A new era of wolf management demands better data and a more inclusive process
November 2, 2022
Hunting and trapping of gray wolves (Canis lupus) has increased dramatically in the “lower 48” states of the United States. We assess the data used to justify the intense hunting pressure on wolves, and find an absence of accessible biological data. We find there is a clear need for more transparent reporting of livestock losses, wolf kills, and especially the numbers and types of nontarget species captured in traps set for wolves. Also lacking is a full accounting of benefits and costs of hunting wolves, with a noteworthy failure to incorporate the ecosystem functions served by wolves. As apex predators, wolves warrant multi-objective management as opposed to management focused largely on livestock interests and concerns.
Author(s): Peter Kareiva, Samantha Kim Attwood, Kim Bean, Desiree Felix, Michelle Marvier, Madison L. Miketa, Elishebah Tate-Pulliam