Defenders Magazine

Summer 2018

Volume 93, Issue 4


Photo Credit: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

The snarling and barking ruckus caught the sheep herder’s attention around 2 a.m. last June, with the waxing crescent moon high over Oregon’s Blue Mountains. Instead of reaching for a shotgun to kill the wolf in a standoff with a livestock guarding dog near his band of sheep, he picked up his new airhorn and high-beam flashlight and scared off the wolf. “He’s a wildlife hero in my book,” says Suzanne Stone, Defenders’ Northwest senior representative. “He saved the wolf, the dog—which could have been injured without human backup—and the sheep. Often, all wolves need to know is that there is a human presence out there and they’ll stay away.” A week before, the herder had just completed Defenders’ bilingual training workshop, which teaches time-tested, conflict-deterrence methods to new sheep herders. These herders reported seeing wolf tracks and scat frequently in the following months, but never encountered another wolf at night for the rest of the grazing season. “Without the training, this incident could have led to possible lethal removal of wolves,” says Stone. “Instead, wolves learned to avoid sheep in the area, and no government agents or ranchers killed any wolves.” Pioneered by Defenders to help win acceptance of wolves in the West, coexistence—the idea that humans, predators and other wildlife can share landscapes—is increasingly gaining acceptance particularly now that predator deterrents have proved effective in preventing sheep and cattle depredation on large-scale grazing areas.


Image Credit: © alexlmx/
The Power on Your Plate
Photo credit: NOAA
While debates over dams continue, spillways provide solutions
© 2015 by Audrey DeLella Benedict and Joseph K. Gaydos.
Salish Sea
Ocelot (captive) © Ucumari Photography/Flickr
Did you know that after California, Texas has the highest degree of biodiversity of any state? It is also one of the top five states with the most species already lost to extinction and home to at least 101 currently listed as endangered or threatened, such as the ocelot and the jaguarundi.
Photo credit: © Alice Cahill
Farm Bill funding crucial to conservation