Blend creative grazing management, range riders and livestock guardian dogs to beat gadgets and predator scarecrows.
When it comes to difficult management issues, sometimes it's best to take a lesson from someone else dealing with a similar problem. In the Northern Rockies, unlike much of the rest of the country, ranchers increasingly come face to face with predator species such as wolves and grizzlies. Literally hunted and trapped almost out of existence, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995. Under federal protection, wolf populations have flourished, and today occupy much of the north and western Rockies, including Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
Along with these population increases have come increases in livestock-predator interactions. Learning ways to coexist with these predators is a necessity if ranchers are to continue their way of life. The use of guardian dogs in cattle herds appears to be one step toward this goal.
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