Honestly most wolves do not purposely 'surplus kill'. ... There is also the problem with the domesticated animals 'predator plan'. With bison and elk, they have a plan, they stand their ground and group together while livestock run away causing the switch in the wolves mind to go off to chase and kill. Those animals that run instinctively alert the wolves that they are weaker and thus fair an safe game. If people could retrain or somehow breed this instinct back into the livestock i believe that this would help the animals substantially, along with bringing in guard dogs or donkeys and alpacas. I do admit that people do help to reduce overpopulated species but most people go after the good genetics in the herd, you know what i mean, the bulls with the big racks. This gives other bulls that wouldn't usually mate, the ability to do so, thus weakening the genetics of the population.
As I mentioned in the other thread, wolves can and will surplus kill.
A point which should be stressed is "wolves kill for the sake of killing," not just to survive. Many are convinced wolves kill only what they need to eat. That simply isn't true.
Remember the moose with brain worm the wolves didn't eat? In the same area, the same winter and only a couple of months later, the same Conservation Officer followed two wolves after a spring snow storm and found the wolves had killed 21 deer. Only two were partially eaten.
The snow gave the wolves the advantage. These deer were autopsied and many were found to be pregnant. The total number of deer killed in 2 days by these 2 wolves was 36.
Such incidents of surplus killing are common. For example, Canadian biologists came upon an area where a pack of wolves have killed 34 caribou calves in one area. Another example came from Alaska. In the Wrangell Mountains, a pack of five wolves came upon 20 Dall rams crossing a snow-covered plateau. All 20 rams were killed by the wolves. Only six were partially eaten by the wolves.
More on the incident with the caribou calves:
Wolves on the Hunt: The Behavior of Wolves Hunting Wild Prey
Once wolves find a calving ground, especially if it is during the early stages of calving, they sometimes kill as many calves as they can. Miller et al. (1985) documented a wolf in mid-June killing three calves on a single occasion and possibly four on another (accounts 34 and 35). The average kill rates during these observations were one calf/minute and one calf/8 min, respectively. The observers found 34 wolf-killed calves in a 3 km^2 area that apparently had been killed within the previous 24 hr, probably within minutes of each other based on post-mortem exams. This find became one of the classical cases of claimed surplus killing (discussed in chap. 9). It is notable that the workers also located two calves that had been stillborn and two that had been born prematurely. This latter observation suggests the possibility that some of the 34 wolf-killed carcasses were also those of markedly inferior individuals.
, page 59
The Real Wolf: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Co-Existing with Wolves in Modern Times,
Wolves also engage in mass (surplus) killing of livestock. Wolves slaughtered 120 registered rams one night on a farm near Dillon, Montana. ^8 Wanton slaughters like this occur wherever wolves are found. In July 2011 in France, one wolf killed 10 sheep and sent 62 of the panicked animals plunging off a cliff; 30 more from the same flock went missing in the woods. ^9
On August 17, 2013, the Siddoway Sheep Company suffered a substantial loss when the Pine Creek wolf pack attacked a band of sheep on Siddoway’s summer allotment six miles south of Victor, Idaho. Idaho Wildlife Services confirmed the kill on August 18. The August 17 wolf attack resulted in the greatest loss of livestock to wolves ever recorded in a single incident in Idaho, surpassing an attack that resulted in 105 sheep killed in a single attack 10 years earlier. A total of 176 sheep— 119 lambs and 57 ewes— were killed; many of the animals died from suffocation as some apparently fell in front of the rest, resulting in a large pile-up. Only the hindquarters of one lamb was eaten by the wolves. ^10
It''s not that easy just to "breed back" (?) some instinct into an animal. I'm no science major, but they're domesticated
for a reason. Domestication, for one thing, occurs over an extended period of time. (I don't think that is something that can be easily undone, but I wouldn't be able to explain it to you very well.)
Wolvencall wrote:People usually happen upon the wolves and they run away refusing to return in fear of humans.
Are wolves dangerous to people?
Generally, healthy wild wolves do not pose danger or threat to humans, as they are timid and reclusive by nature, and typically avoid people and human settlements. BUT! There are several well-documented accounts of healthy wild wolves attacking people in North America, and although there were no witnesses, a 2007 inquest determined that a young man killed in northern Saskatchewan in 2005 died as a result of a wolf attack, and an Alaskan woman died in March 2010 also due to a wolf attack. Accounts of wolves killing people persist in India and in Russia and parts of central Asia. It is a fact that when wild animals become habituated to people, they may lose their fear of humans, especially if they are fed or if they associate humans with providing food. Like any large predator, wolves are perfectly capable of killing people. No one should ever encourage a wolf or any other wild animal to approach, and hikers and campers should take all necessary precautions to prevent mishaps involving wildlife.
Wolvencall wrote:if there is less prey wolves will disperse by themselves and shift territories to look elsewhere, they don't have set homes besides during the spring when they are raising their children. There is also the fact that right now, wolves are having a hard time managing the overpopulated herds but you can bet they are healthy herds as wolves root out the weakest animals. This may be because many of the predators are so few and they usually only kill what they need. In other states where large apex predators are not present, due to humans as they culled and drove the larger predators out of many states, the herbivorous populations are large and thus need help with control due to a lack of a natural predator aside from the occasional coyote pack
Again, see the information I provided about surplus killing. Thought I'd clear that up.
To bring this back on topic (and to comment on your comment about humans helping to reduce populations), indeed -- human interference is necessary with overpopulated animals, and also animals that prove to be a problem
. Wolves that surplus kill livestock, in particular, need to be taken care of. They do surplus kill, and are not exempt from the consequences of doing so.