Defenders in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains
Bison, © Walter Novak

Defenders in Action: Living with Wildlife

Defenders envisions a regional ethic of living with all wildlife, including carnivores. We’re pioneering nonlethal deterrents and new management techniques that reduce conflict and allow people and wildlife to coexist.

How We’re Helping

  • We work with ranchers and other landowners as part of our successful Wolf CoexistencePartnerships to implement nonlethal deterrents that safeguard livestock and protect wolves. Electric fencing, guard dogs, range riders and scare devices have all proven effective in minimizing livestock losses to wolves, thus building greater tolerance within the ranching community.
  • Defenders is helping communities learn to live with grizzly bears by eliminating attractants, using bear-proof dumpsters, and putting up electric fencing to protect livestock. Strategies like these prevent conflicts as bears move into more populated areas in search of food.
  • We’re exploring new alternatives to the poisoning and shooting of unwanted prairie dogs near private land. Working with the Forest Service and our conservation partners, we’re helping to relocate prairie dogs into parts of their historic habitat where they will not be threatened.
  • In 2011, bison were allowed to roam outside of Yellowstone for the first time ever. We’re working with livestock owners in Gardiner Basin to protect their land from bison by offering to pay for additional fencing and helping them implement better animal husbandry practices. We also helped pay for a cattle guard to keep bison from straying too far outside the park.
More on Defenders in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains: Defenders in Action: Protecting Vital Wildlife Habitat »

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The latest articles about wildlife issues that may be of interest to those in the press.
Defenders in Action
Bears die when they get into trouble with people’s garbage, livestock, when they are hit by cars and trains or illegally killed. By preventing these conflicts we can keep bears alive and on the road to recovery.
How You Can Help
Each year, as wild bison wander beyond the borders of Yellowstone National Park in search of food, Montana livestock officials demand that these iconic animals be rounded up and shipped to slaughter houses to keep them out of Montana and to keep their numbers low.