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Wolf cull backfires as wild canines feast on farm animals

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Latest article that I've published is now available on The Conversation.

Here is the article:

Wolf cull backfires as wild canines feast on farm animals
Lock up your sheep. USFWSmidwest, CC BY
Wolves, lions and other large carnivores rely on meat for sustenance and there are only so many wild animals to go round. Sometimes, dinner means cow or sheep.

Farmers can use guard dogs or protective fencing to deter predators and protect livestock. But lethal methods such as hunting and trapping are also used to control wild carnivore numbers.

As a livestock farmer in wolf country, it would be reasonable to assume that killing more predators would result in fewer attacks on your animals. However, a new study by Washington State University has turned this assumption on its head by discovering the opposite: the more wolves that are killed (up to a threshold of 25% of the population), the more the remainder preyed on local sheep and cows. Why is this?
Unpicking the pack

The researchers, Robert Wielgus…