Part 4 of the Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission wolf series focuses on the unforeseen impacts caused by wolves in Idaho. The Life on the Range video crew learned about unexpected things like cows attacking herding dogs after being spooked by wolves, reduced weight gains by lambs and calves in wolf country, reduced pregnancy rates, mother cows getting killed by wolves, sometimes with no outside bite marks, elk hanging out in private ranchland meadows, seeing those places as a safe zone from wolves, a higher percentage of calves and lambs killed on public lands than expected, and more.
An Oregon State University study also documented that cattle repeatedly spooked by wolves can get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the same malady suffered by American combat veterans. A cattle-wolf interaction study documented 783 encounters in a single summer using GPS collars on wolves and cattle.
Watch the video to see the details. It’s unclear how many ranchers in Idaho have been impacted by these issues because no research has been done on that question. About 435 ranchers in Idaho have been impacted by direct wolf predation, so it is likely that those producers have experienced some of the unforeseen issues as well.
All of these impacts were discovered through