Does Wolf Management in Latvia Decrease Livestock Depredation?

May 25, 2023
Article source: 

A study from Latvia published in journal Sustainability investigated whether wolf hunting decreased the livestock depredation. The excerpt from the abstract below concludes that the opposite is achieved by wolf hunts:

In Latvia, livestock depredation by wolves has increased during the last two decades. Most of the attacks occur in summer and autumn during wolf hunting season. Use of effective preventive measures in Latvia is low, and farmers primarily rely on wolf hunting as a depredation reduction measure. The total numbers of wolf attacks and number of affected sheep per year in regional forest management units were analyzed in relation to the estimated wolf density, extent of culling, and proportion of juveniles, as well as the sheep density and estimated number of wild prey animals. The response variables (number of attacks and affected sheep per year) were modelled using a negative binomial regression, testing the effects of every covariate separately and building models from the significant covariates. The depredation level was related to sheep density and estimated wolf population size. No reducing effect was found for culling, and an even greater depredation rate was expected when the proportion of culled wolves increased.

Read the complete article at the link above.