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Would used car lots frighten wolves?

Fladry will be tried to keep Jureano Mountain Pack from cattle

July 9, 2002

Everyone knows the scene. . . the sign reads "great buys on used cars." Around the edge of the car lot brightly colored flags on ropes flutter in the breeze. The flags are there to help attract us closer.

Oddly, similar flags may very well frighten or at least deter wolves. The flags have to be rectangular, red, hang from the ropes down to the ground, and be spaced less than 50 centimeters apart. This "fladry" has been used for years in Eastern Europe to control wolf movements.

Now they are will tried to keep the Jureano Mountain Pack west of Salmon, Idaho from crossing into private land where they recently killed a cow calf.

Limited use of fladry this spring in the Paradise Valley of Montana showed that indeed the Mill Creek Pack would not cross the line of fladry. The wolves did cross into the territory to be guarded, but they went to the end of the fladry before they crossed. This time the Idaho wolf team will use fladry to completely enclose a relatively small parcel of private land where cattle graze.

The evidence is strong that wolves are either frightened or don't like these red rectangles (or gray ones of the same brightness). The question is will the deterrence be temporary, or a long term solution in places where the stringing of fladry is feasible?

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Copyright 2002 Ralph Maughan

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Ralph Maughan PO Box 8264, Pocatello, ID 83209