, including fundamental aspects of livestock behavior amidst ecological heterogeneity.
... Others have noted similar synergies between nonlethal management and sustainable grazing, including with range riders and cattle(Barnes 2015).16 Researchers and ranchers have noted that while Great Pyrenees and Akbash are effective for coyotes, they are not ideal for confronting wolves, who as pack hunters tend to outnumber the guard dogs. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Federal reintroduction of gray wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho in the mid-1990s was widely hailed as one of the great conservation successes of the 20th century, and has become an emblematic touchstone for rewilding – an emerging discourse and set of practices for conservation in the Anthropocene. As wolves have grown in number and range, however, so too has socio-political conflict, particularly around predation as threat to livestock production. Reaction appears to far exceed wolves’ material impacts, however, and persists 25 years after reintroduction despite development and deployment of compensation measures and coexistence strategies. The wolf is thus also an exemplary instance of human-wildlife conflict, an increasingly prominent and intractable concern for megafauna conservation around the world. And while volumes have been written on wolves in Yellowstone, there has been relatively little scholarly attention to Idaho even as it highlights the challenges of shared space across the working landscapes of the American West. Between 2015 and 2018, I conducted a case study of the Wood River Wolf Project (WRWP), a collaboration between sheep ranchers, environmental organizations, and governmental agencies in Blaine County, Idaho that has pursued wolf-livestock coexistence for over a decade. Grazing thousands of sheep on its project area in the Sawtooth Mountains while boasting the lowest depredation loss rates in the state, the WRWP has garnered international attention as a model of nonlethal management, holding out the possibility of a peaceful end to the wolf wars. Based in ethnographic and archival research and drawing insights from political ecology and critical “more-than-human” geography, I ask what we might learn from this critical case, guided by two overarching questions: First, how can we account for the persistence and seemingly disproportionate intensity of conflict surrounding wolves in the American West? And second, what are the necessary preconditions for and obstacles to scaling up and sustaining collaborative coexistence? In the included articles, I explore the Project’s emergence and practices and how these have evolved over time, as partners have contended with political economic pressures and the delisting of wolves from federal protection and transition to Idaho state management. I highlight the value of qualitative research methods for questions of human-wildlife conflict, and the fundamentally situated and relational quality of risk perception and decision-making. I argue that anti-wolf hostility cannot be read simply as cultural-historical animosity, nor as mere biopolitical concern over an agricultural pest, but rather must be understood amid so-called “New West” transitions and ongoing legal-political tensions over the governance and use of public lands. This story stresses the inseparability of political economic, cultural-symbolic, and environmental concerns, connecting the wolf question to regional transformations, divergent land use priorities, and contemporary right-wing populism. I show how the political-symbolic enrollment of wolves by different social actors through a cultural politics of wilderness in fact perpetuates polarization and undermines on-the-ground efforts at coexistence between conservation and rural livelihoods – even as I highlight alternative political possibilities around themes of commoning and convivial conservation.
... A more integrated approach to wildlife conservation and humanwildlife interactions should be targeted by multi-level government arrangements. These governance mechanisms could look into more diverse wildlife management options like fostering landscape connectivity and providing migration corridors (ConnectGREEN, 2020), using electric fencing (Trouwborst and Fleurke, 2019), changing shepherding practices in order to prevent predation (Barnes, 2015) and improving human food waste management and wildlife deterrence methods (Morales-González et al., 2020). Different governance levels could work closely in exchanging ideas and best practices with the purpose of co-designing tailored biodiversity policies that reflect placebased specificities. ...
Article
Human-wildlife interactions (HWI) are present in areas where wild animals and humans compete for limited space, sometimes resulting in potentially harmful conflicts on both sides. The upper Prahova Valley within the central Carpathian range of Romania represents an area where interactions between humans and wildlife can still be found, but potentially conflicting due to the presence of both large intact natural habitats and increasing human pressure over the environment. In our study, we hypothesize that an adequate understanding of the HWI problem involves analyses on landscape pattern, natural or human induced triggering factors, and local stakeholders’ perception of the phenomenon including the measures they consider suitable for optimizing their interactions with wild animals. Therefore, the goal of our paper was to analyse the characteristics of the HWI phenomenon in the upper Prahova Valley, based on exploring the local stakeholders’ perspective. The study methodology consists of three steps: (i) applying 450 questionnaires to local stakeholders in order to extract HWI data; (ii) detecting the interconnection between various types of HWI and the perception of local people, using statistical and network approaches; and (iii) develop a set of recommendations which are applicable at both, local and regional decisional level in order to decrease the negative impact of HWI, enhance wildlife conservation strategies and promote a sustainable interactions with humans and mitigate potential conflicts that occur between humans and wildlife. The results indicate that the brown bear, wild boar and red fox were constantly increasing in HWI after 1990, while interactions with Eurasian wolf, stone marten, European polecat, roe deer and mountain viper were usually scarcer. The brown bear and wild boar were the prior species involved in conflict interactions with humans, such as the destruction of fences, orchards, or gardens. The bear was the only wildlife responsible for non-fatal human attacks. Locals consider the lack of wildlife food supply by the forest staff and the deficient forest management practices after 1990 to be the main triggering factors of these negative HWI. They perceive that the interactions with these animals pose a high risk to human security. Our results stand as a strong argument for a complex management system concerning the HWI phenomenon which adapts upper-level policies and governance decisions to both local stakeholder’s needs and wildlife management objectives to be achieved in order to attain a favorable conservation status.
Preprint
Full-text available
The overall goal of this guide is to describe various tools and provide information about methods that can be adapted to prevent and minimize conflicts among livestock and wolves where they overlap. The guide outlines management and husbandry techniques that have proven effective at reducing conflicts among livestock and carnivores. It also provides a brief review and insight about why killing wolves and coyotes often backfires; creating an expensive cyclic pattern that does not reduce conflicts and may even lead to more. This guide is part of a collaborative effort to facilitate coexistence among livestock, producers, and wolves to support vibrant wildlife communities on a shared landscape.
Conference Paper
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Pasture subdivision can increase control of the time and place grazing occurs, often resulting in more even distribution of utilization across a landscape over a grazing cycle, but more concentrated distribution within a grazing period. However, the assumption that paddock subdivision and increased stock density necessarily reduce selectivity, nutrient intake, diet quality, and performance, by increasing uniformity and intensity of utilization, is unsupported. The animals' ability to select quality over time is driven by stocking rate for that period of time and, therefore, can be changed through management. Though rate of forage disappearance increases with stock density, controlling graze period length can stop utilization at any desired level. When graze period decreases faster, proportionally, than stock density increases, the proportion of total forage on offer that animals can mix to meet requirements for the graze period can increase relative to a longer graze period at lower density. When managing for high animal performance and adequate plant recovery between defoliations, utilization for a graze period should be less or equal in intensity with increasing stock density, assuming similar seasonal stocking rates. Increased paddock numbers with short graze and adequate recovery periods can be used to either increase or decrease heterogeneity of utilization and diet quality over time and space. Animal and plant community responses will occur more rapidly at higher stock densities and rates of forage disappearance, and the direction of those responses will be determined by how the relationships among these factors are managed. Paddock numbers and stock density cannot be changed in isolation, as each increase in these variables will change other factors—requiring monitoring and adaptive management to achieve goals.
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