Reintroduction of wolves reduces vehicle deer collisions in Michigan | The Optimist Daily
Today’s Solutions: July 15, 2024

Anyone who has gone on a road trip is familiar with the sight of roadkill on the side of the highway, but in some areas, this problem is more pronounced than others. For example, deer were being killed regularly along the roads in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, but that all changed when the state reintroduced wild wolves. 

When gray wolves from Canada and Minnesota were brought back to the area, vehicle collisions involving deer went way down. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin quantified these results and found that once wolves colonize a county, deer-vehicle collisions go down about 24 percent. 

When wolves return to an area, they keep the deer populations at stable levels, in turn providing benefits for entire ecosystems and the humans that drive through them. A study from the U.S. Department of Transportation found that deer-vehicle crashes cost more than $8 billion annually in damages. 

Safer roads aren’t the only benefit of species reintroduction. The reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone in 1995 has had monumental effects on the local ecosystem. With wolves to hunt elk, birch trees have been able to grow back, supporting beavers which in turn build dams to ameliorate the health of streams and rivers. 

Source study: PNAS – Wolves make roadways safer, generating large economic returns to predator conservation

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

The United Kingdom just elected its most diverse Parliament ever

BY THE OPTIMIST DAILY EDITORIAL TEAM Britain has elected its most diverse parliament in history, signaling a substantial shift in representation as Prime Minister ...

Read More

This study finds microdosing THC can reduce chronic pain

While CBD is the ingredient in cannabis that gets praise for its healing capabilities, a new study shows THC can also be effective in ...

Read More

This skyscraper in Taipei features a carbon-absorbing vertical forest

According to the World Green Building Council, our built environment is responsible for almost 40 percent of the world’s carbon footprint. Facing a dire ...

Read More

Ditch the rake and discover the benefits of leaving fallen leaves in your yard

The annual ritual of raking and disposing of fallen leaves has been engraved into the autumn dance for generations. But, in reality, those vivid ...

Read More