Welcome to the Wood River Wolf Project’s blog! Our new blog will be sharing stories from our field season as well as communicating emerging research in mitigating wildlife-human conflict.
As of early June, fieldwork has been in full swing at The Wood River Wolf Project. We started our field season with deploying Band Kits to herders whose sheep bands are in our Project Area here in Wood River Valley. Full of non-lethal deterrents, such as pulsating lights and noisemakers, these Band Kits will accompany herders as they journey into higher and greener rangeland with their sheep bands. Over the past weeks, we have deployed seven Band Kits to various herds being used by three different sheep ranches!
In late June, we spoke with Jonathan and Alfredo, two Peruvian herders, while they were making preparations to corral their sheep band later that night. Over the previous two weeks, one of the Wood River Wolf Project’s Band Kits accompanied these herders up over ridges and through different drainages to keep wolves at bay. During some nights, the herders sensed that their sheep were nervous, sometimes followed by the scruffy white guard dogs growling and barking into the darkness. At these times, and as a preventative, the herders set up the pulsating lights around the sheep band and fired the starter pistol to scare wolves away. Over the course of 12 days traveling through rough country in an active wolf area, these herders reported no depredations on their sheep; they used non-lethal deterrents during four of those nights. So far this summer, we have had a depredation-free season and are continuing to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to foster coexistence between wolves and livestock.