Wildlife Coexistence Partnership supports more than 100 projects nationwide in 2011

Printer-friendly version

Wildlife Coexistence Partnership supports more than 100 projects nationwide in 2011
Defenders of Wildlife helps ranchers, communities coexist with wildlife in nine states and Mexico

Summary:

  • Defenders of Wildlife celebrates Earth Day everyday by helping ranchers and communities coexist with wildlife and maintain a healthy environment.
  • In 2011, Defenders spent over $300,000 to support more than 100 coexistence projects in nine states and Mexico, focusing on seven different species.
  • Projects included hiring range riders, creating buffer zones for prairie dogs, paying for electric fencing, purchasing bear-proof food lockers and dumpsters, purchasing trail cameras to document panther activity and compensating ranchers for lost livestock.

WASHINGTON (April 19, 2012) – Defenders of Wildlife is taking a comprehensive, proactive approach to helping people and wildlife coexist. Through its Wildlife Coexistence Partnership program, Defenders implemented or provided incentives for projects in nine states across the country, including Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, as well as Mexico. These projects benefited prairie dogs, bison, gray wolves, grizzly bears, jaguars, polar bears, Florida panthers and Florida black bears. In total, Defenders supported more than 100 projects in 2011 to help communities live with wildlife.

“The nonlethal tools that we’re testing in places like Idaho, Oregon and Montana are showing that people really can share the landscape with wolves with a little extra effort,” says Suzanne Stone, Defenders Northern Rockies representative in Boise, Idaho. “Fladry, guard dogs, range riders—these basic deterrents have all proven effective when they’re given a chance. We’ve demonstrated that losses to wolves can be dropped to near zero levels if appropriate, proactive steps are taken to prevent conflict. Ranchers are able to safeguard their livestock while helping to maintain healthy populations of native wildlife.”

“We recognize that living in areas with grizzly bears or roaming bison isn’t always easy. That’s why we’re investing in projects that benefit people and wildlife,” says Jonathan Proctor, Defenders Rocky Mountain representative in Missoula, Montana. “For example, we helped pay for dozens of projects to keep grizzly bears out of chicken coops, beehives, and trash, primarily by installing electric fencing. These methods work and can prevent conflict with minimal upfront cost to individual property owners.”

“By working together, we are able to bring imperiled wildlife back from the brink of extinction and ease the burden on livestock owners and ranchers,” says Craig Miller, Defenders Southwest representative in Tucson, Arizona. “Our coexistence projects offer a bright future for rare and unique wildlife such as wolves and jaguars and also for ranchers and landowners who are taking steps to help make that possible.”

“The Florida panther’s downward spiral toward extinction has been reversed in recent years and the number of cats has been growing. But for the population to continue to recover, it’s essential the endangered cats avoid conflicts with ranchers and livestock as well as pets and farm animals,” says Laurie Macdonald, Defenders Florida director in St. Petersburg. “By exploring coexistence, compensation and incentive programs that work for both panthers and property owners, we can find effective, long-term solutions that protect the big cats and preserve the Florida rancher’s way of life.”

2011 Totals

Minimum number of proactive projects and incentives by region:

  • Northern Rockies – 60
  • Southwest and Mexico – 20
  • Southeast (Florida) – 21
  • Great Plains (Kansas & Wyoming) – 3

Number of compensation payments by region:

  • Northern Rockies – 38
  • Southwest and Mexico – 2

Minimum number of projects and incentives by species:

  • Wolf – 34
  • Grizzly bear – 39
  • Prairie dog – 3
  • Bison – 5
  • Jaguar – 2
  • Florida panther – 10
  • Florida black bear – 11

Number of compensation payments by species:

  • Grizzly bear – 31
  • Wolf – 9

Minimum amount spent on various project and incentive types:

  • Fladry –$20,497
  • Range riders – $65,960
  • Technical field assistance, workshops and information – $126,509
  • Compensation for livestock depredation – $56,650
  • Dumpsters, garbage bins and food lockers – $17,483
  • Fencing and buffers – $18,650

Background:
Defenders of Wildlife has worked for more than a decade to help humans and wildlife coexist by proactively addressing conflicts and fostering human tolerance and appreciation for sharing the landscape with predators and other species. Through our Wildlife Coexistence Partnership program, we work closely with ranchers, landowners, communities and agencies to develop, field-test, implement and cost-share a wide range of nonlethal and innovative management approaches. These include nonlethal predator deterrents (e.g., range riders, livestock guarding dogs, bear-resistant dumpsters, electric fences) and best practices for livestock and land management. We also engage in outreach and education and provide technical assistance and information about coexisting with wildlife. Our programs span North America and cover a wide range of species from predators to prairie dogs.

###

Links:
Learn more about Defenders efforts to help people live with wolves, grizzly bears, prairie dogs, bison, jaguars, Florida panthersand Florida black bears
Download an infographic map of our 2011 Wildlife Coexistence Partnership projects

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org.

You may also be interested in:

In the Magazine
When it comes to endangered Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest every one counts—and so do partnerships.
In the Magazine
Outrunning off-road vehicles on Cape Hatteras; Feds help Idaho officials kill wolves.
In the Magazine
Big Cypress teems with wildlife and is a refuge for the critically endangered Florida panther. But the roads here make it a dangerous place for the big cats, with vehicle collisions one of the leading causes of death.