My guest today is one of my heroes, Dr. Chris Albert DVM. At a recent check-up for Zeke and Eula, we discussed the Certified Predator Friendly program, something that is important to both of us. I knew immediately that she was the ideal person to share this topic! You can find Dr. Albert at the Mt. Washington Animal Clinic.
Dr. Albert's incredible coyote story is found in its entirety on the Wolf Watcher website. You can learn more about predator friendly management practices at Coyote Watch Canada, Project Coyote, on Louise Liebenberg's blog, and of course at Certified Predator Friendly or Wildlife Friendly.
Here are some additional comments by Nancy of Wolfwatcher:
1. Why is it important to support predatory species?
"I think the best answer for this would be the positive aspects of wolves - research suggests wolves and other predators may limit the spread of disease. Coyotes and foxes control rodents which transmit Lymes [Disease]. Also, the role of trophic cascade - more biodiversity where there are wolves (I have scientific publications for both disease and trophic cascade on our website)."
2. Is it expensive or time-consuming to make one's farm wildlife friendly?
"It is expensive NOT to adopt predator friendly practices. While it might be cheaper to shoot the wolf (or coyote), other wolves will move into the area and farm, unless the issues are addressed at the farm. In states where there are wolves, there is grant money available to assist the producer with non-lethal tools and also to provide technical assistance in reducing conflicts (such as carcass disposal). Very few farms have conflicts."
3. Livestock guardian dogs are extremely popular, and many producers tend to rely on them as a blanket solution to predation, human interference, and as livestock babysitters. What are your thoughts on the role of guardian species as part of a holistic, wildlife friendly management plan?
"You are correct no one size fits all - Livestock Guarding dogs are not pets; they are working dogs and for them to be effective they need to live, eat, sleep with the livestock they are protecting. A lot of research is posted to the website."