5,069: The total number of wolves killed by USDA APHIS Wildlife Services from 2004 through 2017 because of livestock predation. This total does not include unreported kills or authorized losses not involving the agency. Be it private or public lands, wolves will be killed, in perpetuum, for the love of a burger, and most certainly when non-lethal deterrents are considered to be in order. A damned disgrace; in states with infinitesimal populations of wolves, such as Oregon, unacceptable.
Oregon is home to 3,930,065 humans, a cattle population of 1,280,000 and a mere 124 wolves. Just 124 wolves — and still there is no peace for the predators.
Oregon wildlife officials have killed, or authorized the killing of 17 wolves since 2009, including 13 (soon to be 14) in the past two years. 12 more have been poached, including 8 since 2015. Of those 17, this year, 3 wolves from the Pine Creek Pack have been killed (an uncollared yearling female wolf was shot from the ground on April 10th, and 2 other family members, another yearling female and an adult male, were gunned down via helicopter on the 18th). All killed, or “removed” as they like to say, for predating on livestock.
Is co-existence possible? With cattle replacing prey species in record numbers, not just on private lands, but also on public lands and even in our forests, this idea becomes an illusion. One needs a place to “exist” in order to “co-exist.” For the very reason wolves were all but completely extirpated from the contiguous United States nearly 100 years ago, they must suffer again.
Did we rescue wolves from the brink of extinction just to kill them all over again? It certainly seems that way. Of course wolves are essential to the ecosystems, but these ecosystems, neccessary for all wildlife to thrive, are littered with livestock and other invasive species. With riparian areas trampled and degraded, the carrying capacity for native species is greatly reduced. One cannot replace natural prey with livestock and expect carnivores to survive without predating on that which is set before them.
Many conservation groups promote “predator friendly” implying it’s a viable model for “co-existence’ between livestock and wildlife. However, there is no way to raise livestock without significant impact to predators and their prey base. Thus predator friendly provides an illusion of guilt-free meat consumption, when the reality is that consuming beef, and to a degree lamb, is the worst dietary choice you can make for a host of reasons that goes well beyond predator survival.
And so it goes, the exploding human population, with an insatiable desire to consume the flesh of another sentient being reaps misery for all, including our planet. And wolves, wild horses, grizzlies, coyotes and many, many more lose their right to live in peace on earth. Indeed, they lose their life.
As I mentioned earlier, in the not too distant future, another wolf will lose his or her life, the kill order is in place as 3 calves were injured on privately owned pasture and adjacent public land allotment. The permit to kill one wolf (under the Wolf-Plan rules, livestock producers must be using non-lethal methods before lethal control can be considered) expires July 10th when the producer removes his cattle from this pasture. ODFW asserted that non-lethal deterrents were in order: the producer has been checking his livestock repeatedly since they were placed in pasture in June; maintained human presence around the cows/calves including checking them during the night; penned the cows with calves in a smaller area after the first 2 depredations; removed injured livestock from the pasture to avoid attracting wolves; monitored the area for wolf signs and changes in cattle behavior; and arranged for an agent to spend several nights with the cattle after the first depredations. Because all the necessary steps were taken in order to allow lethal removal of wolves, it is highly unlikely this decision could be reversed.
Should you like to speak with Governor Kate Brown she can be reached at (503) 378-4582
If you really would like to help save wolves, consider forgoing that steak or burger permanently, and encourage your family and friends to do the same. Take extinction off your plate.
Copyright © 2018 [COPYRIGHT Intheshadowofthewolf]. All Rights Reserved.