Elk NetworkResearch Determines Controversial Wolf-Livestock Depredation Findings at Fault

Conservation | October 10, 2017

New research by the Washington Policy Center disputes previous findings by a Washington State University professor, Rob Wielgus, who claimed removing wolves that kill livestock increases the probability of depredations in the following year.

The researchers looked at the Wielgus data and determined the reason depredations increased was because wolf population numbers increased as well.

Below is a portion of the Center’s findings:

Careful reviews of this study, however, demonstrate serious methodological flaws and critical omissions in its analytical methods. More thorough analysis of the study’s data published with the article finds that Dr. Wielgus’ main conclusions are, at best, unsupported by the data, if not refuted outright. His central conclusion that killing wolves increases depredations of cattle and sheep is based on a false statistical argument unsupported by reasoned analysis.

In August 2016, WSU issued a statement apologizing for inaccurate and inappropriate statements made by Wielgus regarding his findings.

Researchers at the University of Washington previously used the same Wielgus data and did not agree with his results either.

See the complete findings from the Washington Policy Center here.