Friday, February 20, 2015

Foxlights



RecNews_Wolf.jpgA new non-lethal method of protecting livestock from wolves has been tested for the last year in Idaho, eastern Oregon, and eastern Washington: foxlights.  Foxlights which are lights that flash randomly, mimic someone walking with a flashlight, making wolves, or other predators, believe that humans are abound.

Watch an informative video from the inventor HERE

Like the use of fladry, flags that are tied to fences, which flap in the wind and deter wolves from entering the pasture, foxlights are a nonlethal tool to control wolves in close proximity to livestock.  Thus, preventing potential wolf kills and wolf habituation.  As I have said before, it is the habituated wolf that is the dangerous, big-bad-wolf at your door.  Wolves naturally avoid human contact, but if they are "rewarded" with easy food (sheep, calves, hunter's bone piles), they quickly learn that human scent is associated with something good.  Therefore, it is important that wolves remain afraid of those of us that are two-legged.  Non-lethal methods such as fladry and foxlights might be the key to just that.

http://www.crawlersgullydorpers.com/our-blog/fox-lights
Suzanne Stone, a Defenders of Wildlife senior, received an award for this research in Idaho.  She got the idea while collaborating with a researcher in Australia, where foxlights have been used to deter dingoes.

You can learn more about it with this article from Boise Weekly.

Certainly, the use of non lethal methods, proactive management, collaboration, and open communication between wildlife officials and land owners can help prevent potential wolf, or any other large predator, issues that could arise.