Mexican Gray Wolf
© Gnagel/iStock

Mexican Gray Wolf

Coexistence Partnerships

Defenders has helped pioneer practical solutions to help livestock and wolves coexist. We’re working with ranchers in the southwest United States and Mexico to develop nonlethal deterrents, better animal husbandry practices and other innovative tools that minimize conflict and build social acceptance for wolves. Over the years, we’ve helped numerous ranchers purchase electric fencing and guard dogs, hire range riders and deploy scare devices to keep wolves away. These proactive methods help protect livestock, and because dead livestock increase intolerance and often lead to dead wolves , they also protect wolves.

The Problem

While wolves typically hunt for wild animals such as elk and deer, they will occasionally prey on livestock when a good opportunity arises. If a wolf becomes habituated to preying on livestock it can be very hard to break the habit, and the wolf is often removed from the wild or killed as a result.

How We’re Helping

Defenders of Wildlife has a long history of improving the capacity of communities and individuals to manage wolves. Our wolf coexistence programs continue to grow as more ranchers become interested in trying new ways to minimize conflicts.  Defenders and local landowners are innovating together, using timed calving, shared range riders, and turbo-fladry to keep livestock and wolves safe.  State and federal agencies are also following our lead and putting more resources toward lowering conflict rather than removing wolves.

Learn more about Defenders' work to help wildlife and people coexist in our Living with Wildlife section.