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Successful Coexistence

"We don't want to see livestock die because of wolves and we don't want wolves to die because of livestock. Our shared love of animals and our shared value of open space promote collaboration between our organization and the American ranching community." Karin Vardaman, California Wolf Center.

California Wolf Center

Successful coexistence is the ultimate goal of our mission. Without tolerance from those sharing the landscape with wild wolves, there will be no wolf recovery, as human caused mortality continues to be a leading cause of death for wolves. It is our responsibility to create a space where concerns about wolves can be voiced and discussions can be held regarding solutions.

We take this responsibility very seriously and currently operate two coexistence funds: one in the Southwest and one in California. Building trust with all stakeholders affected by wild wolf recovery is critical to successful recovery. The purpose is to avoid conflict before it happens.

In 2006, we established the Mexican Wolf Fund to promote peaceful coexistence between livestock and Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest. We work closely with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Fish and Game, and tribal agencies to make sure nonlethal tools are funded for those who ask for them. In recognition of our efforts to provide these solutions, the Mexican Wolf Fund was awarded the 2010 Recovery Champion Award by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Building on our Southwestern experience, we established the California Wolf Fund in 2014. This fund has the sole purpose of providing education on the use and implementation of nonlethal, proactive solutions to wolf-livestock conflicts.

The more we can provide these innovative nonlethal tools and demonstrate their success, the more they will become standard practice in wolf territory across the American West. We are laying the foundation that will allow wolves to thrive in the wild!

Learn of some nonlethal tools used in the field:

  • Fladry: brightly colored flagging installed around holding pastures and property to deter wolves from crossing. These flags play on the neophobic (fear of new things) nature of wild wolves!
  • Livestock guarding dogs: most effective at alerting people to the presence of wolves, although the mere presence can be a deterrent to wolves. Certain breeds, such as Great Pyrenees and Anatolian shepherds have been carefully bred to be successful livestock guarding dogs.
  • Range riders: a person on horseback who rides alongside livestock. Wolves are inherently shy of humans, and human presence has shown to be a successful deterrent to wolves. A range rider can also move livestock away from an area inhabited by wolves, avoiding potential conflict.
  • Supplemental feeding programs: providing supplemental feed to livestock producers to allow them to move livestock away from grazing areas with known wolf activity, allowing wolves to utilize the best available wild habitat.

California Wolf Fund

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By donating to the California Wolf Fund you will be promoting a culture of coexistence in California. Funding for education on the use and implementation of nonlethal, proactive solutions to wolf-livestock conflicts is critical to prevent these conflicts before they happen. Help make California a safe haven for wolves!

Mexican Wolf Fund

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A donation to the Mexican Wolf Fund means you are directly donating to save the lives of Mexican gray wolves as human caused mortality continues to be the number one cause of death for this critically endangered wolf. Help us bring coexistence to the Southwest!

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