Predator Watch

Predicting Future Wolf Attacks

Last March, scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) released a forecast map showing where gray wolves will most likely prey on livestock in years to come. Townships in Minnesota and Wisconsin are represented by tiles ranging in color from darkest (high risk) to lightest (low risk).

The scientists use a range of data-ratio of pasture to paved surfaces, population densities of deer, distribution of cattle-to reach their conclusions. For instance, the map reveals southwestern Wisconsin, a region with no wolves as yet, as high risk. “If wolves recolonize the area, there will be problems,” says Adrian Treves, a WCS biologist. “Before, authorities responded only to actual attacks. Now we can educate people, control the problem and remove the fear.”