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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Boise, Idaho » Northwest Watershed Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #322293

Research Project: Assessment, Conservation and Management of Rangelands in Transition

Location: Northwest Watershed Research Center

Title: A case study of wolf use of a mountainous Idaho landscape

Author
item JOHNSON, DOUGLAS - Oregon State University
item Clark, Pat
item LARSON, LARRY - Oregon State University
item ANDERSON, CASEY - Oregon State University
item FREEBURG, TYANNE - University Of Idaho
item WILLIAMS, JOHN - Oregon State University

Submitted to: Oregon Beef Producer
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/19/2015
Publication Date: 6/1/2015
Citation: Johnson, D.E., Clark, P., Larson, L.L., Anderson, C.A., Freeburg, T., Williams, J. 2015. A case study of wolf use of a mountainous Idaho landscape. Oregon Beef Producer. 25-28.

Interpretive Summary: Ranchers and farmers frequently ask questions about the research project we conducting on wolf-livestock interactions in Oregon and Idaho but it is difficult to give any definitive answers to many of these questions because the complexity of the issue and long-term nature of the research. However, as part of this larger project, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to simultaneously track a herd of beef cattle and a gray wolf with GPS collars, throughout the 2009 grazing season, on landscapes near Idaho’s Hells Canyon and the Seven Devils Mountains. In this article, we have used this unique data set to provide preliminary answers to some of these producer questions regarding wolf-livestock interactions on mountainous range and forest lands. While this is a simple case study with very limited scope, these data do provide some very interesting insights into this complex issue.

Technical Abstract: Gray wolves were reintroduced into Idaho in 1995. As the size of this population and the extent of its range has expanded, so has the number and frequency wolf-livestock interactions. Because wolves are becoming more common in areas with contiguous ranching/farming enterprises, it is important that livestock producers understand how wolves move across the landscape and how they interact with rangeland livestock. Since 2008, we have been conducting a large, long-term research project on wolf-livestock interactions at 8 study areas (i.e., USFS grazing allotments) distributed across northeastern Oregon and western Idaho. Ranchers and farmers frequently ask us questions about this project and what we are learning about wolves and livestock. It is difficult to give any definitive answers to many of these questions because the complexity of the issue and long-term nature of the research. However, as part of this larger project, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to simultaneously track a herd of beef cattle and a gray wolf with GPS collars, throughout the 2009 grazing season, on landscapes near Idaho’s Hells Canyon and the Seven Devils Mountains. In this article, we have used this unique data set to provide preliminary answers to some of these producer questions regarding wolf-livestock interactions on mountainous range and forest lands. While this is a simple case study with very limited scope, these data do provide some very interesting insights into this complex issue.