Wood River Valley Wolf Project

Project #: 1710  –   Updated: September 26, 2012

Project Summary

This project involves the use of non-lethal tools and techniques to reduce conflicts between livestock and wolves, in central Idaho. This is a collaborative effort involving local livestock producers, state and federal agencies, and conservation organizations.

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Location (by county):
Blaine County (ID)

Watersheds:
Big Wood

Congressional Districts:
ID District 02

Bird Conservation Regions:
Northern Rockies

USFWS Regions:
Pacific Region

Project size:
58308.62 acres

Public Access

Site Name Publicly Accessible
Big Wood River Wolf Project Yes

Full Project Description

This project involves the use of non-lethal tools and techniques to reduce conflicts between livestock and wolves, in central Idaho. This is a collaborative effort involving local livestock producers, state and federal agencies, and conservation organizations.

Project Assistance & Partnership Opportunities

Funding

This is the second year of this project, and we are looking for funding to hire a crew to implement the non-lethal tools and techniques we use out in the field.

Goals and Targets

Primary motivations:

Public Benefit
Other
Conservation Mission

Primary goals:

Increase the level of communication between the different agencies and producers in the valley that all are effected by having wolves on the landscape.
Progress:

The level of participation was good last year. We had a successful project season, and the producers were very interested in working on this project again in 2009.

Implement a number of different strategies in the field to reduce livestock loss to wolves and other predators.
Progress:

Although many of the different tools and techniques used in this project had been tried and tested successfully before, this was the first project where we were able to use a variety of different strategies, in a real conflict situation. This was the first year of the project, in an area that covered a large watershed that was home to multiple wolf packs, and we plan on continuing this project for at least another year so we can compare data over a number of years.

Test a number of different non-lethal wolf deterrents in the field to see which worked best in each situation.
Progress:

We have good data the field crews collected all last season, and we will be implementing those deterrents which worked best last year.

Consistent with plans:

Forest Plan
Species Recovery Plan
State Wildlife Action Plan
Federal Land Management Plan

Targeted habitats:

    • Forests and Woodlands
      • Conifer Forests
        • Mixed Conifer (Grand Fir/White fir/Douglas Fir/Pine) Forest
    • Shrublands and Grasslands
      • Shrublands and Steppe
        • Sagebrush Shrubland and Steppe

Targeted species:

  • Gray Wolf Canis lupus

Actions

Project Actions
Use predator friendly controls (such as llamas, guard dogs) Show/Hide details
Other: Reduce loss of an endangered species Show/Hide details
Other: Recuce conflicts between livestock and wolves Show/Hide details

Assistance

Technical Assistance
Project Engineering and Design Show/Hide details

Outcomes

Is the success of this project's actions being monitored?   Yes

Please describe your monitoring activity.

The field crew collected data throughout the season on: wolf activity, the success of the different non-lethal deterrents used (guard-dogs, night penning, increased human presence, noise-makers, Radio-Activated Guard Boxes, telemetry).

We worked with the producers to see if there was any sheep killed by wolves, and to see if there was any weight loss due to night-penning.

What lessons have been learned and/or what suggestions do you have for similar activities?

One of the most important techniques to reduce livestock loss to predators is increased human presence. By having herders staying close to the sheep they not only deter wolves from coming into the bands, but they can also respond quickly to the barking of the guard dogs, and use noise-makers to haze the wolves away.

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Organization

Defenders of Wildlife
(Non-Governmental Organization)

Primary Contact

Suzanne Stone  (Northern Rockies Representative)
Defenders of Wildlife
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Partners

  • USDA Wildlife Services
  • USDA Forest Service
  • Idaho Department of Fish and Game
  • Livestock Producers
  • Sawtooth National Recreation Area

Project Photos

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