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Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Campus Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Ecology (MS)

Administrative Home Department

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Advisor 1

Joseph Bump

Advisor 2

Petri Nummi

Committee Member 1

Christopher Webster

Committee Member 2

Richelle Winkler

Abstract

Conflicts are concern for the coexistence of wolves (Canis lupus) and humans, and injuries and deaths of domestic animals (i.e. depredations) are a concrete part of the conflicts. Even though wildlife researchers have studied characteristics, risk factors, and prevention methods of depredation for decades, the diversity and complexity of depredation phenomenon has ensured that there is still a long way to go before the knowledge and management of depredations reach a satisfactory level. The thesis is consisted of three parts that have a broader theme in the description of the depredation phenomenon from slightly different perspectives and so to serve the purpose of increasing the capacity of understanding and managing the depredation.

The first part of the thesis gives a literature-based introduction to the problem of depredation and the factors that are likely to contribute to the depredation risk in general. The aim of the first part was to provide a foundation for the second and third parts. The second part of the thesis focuses on the large-scale depredation characteristics by surveying depredation records of Europe and North America via a literature review and personal data requests. The aims of the second part were to generalize the depredation characteristics on the large scale, to compare depredation datasets between study areas, and to study the relationship between depredations and possible large-scale explanatory factors of depredation. The third part of the thesis represents a collective study of wolf attacks on bear-hunting dogs in the states of Michigan and Wisconsin, US. The aim of the third part was to study the relationship between dog depredation rates and bear-hunting practices and to exemplify the benefits of the trans-regional research approach.

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