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Animal Conservation



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In the Rocky Mountains of the USA, abundances and distributions of grizzly bear Ursus arctos and gray wolf Canis lupus have increased (Bangs et al., 2001; Nicholson & Hendricks, 2018). This has led to increased predation of livestock in areas where livestock producers have not needed to implement conflict prevention methods in recent history. Lethal removal of carnivores that kill livestock remains a common source of carnivore mortalities (Woodroffe, 2001; Broekhuis, Cushman & Elliot, 2017). In the USA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services (USDA-WS) is often asked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or a State’s wildlife management agency to lethally remove large carnivores that depredate livestock. Where possible, conservation practitioners favor increased use of non-lethal tools to replace lethal methods aimed at preventing depredation of livestock. Conservation groups often dispute management actions for large carnivores, sometimes resulting in lawsuits. It is often challenging to look beyond these differences and note that the ultimate goal of these diverse groups is typically some variation on the same theme: to increase coexistence by reducing conflicts between humans and carnivores.