Aren't wolves responsible for the decimation of livestock?

Aren’t wolves responsible for the decimation of livestock?

Wolf Predation Plays Small Role in Livestock Losses in 2005


  • In the continental U.S., health issues such as respiratory problems, digestive problems, calving complications and disease were overwhelmingly the most significant causes of cattle death in 2005.
  • Only 0.11% of all cattle losses were due to wolf predation in 2005.
  • Coyotes killed more than 22 times more cattle than wolves killed that year.
  • Domestic dogs killed almost 5 times as many cattle, and vultures killed almost twice as many cattle as wolves did in 2005.
  • Theft was responsible for almost 5 times as many cattle losses as were lost by wolf predation.
  • Predation by coyotes was the largest cause of sheep loss in 2005, accounting for 23% of all losses, followed by health problems & weather-related issues.
  • In states with wolf populations, an average of less than 2.5% of sheep loss was due to predation by wolves in 2005.


Additional details on Wolf Predation and Livestock Losses are available on Defenders of Wildlife’s website.