ADMB explains predator management projects chosen for 2010 funding
Casper – On July 7, the Animal Damage Management Boart (ADMB) met to review $361,000 of projects. By statute, each year the ADMB comes before the Game and Fish Commission to ask for $100,000 in funding, which they did at the Commission’s Sept. 8 meeting.
The funding requested of the Commission is committed to wildlife predator management projects, including a large carnivore depredation and control program, which has received various levels of funding each year. “This funds Wildlife Services to take care of problem large carnivore predators,” said Kent Drake of the ADMB.
Now in its second year, another funded project studies the impact of raven and fox removal on sage grouse in Sweetwater, Uinta and Lincoln counties. “There’s no good data, as it’s in its second year yet,” said Drake of the project.
The Absoraka elk ecology project is a five-and-a-half-year project studying the elk population in Sunlight Basin in Park County, as well as the resident herds around Heart Mountain north of Cody. “This study looks at influences on the populations from predators and other standpoints,” Drake told the Commission, noting that $5,000 of the funding comes from the Commission, while the ADMB puts up $750,000 to fully fund the study.
The Park County Predator Management Board manages the Park County Livestock Carcass Management Program, which is designed to help keep grizzly bears from around the population base and livestock herds. “When an animal dies on a ranch, a producer can ask the predator management board to come remove the carcass,” noted Drake. “The program has been going on for a number of years, and it funds a person to help clean up. Carcasses are deposited at the refuge location for Park County in one central location, and it seems to have been successful.”
New this year is $15,000 requested for a Cedar Mountain targeted predator control project to benefit mule deer. “We’re using this where populations are below objective, conducting pre-fawning activities to reduce the predator population and help the targeted herd respond,” said Drake.
The projects are the ones the Commission’s $100,000 are used for, and ADMB funds are used for a variety of other projects, most benefiting wildlife in Wyoming as well as controlling predators and their effects.
“First is a chemical gun endectomy of the coyote, which is looking at sterilization, and the ADMB also helped fund a new bear trap for the Big Piney region,” said Drake, adding the board is also helping to provide collars for mule deer identification leading to maximization of predator control in the Platte Valley.
The ADMB also provides $14,000 to predator protection for sheep and sheepherders in Upper Green River forests. Drake explained most of that is used for portable electric fencing.
“A couple of others include transferring livestock protection traditions – looking at bringing in guard animals that help in coyote control, and looking at dogs that will protect against wolves,” said Drake.
The ADMB also funds Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom. “The ADMB feels strongly that they’d like to fund predator management education in the state, and they also help with the annual Teacher Rendezvous,” said Drake.
Christy Hemken is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.