Wolves (Canis spp.) have recolonized the Great Lakes region and expanded into agricultural areas where there is increasing concern of conflict with livestock. We documented 121 wolf predation events on captive or domestic animals in the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan between April 1996 and April 2009. We investigated the relationship between annual wolf abundance and predation events, seasonality of predations on livestock, and the association between previous winter severity and predations on livestock. The annual number of predations on livestock increased with wolf abundance, and overall, predations on cattle and calves increased during calving season. We observed a direct relationship between the annual number of predations on livestock and previous winter severity. We observed no relationship between the annual number of domestic dogs killed by wolves and wolf abundance. If the observed trends persist, wolf–livestock conflict in the UP will continue to increase, elevating management costs and likely reducing human tolerance for wolves. Managers should be prepared for continued conflicts as wolf populations increase and eventually are delisted in the region.
Edge, Justin L.; Beyer, Dean E. Jr.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Jordan, Mark J.; and Roell, Brian J.
"Livestock and Domestic Dog Predations by Wolves in Michigan,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 5
, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol5/iss1/9