New Study Shows Only 2.3 Percent of Predator Related Cattle Deaths Caused by Wolves

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(5/8/2006) - Washington, DC – On Friday May 5, the National Agricultural Statistical Services released a report that shows that wolves are responsible for only 2.3 percent of predator-caused cattle deaths annually. Of the 190,000 cattle lost to predators in 2005, 4,400, or 2.3 percent, were killed by wolves. By comparison, vultures killed nearly twice as many cattle as wolves and dogs combined.

"These statistics clearly show that wolves kill very few cattle annually, especially compared to other causes of death," said Suzanne Asha Stone, Rocky Mountain Field Representative for Defenders of Wildlife. "Vultures and even dogs kill more cattle than wolves, to say nothing of coyotes, weather, and disease." 

Most cattle lost in 2005 were lost to other factors besides predators. Just over four million cattle died last year nationwide, ninety five percent of those died from disease, weather, and other non-predator related causes. 

"Those opposed to wolf reintroduction often claim the toll wolves take on cattle is very high, but the true statistics tell a different story," said Stone. "With these numbers we see that wolves play a very small role in all cattle deaths."


Defenders of Wildlife, through its Bailey Wildlife Foundation Wolf Compensation Trust, assists ranchers who lose cattle to wolves. Defenders’ also established a Livestock Producer Advisory Council, comprised of ranchers, which works to foster dialogue and understanding between conservationists and ranchers. 

Defenders of Wildlife is recognized as one of the nation's most progressive advocates for wildlife and its habitat. With more than 490,000 members and supporters, Defenders of Wildlife is an effective leader on endangered species issues.



William Lutz, (202) 772-0269
Cindy Hoffman, (202) 772-3255

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