THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF ANIMAL PREDATION:
AN ANALYSIS OF SCANDINAVIAN
After coming close to extinction, the grey wolf (Canis lupus) has re-colonized
Scandinavia during the last two decades. The current population numbers some
100–120 individuals, and is distributed in small packs along the Swedish–Norwegian
border. However, with wolf re-colonization, several conflicts have arisen.
One conflict is due to wolf predation on livestock, especially sheep and
reindeer. Another is predation on wild ungulates. As the wolves have shown
a strong preference for moose (Alces alces) in this respect, a smaller moose
population is available for game hunting. The cost of increased moose predation
by wolves is examined using a two-step process. First, we analyse the costs
to landowners, comprising the loss of animals potentially available for hunting
less the reduction in browsing damage associated with a smaller moose population.
Second, we examine the problem from a broader point of view, where costs
external to landowners and local communities are included. By far the most
important cost here is damage related to collisions between moose and motor