Successful wolves to be culled

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The population of wolves in Kyrgyzstan has grown dramatically in the last decade. Three times as many wolves roam the country as did merely ten years ago. But the State Forestry Service says that's just too many.
The population in Soviet times was a mere 2000, kept down officially and by shepards.
Now the population is much larger and officials says wolves have been moving near humans areas and attacking people and livestock, as well as putting pressure on endangered wildlife.
Restrictions on firearms after violence in the early 1990's means most farmers don't have a gun, but there's a new fund to pay bounty for any hunter who kills one.

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Any chance that we can use this method to keep wolf population down? Or at least, make a number of very, very happy wolves?

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You're a sick little fellow, Chip :)

Melissa "MelSkunk" Drake

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I second the notion.

"...there were now so many wolves that other wild animals such as mountain goats were being endangered, and this had serious implications for the country's ecological balance." Under the Forestry Service (whatever)'s logic, shouldn't we be culling HUMANS????

And I do wonder if that man who was bitten was actually bitten by a healthy, unprovoked wolf or a provoked/hybrid/diseased animal.

I do have sympathy for the farmers to whom one animal means the difference between food and famine, but really, I don't think culls are the way to do it. They're traumatizing, indiscriminate, and inhumane.

Personally I'd advocate (a) either giving the farmers their guns back or giving them guard dogs large enough to deter wolves, (b) allowing aggression against wolves only in cases of immediate threat to livestock or life, (c) penalties if the aggression was NOT in response to an immediate threat, and the most effective method of all, (d) offering cash rewards to any farmer who allows wolves on his land unmolested while reimbursing them 100% for any killed livestock.

It's a winning combo. :) Unfortunately, we don't seem to like to do things that way - you gotta give incentives and rewards, and encourage cohabitation of the environment, not total segregation. Farmers won't do somethin for nothin - they can't be expected to lose livestock and live in danger, percieved or real, out of the goodness of their hearts and ecoawareness. It's the government's responsibility to make sure that conservation and healthy ecologies are economically workable and attractive to the people who must live with the policies.

IMHO.

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(d) offering cash rewards to any farmer who allows wolves on his land unmolested while reimbursing them 100% for any killed livestock.

It's a nice idea, but if they can't even afford to buy vowels, there's no way the government can pay for wolf-killed livestock. They don't even have the money for bounties, they have to hold a fundraiser. Maybe they won't get enough money for the locals to find it worth their while to kill the wolves.

I do like the guard dog idea though. They've been used by shepherds to protect the herds/flocks from predators for hundreds of years. That would be a much better solution than simply killing the wolves.

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It pains me to see any wolves having to be killed, but if we concede that, I have to favor any approach that specifically targets the wolves who are agressive toward livestock and humans over any approach in which they simply go out and kill a certain number of wolves, any wolves they can find with little or no attempt to correlate the ones they kill with the ones who are causing problems. Individual wolves and whole packs behave differently from one another; some are more willing than others to live around humans, and some have more of a taste for human-owned livestock than others, and while there's only so much you can do to override instincts necessary for survival, to extent it is possible to "breed out" behaviors that are considered undesireable - same principle as natural selection. There have been cases in Africa where lions have been observed repeatedly near livestock, yet the lions never attempt to hunt or kill them. It seems the lions have gotten the idea that human-tended animals are off limits (a point which unfortunately is lost on some of the livestock owners, who will shoot any lion seen within ten miles of their animals). If killing wolves is necessary, do it in a way that punishes the guilty.

mwalimu

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About the author

MelSkunk (Melissa Drake)read storiescontact (login required)

a student and Skunk from Toronto, ON, interested in writting, art, classic cars and animals