The Week (US)

How wolves help drivers

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Fairy tales have given wolves a bad rep. But new research in Wisconsin suggests that the animals may have inadverten­tly saved dozens of human lives—by killing deer. Just under 20,000 Wisconsini­tes crash into deer each year, resulting in about 500 injuries and eight deaths. But that toll would likely be higher without wolves, which tend to prowl along roads and trails, attacking and scaring away deer. After analyzing 22 years of data, the researcher­s concluded

that wolves have cut the frequency of deer-vehicle collisions in Wisconsin by a quarter. The state’s wolf population­s started to grow in the 1990s, and that rise correlated with a fall in both deer numbers and deer-related road accidents. Accidents involving other animals didn’t decline, reports The Atlantic, further suggesting the deer-eating wolves are responsibl­e. “Wolves do this work all year long at their own expense,” says Liana Zanette, an ecologist at Western University, in Canada, who was not involved in the study. “It all seems like a win-win.”

 ??  ?? Keeping deer off the roads
Keeping deer off the roads

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