More Wolves, Safer Roads
Efforts to conserve and reintroduce wolf populations can be controversial. Such programs can be expensive and ranchers and farmers sometimes fear the potential impact on livestock. (The latter concern has led to programs offering compensation for wolf-induced losses.)
What if the benefits of wolf conservation and reintroduction are greater than we think? What if such programs generate economic gains that far outweigh their costs, including the costs of compensating those who might be adversely affected by increased wolf populations?
I recently came across a paper by Jennifer L. Raynor, Corbett A. Grainger, and Dominic P. Parker suggesting that wolf reintroduciton programs generate substnatial economic benefits by making highways safer. Here’s the abstract:
Recent studies uncover cascading ecological effects resulting from removing and reintroducing predators into a landscape, but little is known about effects on human lives and property. We quantify the effects of restoring wolf populations by evaluating their influence on deer–vehicle collisions (DVCs) in Wisconsin. We show that, for the average county, wolf entry reduced DVC
Article from Reason.com