Non-Lethal Wolf and Livestock Coexistence with the Wood River Wolf Project

On April 30, 2020 the Wolf Conservation Center hosted Suzanne Asha Stone, cofounder of the Wood River Wolf Project - a non-lethal demonstration project with a 12 year record of minimizing wolf and livestock losses in central Idaho's "sheep superhighway" - for an informative webinar about non-lethal wolf and livestock coexistence.

Documented sheep losses to wolves in the Project Area are 90% lower than the rest of Idaho according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). While tens of thousands of sheep graze annually in the project area, an average of just under 4 sheep per year are killed by wolves.  Over the 12 year history of the project, only one wolf has been killed in response to sheep attacks. Comparatively, neighboring grazing areas have experienced ten times higher sheep losses despite killing entire packs of wolves.

For more information, read Stone's 2017 paper "Adaptive use of nonlethal strategies for minimizing wolf–sheep conflict in Idaho" here. To make a donation to the Wood River Wolf Project, visit their online donation site.

Additional resources:

Stone's story about the return of wolves to the west

A guide on non-lethal methods


Suzanne Stone has worked for over three decades to restore wolves to the Rockies and Pacific Northwest.  Initially, she served as an intern for the Central Idaho Wolf Steering Committee and as a member of the 1995/1996 USA/Canadian Wolf Reintroduction team restoring wolves to Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho.  From 1999 to 2019, she led development of Defenders of Wildlife's wolf coexistence measures and models to minimize losses of livestock and gray wolves in the West.  She is the co-founder of the Wood River Wolf Project in Idaho and has won numerous awards for her leadership in wildlife conflict resolution and coexistence including being a two time recipient of the Animal Welfare Institute's Christine Stevens Wildlife Award for innovative research on humane, nonlethal tools and techniques for wildlife conflict management.  She is the lead author/researcher of Adaptive use of nonlethal strategies for minimizing wolf–sheep conflict in Idaho published by the Journal of Mammalogy in 2017. Suzanne helped to establish several of the nonlethal/coexistence measures to minimize conflicts between wild predators and livestock today including FoxLights, Turbofladry, range riders, wind dancers, carcass removal, use of multiple livestock guardian dogs, and more. She is working now all over the world to help transform archaic wildlife management from lethal to humane nonlethal methods.

Stone Webinar