“We don’t want livestock to die because of wolves and we don’t wolves to be killed because of livestock.” This is the philosophy guiding a new Californian initiative between the ranching community and My Green World’s partner charity, California Wolf Center, that will establish a coexistence program between livestock and wolves.
The Wolf Returns to California
New Initiative Will Reduce Wolf and Livestock Conflict
As of July 1, 2016, California has implemented its inaugural Range Rider program; an unprecedented move which will protect livestock while ensuring the success of wild wolf recovery in California.
Wolves have been absent from California for nearly a century, after being eradicated in the early 1900s through a government funded extermination campaign.
Now, after many decades, the wolves are finally returning to the region.
The imminent return of wolves to California caused growing concern amidst ranchers, who fear that their livestock would fall prey to the returning wolves. However, the California Wolf Center has been working hard to lay a foundation for wolves to peacefully return to California, implementing the inaugural Range Riders program, which will not only allow for a safe passage for wolves but will protect livestock populations.
The California Wolf Center says that successful coexistence between wolves and livestock is possible if proactive and nonlethal measures are taken.
“Range Riders provide a human presence that can deter wolves away from cattle or move cattle away from wolves if necessary,” they said in a recent press release.
Beyond reducing conflict between wolves and livestock, incidental benefits of Range Riding improve the quality of life for cattle – the ability to treat injuries or illnesses in livestock quickly, rekindling the herd behaviour and increasing vigilance in the herd.
Due to the vast open rangeland in the northern state, the use of Ranger Riders is the best option for successful coexistence between wolves and livestock. As wolves are inherently shy of humans, providing a human presence through Range Riders deters wild wolves from approaching the area and they can move cattle if needed.
The California Wolf Center has launched a crowdfunding campaign which aims to raise funds to further develop peaceful coexistence strategies between wolves and livestock. You can visit their GoFundMe campaign here.
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To find out more about our partner charity, the California Wolf Center, click here.
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