RESEARCH: ALBERTA BOUNTY PROJECT
Preventing Livestock Losses and Maintaining Ecological Integrity
Our findings from the research indicate that there is no justifiable nor evidence-based reason to continue offering incentives to kill these natural predators, and that predator bounties in this region should be ended immediately.
Our research in a region of eastern Alberta that offers wolf and coyote bounty payouts has indicated that the impact of wild canids on cattle in the area is in fact minimal and well within an acceptable loss to natural elements.
A small amount of consumption does occur where these animals overlap in range, however, some of this may be accounted for because of scavenging opportunities when cattle death occurs from another cause and the carcass is left in the area.
In speaking with local residents in the study area that included a grazing lease manager, municipal fieldmen and livestock producers, there was very little concern about livestock depredation events in the area, nor did we identify anyone who was in support of the municipal tax-funded bounty programs underway, despite hearing about a few individuals who claim many dead canids for profit.
Many organizations and individuals across Canada have expressed the belief that more education and outreach needs to be provided to Canadian ranching communities about non-lethal methods regarding prevention of wolf-coyote-livestock conflicts; however this information is not being adequately provided by livestock producer associations nor government agencies. This project offers a unique approach to livestock-predator conflicts because it is solution oriented and provides “boots on the ground” education about coexistence through one on one dialogue, public workshops and presentations, and evidence-based decision making for future best management practices. It is also the first attempt in Canada to work towards establishing Predator Friendly ranching certification.
We will continue to work with ranchers to help them transition to responsible, non-lethal, preventative methods of livestock production.
As more foundations and public become aware of our work over time we anticipate more financial support that will be used to continue to expand this program across the country. By taking proactive measures within small communities, this project aims to act as a pilot to build upon across Canada.
Project partners involved in this initiative included: Wildlife Biologist Dr. Gilbert Proulx, who is the Director of Science at Alpha Wildlife Research & Management Ltd, Certified predator-friendly rancher Louise Liebenberg, co-owner of Grazerie Farms, and Coyote Watch Canada, a Federal, Not-For-Profit, community-based wildlife organization, which advocates positive wildlife experiences through education, research, mediation, intervention, and conflict resolution.
Is Livestock an Important Food Resource for Coyotes and Wolves in Central Eastern Alberta Counties with Predator Control Bounties? (Spring/Summer 2018)
A RANCHERS GUIDE - Second Edition
Coexistence among Livestock, People and Wolves