Wolf depredation of livestock and its impact on local people's attitude and economy in Anguran Wildlife Refuge, Zanjan province

Document Type : Animal environment


Iranian Cheetah Society, P.O.Box: 14155-8549, Tehran, Iran


Conservation of large carnivore populations, particularly in areas with high level of conflict with local people is challenging. The grey wolf Canis lupus is an apex predator in Iran whose future is gloomy due to conflict with pastoralists across the country. However, our knowledge about its interaction with local peoples is extremely poor in Iran. The present investigation was carried out between October 2009 and May 2011 in Anguran Wildlife Refuge, northwestern Iran. Semi-structured questionnaire survey was performed in 100 households in order to evaluate local people's attitudes towards wolves and economic impact of wolf predation on livestock. In the meantime, scat analysis was performed to reconstruct main dietary components of the predator in the area. The majority of respondents (60%) considered wolf as the main enemy to their livestock; however, economic loss due to other non-predation factors accounted for more than 3.5 times of the depredation loss. Moreover, scat analysis indicated that wild boar and wild sheep compromise the main proportion of the wolves’ diet in the area. We concluded that wolf-human conflict is not currently serious in the area, but management implications should be considered to mitigate the present level of livestock loss due to wolves.