A reader sent me a snapshot of a Facebook page of someone, who in response to the whining and complaining about gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park going outside the park and getting killed by hunters, suggesting the use of the same methods to keep wolves inside the park as they have suggested to keep wolves outside ranchers’ property. This person writes:
“Why don’t you put up electric fences around the park to protect your wolves?
“Have you tried fladry? What about loud music?…..guard donkeys or llamas?”
“Why aren’t you out there protecting our wolves 24/7?”
“Why don’t you put your wolves in at night? (all methods you think it’s okay to force ranchers to do…hypocrites)”
“FWI: Wolf hunting is LEGAL.”
Fladry certainly has some history and if you read the history on the use of fladry in the context of wolves globally, you will discover that fladry had limited effects over short periods of time.
For those who don’t know, fladry is about using a foreign object, historically rags or paper, sometimes even dried ferns and bushes, and hanging them in a line to discourage a wild or even domestic animal from crossing that line.
It was used most often years ago when the citizens of a region would put together a wolf driving and killing party. There may be fairly large sections of woods where wolves were known to be living. Volunteers would often create these lines of fladry along two sides of the forest (mostly because they couldn’t get enough people). People would start at one end of the woods and walk together, close to each other making loud noises and driving the wolves. What they hoped would happen was that the wolves would begin running and if they came to a fladry line would not cross it but keep running into an ambush set up by the killers.
The fladry lines had limited success. It also depends on the animals that you are trying to keep from crossing the lines. Dogs are not so stupid that they can’t figure out in short order just exactly what a fladry line is. This, however, is not the case for the human animal. Even though it doesn’t work on many animals, evidently those smarter than some humans, it is insisted upon that fladry be used.
In the case above here, we see probably that at least some of the people who think fladry, electric fences, guard donkeys and bringing range animals in at night works great in protecting their livestock and property.
I think the suggestion is reasonable that Yellowstone take the same steps when they feel the need to protect their “livestock”. Either that or maybe Doug Smith and his airplane should stop driving the wolves out of the north end of the park.