Extreme heat in Nebraska kills far more livestock in a couple days than western wolves in a year

In April, Ralph contrasted the disproportionate media hysteria that takes place when a wolf kills a cow or sheep versus when any number of other natural events result in vastly more significant livestock loss.  The example that he used :

SE Montana blizzard kills far more livestock in 2 days than Montana wolves in a year :

cattle losses to wolves in Montana in 2008 totaled just 77 dead with a couple dozen more “probables.”

Another more recent example of the glaring disparity of livestock loss to wolves & environment versus the weather is aptly illustrated on the other end of the weather spectrum :

Extreme heat kills hundreds of cattle in Nebraska – AP

In southeastern Nebraska’s Hamilton County, temperatures in the 90s and high humidity contributed to the deaths of roughly 600 cattle.

That’s one county.



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  1. Jon Way Avatar

    BE and RM,
    thanks for continuing to post these stories. It allows more “average” folks to see how stupid the hysteria around wolves is. They are certainly a great eye opening example of how much political clout livestock groups have. Maybe un-politically corrupt politicians will one day notice as well…
    thanks again for your effort to keep us all informed.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    We have to keep spreading word about the relative numbers. The other day Montana Cattlemen’s Association took out a full page ad in the Missoulian showing “gory”* photos of livestock and sheepdogs that had been attacked (some surviving and others as carcasses) by wolves.
    – – – –
    *These photos were intended to shock urban dwellers, although anyone who works with livestock would find a dead cow or an animal in severe distress a routine sight.

    Apparently the area where the two Oregon wolves recently killed about 20 sheep was found to have nearby a carcass dump (also called a “bone field”) covering several acres.

  3. mikepost Avatar

    The folks I talk to think that a 1-2% loss each year on their herds for all causes (predators, bloat, lightening, etc) is normal and expected. Given herd sizes, that might be a pretty big number.

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Brian Ertz