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Wildlife Management I. ES118 Spring 2008. REMINDER Exam Thursday does not cover Today and Wednesday (on next exam). Overview. Today Managing people and animals Case study: tigers Changing attitudes Managing our wildlands Restoring wildlife Case study: wolves Wednesday

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wildlife management i

Wildlife Management I

ES118 Spring 2008



Exam Thursday does not cover Today and Wednesday (on next exam)



  • Managing people and animals
    • Case study: tigers
  • Changing attitudes
    • Managing our wildlands
  • Restoring wildlife
    • Case study: wolves


  • Ecosystem management
  • Adaptive management
  • Complexity and wildlife management
    • Tools for predicting risk
    • Scenario planning
humans and wildlife in perspective
Humans and wildlife in perspective
  • Humans and wildlife interacted throughout history
    • exploited wild animals for food
    • exploited animals for sport and culture
    • we have modified landscapes
    • we have moved species around the world
  • Types of interactions
    • Positive: Agriculture and food production, aesthetics
    • Negative: Wild animals eat our livestock, damage our crops, compete for prey, maybe even kill or injure us
wildlife conflicts with people

Source: US Department of Agriculture / SCOTT WALLACE -CSM

Wildlife conflicts with people
  • Estimated $22 billion damage from wildlife in US each year
  • Record 237,766 cases of wildlife-human conflict in U.S. in 2002
    • Approximately 40% occurred in urban and suburban settings
herbivores and conflict
Herbivores and conflict
  • Crop-raiding
    • Agricultural losses often significant
  • More people killed each year by herbivores than large predators!
    • Estimated 100-200 people killed each year by Asian elephants in India
    • In Kenya, between 1990-97 elephants killed 221 people compared to 250 by predators over same period!

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challenge of managing wildlife

Image: www.nationalgeographic.com

Photograph by Michael T. Sedam/CORBIS

Challenge of managing wildlife

Great and terrible flesh-eating beasts have always shared the landscape with humans…The teeth of big predators, their claws, their ferocity and their hunger, were grim realities that could be eluded but not forgotten…Among the earliest forms of human self awareness was the awareness of being meat.

-- David Quammen, Monster of God

carnivores and conflict
Carnivores and conflict
  • Large carnivores among the most persecuted
    • Many have experienced massive declines in US and globally
    • Ultimately, retaliation is major cause of species endangerment/extinction
    • Many factors that resulted in this decline still operating today
panthera tigris
Panthera tigris
  • Largest cat in the world

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  • Lives only in Asia
  • <4,000 tigers in the wild

Today tigers occupied only 7% of their historical range. This represents a 93% range collapse over the last 150 years

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“Setting Priorities for Tiger Conservation: 2005 – 2015”

Sanderson, E.W., J. Forrest, C. Loucks, J. Ginsberg, E. Dinerstein, J. Seidensticker, P. Leimgruber, M. Songer, A. Heydlauff, T. O’Brien, G. Bryja, S. Klenzendorf, and E. Wikramanayake

In Tigers of the World

R. Tilson and P. Nyhus, eds.

extinct tiger subspecies







Extinct Tiger Subspecies



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Estimated date of extinction

tiger subspecies panthera tigris
Tiger Subspecies (Panthera tigris)










South China


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Remaining tiger subspecies

Habitat loss, poaching, and inbreeding primary threats to tigers
  • But retaliation for attacks a significant reason for tiger decline
    • Killing people
    • Killing livestock

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managing human wildlife conflict
Managing human-wildlife conflict
  • Carnivore management is as much a political challenge as a scientific one!
  • Preservation
    • Results in recovery of species
    • But high costs, including political/social costs
  • Modifying animal behavior
    • E.g., sterilize, relocate, non-lethal deterrence (aversive stimuli), diversion (e.g., elk feeding areas)
  • Modifying human behavior
    • e.g., improve livestock husbandry
  • Avoiding intersection of human and carnivore activities
    • Barriers and exclusion (fences, trenches, walls)
    • Zoning schemes
managing human wildlife conflict cont
Managing human-wildlife conflict (cont.)
  • Lethal control
    • Eradication
    • Bounties
    • Regulated harvest (typically with monitoring and permits)
      • In US from 1996-2001 est. 13.7 million animals killed by federal agents to control agricultural damages
      • South African government has said it will allow elephants to be culled for first time in 13 years
European colonists viewed New England as hostile wilderness full of evil and hardship to be conquered and tamed
    • “…a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wild beasts and wild men.”
        • William Bradford, leader of Plymouth Bay colony
1832 1870s
Rapid destruction of forests and wildlife in eastern N. America sparked early concern

Some argued part of the wilderness should be owned by the people, managed by the government, and protected as a legacy for future generations

growth of a conservation ethic

Henry David


Growth of a conservation ethic

“I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil,--to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society…in Wilderness is the preservation of the world.”

- “Walking”, H. D. Thoreau

progressive era conservation

Progressive Era & Conservation

Theodore Roosevelt &

Gifford Pinchot

John Muir

preservation vs wise use
Preservation vs wise use

John Muir (Founded Sierra Club)

Preservationist philosophy of protecting wilderness areas like Yosemite Valley from economic development

Gifford Pinchot (Chief of Division of Forestry, USFS, 1898):

Wise Management of natural resources for economic development

Led to development of “wise use” and “sustained yield” doctrines

growth of a land ethic and modern wildlife management
Growth of a land ethic and modern wildlife management

The Land Ethic"The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land.” "The Land Ethic" from A Sand County Almanac

Aldo Leopold


“We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunter’s paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.”

--Aldo Leopold, Sand County Almanac

wolves as evil
Wolves as “evil”
  • Wolves once represented depravity of wildness
  • One of first laws passed by Puritans of New Haven colony established bounty on wolves and foxes
    • goal to eradicate predator populations
  • Hunting with wild dogs and trapping in 1600s
  • Habitat destruction (e.g,. draining wetlands)
  • Wolves eliminated from most of New England and mid-Atlantic by end of the colonial period
wolf eradication
Wolf eradication
  • Customary policy permitted indiscriminate killing of wildlife in many areas
    • Between 1895 and 1917 30,000 wolf bounties claimed in Wyoming alone!
    • 1914 congress appropriated funds for destruction of predators, including wolves, on public lands—so killing wolves official policy of federal government
  • By 1970s, however, in lower 48 states wolves only in MN (1,000?)
return of the wolves
Return of the wolves
  • As a result of ESA and work of various groups, wolves making comeback
  • Just a decade ago in 1995 wolves reintroduced to central Idaho and Yellowstone ecosystem of Wyoming, and Montana and Idaho
  • Populations in MN have increased substantially, and recolonized (on their own) parts of WI, MI, and Montana
  • USFWS also returning Mexican gray wolf to Arizona and red wolves to North Carolina


wildlife compensation
Wildlife compensation
  • Reimburse people for damage by wildlife for crops, livestock, property, or injury/death to people
  • Payment in cash or in-kind assistance
  • Assistance with damage abatement measures
  • Defenders of Wildlife developed first permanent compensation fund in US
    • Since inception fund has paid over $270,000
    • 225 ranchers compensated for 327 cows, 678 sheep, 34 other animals
    • In part led to successful recovery of wolves
wolves as symbol
Wolves as symbol
  • Challenge of problem definition: What is the real issue? Biology? Politics? Values?
  • Wolves (and other species) are often surrogate for broader cultural conflicts
    • Endangered Species Act
    • Public lands
    • Preservation vs resource use
    • Recreation vs extraction
    • Urban vs rural
    • State’s rights vs. federal control
  • USFWS announced the removal 2/21/08 of endangered species protections for gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains, declaring the species "no longer faces the threat of extinction.“
  • Minimum recovery goal (at least 30 breeding pairs and 300 individual wolves for three consecutive years) exceeded in 2002
  • Decision would allow states to impose their own management plans for gray wolves beyond federal land
    • Wyoming's rule would allow hunting of wolves in the state's northwestern corner and let landowners also apply for a "lethal take permit" if they experience chronic wolf predation of their livestock or domesticated animals
    • 11 environmental and animal rights groups plan to sue to stop the removal of gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains from ESA