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‘If we don’t shoot wolves, we will lose caribou’: the dilemma of saving endangered deer

Researchers in Canada studying interventions to stem decline of mountain caribou have found wolf culls most effective

Canada’s imperilled mountain caribou are staging an unlikely comeback, reversing years of decline that pushed populations to the brink. But researchers warn that any sustained recovery comes with a catch: in order to save these ungulates, thousands of wolves will need to be killed in the coming years, highlighting the unenviable task wildlife managers have attempting to manage complex ecosystems.

For decades, mountain caribou – an ecotype of woodland caribou that once ranged from Alaska down to Montana and Idaho – have suffered catastrophic decline. Experts have long cited widespread habitat degradation and increased predation from wolves as the main reasons for these losses. Continue reading…

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