[Taxacom] wolf predation and car collisions with deer

Kenneth Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Tue May 25 16:57:14 CDT 2021

Hi All,
        A 2016 study shows cougars can do the same thing ("Socioeconomic Benefits of Large Carnivore Recolonization Through Reduced Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions")
Weblink:  https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/conl.12280
Abstract:  The decline of top carnivores has released large herbivore populations around the world, incurring socioeconomic costs such as increased animal–vehicle collisions. Attempts to control overabundant deer in the Eastern United States have largely failed, and deer–vehicle collisions (DVCs) continue to rise at alarming rates. We present the first valuation of an ecosystem service provided by large carnivore recolonization, using DVC reduction by cougars as a case study. Our coupled deer population models and socioeconomic valuations revealed that cougars could reduce deer densities and DVCs by 22% in the Eastern United States, preventing 21,400 human injuries, 155 fatalities, and $2.13 billion in avoided costs within 30 years of establishment. Recently established cougars in South Dakota prevent $1.1 million in collision costs annually. Large carnivore restoration could provide valuable ecosystem services through such socio-ecological cascades, and these benefits could offset the societal costs of coexistence.

From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> on behalf of John Grehan via Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2021 10:26 AM
To: taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Subject: [Taxacom] wolf predation and car collisions with deer

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.
Taxacom Mailing List

More information about the Taxacom mailing list