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Additional considerations for gray wolf management after their removal from Endangered Species Act protections


  • Associate Editor: Kevin McKelvey


Mech (2010) provided a review of options involving regulated, public hunting of gray wolves (Canis lupus) when states regain control of wolf management. We agree with his general conclusion that the use of lethal management should focus more in areas of conflict and less in wilderness areas, especially near protected places like national parks. Here, we expand on Mech's work and provide additional considerations that could be incorporated into state management plans to make them more acceptable to an increasingly diverse group of interested stakeholders, including: 1) the use of human dimensions research to understand the conditions under which stakeholders find lethal management acceptable, and to evaluate the acceptability of agency efforts to increase tolerance for wolves; 2) employing preventative measures to protect livestock and pets, especially in cases where wolf packs are highly visible to the public; and 3) selective use of sport hunting in areas where wolf impacts are deemed unacceptable. © 2011 The Wildlife Society.