Wolf Awareness is a non-profit Canadian organization dedicated to the conservation of wolves through research and public education about wolf ecology.

AB Bounty Project: Fostering Coexistence to Maintain Ecological Integrity

Preventing Livestock Losses and Maintaining Ecological Integrity

Although bounties are known to be an ineffective management practice, they are maintained by some Alberta municipalities in an attempt to reduce livestock depredation by wolves and coyotes. On the basis of small scale surveys and unscientific extrapolations, Alberta Beef Producers claim high annual losses to predation, primarily from wolves and coyotes.

The fact is that there is no data ascertaining such claims, and the persistence of bounties in rural regions is largely based on perceptions rather than facts.

This project aimed to assess the importance of livestock in the diet of wolves and coyotes in areas where small farms and ranches abut upon or are near wilderness areas in northeast Alberta.

SUMMARY: Our research in a region of eastern Alberta that offers wolf and coyote bounty payouts has indicated that the impact of wild canids on cattle in the area is in fact minimal and well within an acceptable loss to natural elements. A small amount of consumption does occur where these animals overlap in range, however, some of this may be accounted for because of scavenging opportunities when cattle death occurs from another cause and the carcass is left in the area.  In speaking with local residents in the study area that included a grazing lease manager, municipal fieldmen and livestock producers, there was very little concern about livestock depredation events in the area, nor did we identify anyone who was in support of the municipal tax-funded bounty programs underway, despite hearing about a few individuals who claim many dead canids for profit.  Our findings indicate that there is no justifiable nor evidence-based reason to continue offering incentives to kill these natural predators, and that predator bounties in this region should be ended immediately. 

YEAR ONE REPORT: Wolf and Coyote Predation on Livestock in Northeast Alberta Counties With and Without Predator Boundaries – Spring Summer 2016

YEAR TWO REPORT: Wolf and Coyote Predation on Livestock in Northeast Alberta Counties With and Without Predator Boundaries – Spring Summer 2017

Many organizations and individuals across Canada have expressed the belief that more education and outreach needs to be provided to Canadian ranching communities about non-lethal methods regarding prevention of wolf-coyote-livestock conflicts; however this information is not being adequately provided by livestock producer associations nor government agencies.  This project offers a unique approach to livestock-predator conflicts because it is solution oriented and provides “boots on the ground” education about coexistence through one on one dialogue, public workshops and presentations, and evidence-based decision making for future best management practices. It is also the first attempt in Canada to work towards establishing Predator Friendly ranching certification.

We will continue to work with ranchers to help them transition to responsible, non-lethal, preventative methods of livestock production.

As more foundations and public become aware of our work over time we anticipate more financial support that will be used to continue to expand this program across the country. By taking proactive measures within small communities, this project aims to act as a pilot to build upon across Canada

Project Partners

Project partners involved in this initiative include: Wildlife Biologist Dr. Gilbert Proulx, who is the Director of Science at Alpha Wildlife Research & Management Ltd, Certified predator-friendly rancher Louise Liebenberg, co-owner of Grazerie Farms, and Coyote Watch Canada, a Federal, Not-For-Profit, community-based wildlife organization, which advocates positive wildlife experiences through education, research, mediation, intervention, and conflict resolution.