[Taxacom] wolf predation and car collisions with deer

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Tue May 25 17:56:21 CDT 2021

" societal costs of coexistence" - it's all about risk management, or
tolerance I guess. In this case the occasional mauling or death perhaps.
When I first arrived in the US I had to become accustomed to the idea that
one had to walk the forests with due care for the bears. Quite a transition
from the largely macro predator-free existence of my former life.

 In the US some segments of the population are obsessed with wolves (and
perhaps cougars) as simply vermin to be either exterminated or pushed to
such low population levels that they barely exist (not to mention the
destruction of their social structure which is sometimes essential for
their well being as well).

On Tue, May 25, 2021 at 5:57 PM Kenneth Kinman via Taxacom <
taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

> 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.
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