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Miller_Ecospot_Wolves & GPS Tracking

Wolves and ranchers have always had a contentious relationship. However, with the use of GPS tracking, ranchers can address potential predation issues in real time, ultimately saving agricultural livelihoods, livestock and wolves.

Bobbi Miller

on 23 April 2013

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Transcript of Miller_Ecospot_Wolves & GPS Tracking

Wolves and GPS
Tracking: Using
Technology to
Reduce Conflict Bobbi Miller
Biology in the Age of Technology (06)
Woodland Park Zoo - April 10, 2013 The Value of Wolves
in the Ecosystem Wolves offer stability to
the ecosystem, making it richer
and stronger for humans, wildlife and livestock as well. Restoring Wolves to
Yellowstone created a Cascade Effect in the Environment Wolves Prey of Choice: Elk, Moose and Deer. Timely Updates via GPS Technology WILL Save Livestock and Wolves GPS Collars Allow Ranchers to Follow Wolves in Real Time The GPS Technology Allows for Ranchers or Citizen Scientists to Track Wolves There are Multiple Ways to Protect Livestock from Wolves Packs are Flourishing
in the State The Return of Wolves Wolves Return
To Washington
State Wolves had been missing from Washington State since the 1930's.
Extirpated by hunters, sportsmen and livestock owners.
Shot, poisoned, tracked and poached to extinction. Wolves returned to the state in 2008.
There was no planned reintroduction, wolves migrated naturally from Idaho and Canada.
Currently 10 confirmed packs and two suspected packs in eastern and western Washington.
The return delights conservationists and biologists and frustrates ranchers. Current pack locations: Fladry is the use of red flags on fencing to deter wolves from bothering livestock. Red flags tied to electric fencing is called turbo fladry. Wolves are known to walk directly up to a fence with fladry, but not go through it, even with livestock
present. GPS, which stands for Global Positioning System,
is a radio navigation program that allows land, sea,
and air users to determine their exact location,
velocity, and time 24 hours a day, in all
weather conditions, anywhere in the world. After multiple predation events, the Wedge pack was eliminated from the landscape by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The same GPS collars originally put on the alpha male to track dispersal patterns was what led to them being found and eliminated. According to BioScience, wolves can
help restore damaged ecosystems,
encouraging greater biodiversity and
fostering ecotourism. By preying on wildlife, herds are healthier since wolves predominantly select young, old, physically impaired, or diseased animals. By reducing prey numbers, dispersing these animals on the landscape, and removing sick animals, wolves also may reduce the transmission and prevalence of wildlife diseases such as chronic wasting disease and brucellosis. Trees, shrubs, stream banks, amphibians, birds and beavers returned, habitat was restored Ranchers and Their Ability
to Protect Their Livestock Gone, But Not Forgotten References: Anthes, E. (2013) Tracking the pack. The New York times. Retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2013/0204/opinion/tracking-the-pack.html?_r=0.
Chadwick, D. (2010) Wolf wars. National Geographic. Retrieved from http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/03/wolf-wars/chadwick-text.
Chittm, G. (2012) Legislator wants answerson decision to kill Washington wolf pack. KING 5. Retrieved from http://www.king5.com/news/environment/Legislator-wants-answers-on-decision-to-kill-Washington-wolf-pack-176885141.html
DeFranza, D. (2010) Wolves can help restore ecosystems. TreeHugger. Retrieved from http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/wolves-can-help-restore-ecosystems.html
Lance, N., Breck, S., Sime, C., Callahan, P., & shivik, J. (2010) Biological, technical, and social aspects of applying electrified fladry for livestock protection from wolves (Canis lupus). Wildlife research, 37. 708-714.
Images courtesy of Google Images. Music courtesy Hal Weaver - "Tolerance" from Ancestral Influence. I woke up one morning thinking about
wolves and realized that wolf packs
function as families. Everyone has a role,
and if you act within the parameters of
your role, the whole pack succeeds, and
when that falls apart, so does the pack.
-Jodi Picoult We are all a part of earth's family - we should function as one. Thank you for viewing my ecospot. -Bobbi The battle between man and wolf has existed for centuries. Man feels as though the wolf is a cold blooded killer, intent on taking his right to hunt away by killing wildlife and then his livestock. Wolves just want to exist with a plentiful prey base - and at times that may include livestock.
And therein lies the problem. Real time tracking increases response time to the threat of wolves. Currently Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife attempts to warn ranchers of wolf presence, but the delay in notification has cost lost livestock, and finally, lost wolves. Ultimately the survival of wolves in Washington State will be dependent on finding a way to co-exist. Ranchers must embrace the technology that will allow them to live peacefully with wolves while protecting their livestock and livelihood. Biologists must work with ranchers to teach the value of wolves to the state and the ecosystem. A healthy prey base will lessen the
threats to livestock, easing fear
and hate. Children should be taught
that wolves are not bad or evil, but
a necessary part of a balanced world,
and through this teaching, they can
help to educate their parents -
changing the paradigm of fear.
Full transcript