Conversion of rangeland habitats in North America (to more intensive agriculture or to urban/exurban uses) concentrates livestock and predators on a shrinking landscape, making conflict inevitable.
Rural communities often feel disenfranchised by efforts to protect or restore native predators.
Ranching businesses typically bear the direct costs (from livestock depredation) and indirect impacts associated with coexisting with predators.
Many researchers indicate that direct compensation for depredation of livestock does not increase tolerance for predators within ranching communities.
The emerging use of “payments for ecosystem services” (or PES) programs offers an alternative to direct depredation compensation programs.
With the recent re-establishment of gray wolves (Canis lupus) in California, a Pay for Presence program for conserving large carnivores offers an alternative for supporting habitat conservation while acknowledging (and at least partially compensating) the direct and indirect costs to ranchers.
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Vol. 42 • No. 2