There is no single solution to raising livestock in the presence of large carnivores (wolves, bears, and cougars); however, actively managing the livestock for protection can go a long way in preventing conflicts and losses. There are some tools that can help as well: Range Riders, fladry or temporary fencing for night penning, carcass removal and guard dogs are among the tools producers can use to protect livestock.
Ranchers can use some of the same management approaches that work for land health and livestock production to prevent conflicts with large carnivores. Learn more about management methods.
Here is more information about some of the tools used in protecting livestock:
Electric Fencing : Electric fences have proven their worth in protecting vulnerable livestock, including calves and lambs, from wide-ranging predators. Electric fences can also be used to deter grizzly and black bears, among other species, from a wide range of attractants such as apiaries, fruit orchards, livestock food and garbage. With proper maintenance and monitoring, an electric fence can be an important component of non-lethal deterrence
Fladry: Fladry is a line of flags on temporary fencing. Originally used as a tool for hunting wolves, fladry has now been adapted to prevent conflicts between wolves and livestock. Put off by the motion of the flags, wolves shy from crossing a properly maintained fladry barrier, often for long enough to keep calves and lambs away from harm. When used on electric fencing, fladry can also deter wolves from crossing into a pasture.
Range Riders: Read about Range Riders here
Guard Dogs: Read about the use of guard dogs to prevent livestock-wildlife conflicts here
Livestock Carcass Removal : As grizzly bears emerge from dens each spring, their hunger drives them to lower elevations to search for food, which can bring them into contact with ranches in the Northern Rockies, where calving season is in full swing.
Ranchers have typically deposited deceased livestock in carcass dumps on their property. These dumps may lure bears and wolves to ranches, where they are more likely to prey on calves or find other attractants. Removing carcasses from ranches during the calving season is a practice that is proving effective in reducing human-bear conflicts in Montana, Wyoming and beyond.