Working for coexistence
Wolves in California are protected under state and federal law. Local communities should prepare now for a non-lethal approach to conflict reduction.
This project's two primary objectives were to:
1st objective: we mapped the state's wolf habitat (top right) through statistical analysis of the environmental variables associated with its landscape. We then compared this to a map of livestock grazing in order to identify "conflict hotspot" zones (bottom right). Those hotspots are where we should implement practices to reduce wolf-livestock conflicts.
2nd objective: we surveyed 124 livestock producers in the state's 7 northernmost counties (Shasta, Lassen, Modoc, Siskiyou, Del Norte, Humboldt and Trinity counties). Survey responses indicated which conflict reduction practices are able to be implemented on those producers' lands. Combined, they reported that attractant removal and range riding are the most locally feasible practices.
We are sharing our results with stakeholders around the state and hope this information helps them adopt successful, cost-effective solutions to the problem.
See our Project Documents for more detailed information about our results.
Conflict Prevention Strategies
Though wolves mostly hunt elk and deer, they occasionally kill privately-owned cattle, sheep, or other livestock. Thankfully there are cost-effective ways to reduce the likelihood of wolf attacks on livestock, including:
Defenders of Wildlife
Defenders of Wildlife has worked with the nation's ranching community to prevent conflicts with wolves in the U.S. for over three decades. They have partnered with Bren students on this project to help California proactively prepare for the possibility that wolves will return to the state. For more information on their programs, see the organization's website.