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Testing Fladry as a Nonlethal Management Tool for Wolves and Coyotes in Michigan

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Several forms of nonlethal management exist, but field testing is problematic, and few such techniques have been tested on free-ranging wolves (Canis lupus) or other predators. We tested fladry in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan during the summers of 2004 and 2005 on treatment farms and control farms. Wolf visitation inside pastures, compared to those outside pastures, was less on fladry-protected farms (U = 45, n = 7, P = 0.004); whereas, we found no difference in wolf visitation inside and outside of pastures on control farms (U = 30, n = 7, P = 0.24). We found no difference in coyote (Canis latrans) visitation inside and outside of pastures on both treatment (U = 29.5, n = 7, P = 0.26) and control farms (U = 31.5, n = 7, P = 0.19). In our study, fladry deterred wolves from using livestock areas. Fladry was not effective for coyotes. Fladry may provide livestock owners and management agencies a temporarily effective, nonlethal management tool for reducing wolf-caused depredation of livestock; however, labor and equipment costs can be substantial.

Document: Fladry-davidson-nelson-and-gehring-2010.pdf  PDF icon

Author(s): Sarah J. Davidson-Nelson, Thomas M. Gehring

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