ROME – Maybe it will make you smile, but university professors in Wisconsin have not joked about it for a second: According to a recent study, the introduction of gray wolves into deer densities has led to an average reduction in vehicular collisions with 24 percent associated with the same deer. The results were published in the journal Processes of the National Academy of Sciences.
The thinning of the deer population, thanks to the natural predator, significantly changes the behavior of deer, resulting in fewer accidents. Dominic Parker, a natural resource economist at the University of Wisconsin in the United States and co-author of a new study: “In a very short period of time, once wolves inhabit a district, vehicle collisions with deer are reduced by about 24 percent.” Jennifer Rainer, a natural resource economist at Wesleyan University in the United States and co-author of the new study, studied deer populations, wolf populations and deer-vehicle conflict data for 63 Wisconsin districts between 1988 and 2010.
Researchers say wolves control the economic damage caused by excessive deer populations in ways that human deer hunters fail to do. In addition to the obvious social impact of fewer accidents, there is also an economic benefit to introducing gray wolves, the researchers added: saving from reducing accidents is 63 times the compensation provided for the loss of livestock caused by wolves.