Wolves make roadways safer, generating large economic returns to predator conservation

  title={Wolves make roadways safer, generating large economic returns to predator conservation},
  author={Jennifer L. Raynor and Corbett A. Grainger and Dominic P. Parker},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
Significance Measuring the economic benefits conveyed by predators is difficult—often, effects are indirect and operate through complex ecological changes. As a result, debates about the expansion of predators have pit salient costs against more speculative estimates of benefits that might be dismissed as unreliable or ideologically motivated. We quantify the indirect benefits of wolves (Canis lupus) to human lives and property through reductions in deer-vehicle collisions. Moreover, we… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

The Social Costs of Keystone Species Collapse: Evidence From The Decline of Vultures in India ∗ The Consequences of Vulture Die-offs on Human Health
The loss of a keystone species can theoretically lead to large social costs because their complex ecosystem interactions may be important for environmental quality. We quantify these effects for the
Ojibwe Perspectives Toward Proper Wolf Stewardship and Wisconsin’s February 2021 Wolf Hunting Season
In February 2021, the Wisconsin DNR implemented a wolf season in which > 20% of the population was killed in 63 h. Wisconsin’s Ojibwe tribes had a visceral reaction to this killing. This paper
Restore protected status for gray wolves


Socioeconomic Benefits of Large Carnivore Recolonization Through Reduced Wildlife‐Vehicle Collisions
The decline of top carnivores has released large herbivore populations around the world, incurring socioeconomic costs such as increased animal–vehicle collisions. Attempts to control overabundant
Cascading impacts of large-carnivore extirpation in an African ecosystem
Experiments showed that changes in prey behavior were reversible when signs of predator activity were introduced, supporting the impact of the predator loss and providing mechanistic detail about the importance of the "landscape of fear" perceived by prey animals.
Wolf (Canis lupus) Predation Impacts on Livestock Production: Direct Effects, Indirect Effects, and Implications for Compensation Ratios
Abstract Growing wolf (Canis lupus L.) populations in the US Rocky Mountain Region have increased conflicts between livestock production and wolf conservation. Given that the costs of large carnivore
Nowhere to hide: Effects of linear features on predator–prey dynamics in a large mammal system
It is found that LFs increased predator selection of peatlands and negatively impacted survival of their neonate calves, demonstrating how LFs can reduce the efficacy of prey refugia.
Cascading social-ecological costs and benefits triggered by a recovering keystone predator
A trophic model is developed and applied to predict the impacts of sea otters on ecosystem services and suggests that sea otter presence yields 37% more total ecosystem biomass annually, increasing the value of finfish, carbon sequestration, and ecotourism, and they will exceed the annual loss to invertebrate fisheries.
Deer, wolves, and people: costs, benefits and challenges of living together
After revisiting the ecological roles deer and wolves play in contemporary ecosystems, this work explores how they interact, directly and indirectly, with human groups including farmers, foresters, shepherds, and hunters.
Large predators limit herbivore densities in northern forest ecosystems
Analysis of the composition of large predator guilds and prey densities across a productivity gradient in boreal and temperate forests of North America and Eurasia found that predation by large mammalian carnivores, especially sympatric gray wolves and bears, apparently limits densities of large mammalian herbivores.
Effects of Wolves on Elk and Cattle Behaviors: Implications for Livestock Production and Wolf Conservation
Background In many areas, livestock are grazed within wolf (Canis lupus) range. Predation and harassment of livestock by wolves creates conflict and is a significant challenge for wolf conservation.
Costs and benefits of living with predators
Evaluate the recovery of an apex predator—sea otters in the Canadian Pacific coast—and report that certain economies have been either negatively or positively affected by sea otter restoration, but the overall economic outcomes are positive.
Ecological Impacts of Deer Overabundance
Given the influence of deer on other organisms and natural processes, ecologists should actively participate in efforts to understand, monitor, and reduce the impact of deer in natural ecosystems.