Oregon Wildlife Officials Kill Wolf to Benefit Private Industry
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildife (ODFW) trapped and killed a two-year-old male wolf on July 4th in a misguided and unscientific attempt to prevent livestock attacks. The wolf is the third member of the Chesnimnus Pack to be killed this year and under a kill permit issued by ODFW, another three members of the family can be killed before the permit expires on July 17.
Killing Wolves Does Not Reduce Conflict
Science shows that killing a wolf can increase the risk that wolves will prey on livestock in the future. It is counterproductive and unsustainable. Additional research also suggests that killing of wolves can increase the risk to nearby farms, providing further evidence for the ineffectiveness of the so-called “lethal control” policy approach.
Wildlife managers across the West trap and kill wolves, cougars and coyotes and other predators, and lethal control has become more common for wolves in Oregon and Washington as their populations have grown. But many scientists contend there’s little good evidence for the effectiveness of those efforts.
Under Oregon’s Wolf Plan rules, livestock producers must be using and document non-lethal methods to deter wolves before lethal control can be considered. Also, there can be no identified circumstances on the property (such as bone piles or carcasses) that could be attracting wolves.
Oregon was home to 175 wolves at the end of 2021, an increase of two wolves from 2020. 26 wolves were found dead in 2021; 21 of these deaths were human-caused (poaching, vehicle collisions, and ODFW killing on behalf of livestock owners).