We examined and quantified the economic impact of grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) and gray wolf (Canis lupus) depredation on calves in the Upper Green River Cattle Allotment in western Wyoming, USA, using records of the number of animals grazed and number lost during 1990–2004. Our analysis indicated that increased calf losses coincided with grizzly bear and gray wolf arrival and population establishment, with the first confirmed depredation by grizzly bears in 1995 and the first confirmed wolf depredation in 2000. From 1995 through 2004, 29,693 calves grazed on the allotment, and of the 1,332 calves lost to all causes, an estimated 520 calves were lost to grizzly bear depredation and 177 calves to gray wolf depredation. We examined past and current grizzly and gray wolf compensation programs with respect to reimbursement of producers for costs associated with large-carnivore depredation. Estimated 1995–2004 uncompensated financial impacts from grizzly bear and gray wolf calf losses on the allotment were US$222,500. Our analysis suggested equitable compensation factors of 3.8∶1 for grizzly bear depredation and 6.3∶1 for gray wolf depredation. Inadequate compensation for livestock depredation results in resistance to large-carnivore recovery programs. Development of compensation programs that fairly reimburse livestock producers for losses is, therefore, a necessary component of carnivore recovery efforts. Our analysis also suggested that grizzly bear management actions were effectively targeting livestock-depredating grizzly bears on the allotment.
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