[Taxacom] wolf predation and car collisions with deer

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Tue May 25 10:26:10 CDT 2021

Apologies in advance as this is not taxonomy per se, but may be of interest
to some nevertheless. I was interested to read the following as it is a
nice illustration of unintended consequences and a positive economic
outcome where wolf population expansion and predation is otherwise often
controversial in the US, especially for farmers.

Mon, May 24, 2021, 6:40 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ecologist Rolf Peterson remembers driving remote
stretches of road in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and seeing areas strewn
with deer carcasses. But that changed after gray wolves arrived in the
region from Canada and Minnesota.

“When wolves moved in during the 1990s and 2000s, the deer-vehicle
collisions went way down,” said the Michigan Tech researcher.

Recently, another team of scientists has gathered data about road
collisions and wolf movements in Wisconsin to quantify how the arrival of
wolves there affected the frequency of deer-auto collisions. They found it
created what scientists call “a landscape of fear."

“In a pretty short period of time, once wolves colonize a county, deer
vehicle collisions go down about 24%,” said Dominic Parker, a natural
resources economist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and co-author
of their new study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences.

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