Save Wolves Now – Later will be too late
Scientific data asserts that healthy, viable apex predator populations are essential to a balanced, self-sustaining ecosystem. After the extermination and near-extermination of multiple species, this is no longer an untested theory; it is an established fact.
In America, early landowners began the campaign to eradicate wolves by baiting and trapping. A PBS report gives a detailed historic example of this practice that should cause us to question the overall tendency to revel in suffering and destruction that carries forward to those supporting extermination today.
For him [a farmer exterminating wolves], it made sense to devote his winter labor to digging pits, weaving platforms, hunting bait, and setting and checking his traps twice daily. The animals had injured him, and “he was now ‘paying them off in full.’” Audubon’s reaction to the slaying of the wolves is less understandable … The ingenious pit traps amazed him, as did the fearsome predators’ meek behavior and the childlike glee the farmer took in his work. The violence Audubon witnessed, however, did not shock him. Watching a pack of dogs rip apart terrified and defenseless animals was a “sport” both he and the farmer found enjoyable. …Learn more
Successful farmers and ranchers from history as well as those today recognize that if you have livestock, it is incumbent upon you as that livestock owner, to manage your animals. This includes mindful pasturing, range riders/herdsmen, livestock dogs, proper livestock health precautions that minimize death to illness, and removal of carcasses when death occurs. Wolves and other apex predators are, by necessity and therefore by nature, opportunistic feeders. Leave a carcass on the ground and you invite predators into your herd. Learning how the predator lives and what instincts drive them is the first step to successful livestock management in predator territory.
As you learn more about today’s struggle to protect our ecosystem by saving America’s predators, you will find that much of today’s extermination efforts are fueled by the desire to save a few pennies without expending reasonable effort. Grazing on public lands is a part of that issue that is beginning to reach the public’s ear, but what is not yet publicized is the general lack of standard animal husbandry methods that reduce losses. For example, how many people know the percentage of cows and sheep who die each year simply due to the lack of proper parasite removal and vaccination? How many of us are aware of how much beef is exported overseas each year? – all while certain cattlemen lament the ‘devastation of their livestock by predators’ when the facts make a lie of their words.
Want the answer for 2016? One million, one hundred twenty thousand metric tons!
To put these numbers into comparisons more easily grasped by the human mind, India, Brazil, Australia and the United States accounted for roughly 66% of the world’s beef exports in 2016. How much credence should we lend cattlemen’s organizations who claim they are victims with these facts in hand?
It’s a business. With business ownership comes business risks. A functional ecosystem needs wolves. Wolves need to be given more priority on public lands.