Read The Predator Paradox: Ending the War with Wolves, Bears, Cougars, and Coyotes by John Shivik Online


An expert in wildlife management tells the stories of those who are finding new ways for humans and mammalian predators to coexist. Stories of backyard bears and cat-eating coyotes are becoming increasingly common—even for people living in non-rural areas. Farmers anxious to protect their sheep from wolves aren’t the only ones concerned: suburbanites and city dwellers areAn expert in wildlife management tells the stories of those who are finding new ways for humans and mammalian predators to coexist. Stories of backyard bears and cat-eating coyotes are becoming increasingly common—even for people living in non-rural areas. Farmers anxious to protect their sheep from wolves aren’t the only ones concerned: suburbanites and city dwellers are also having more unwanted run-ins with mammalian predators. And that might not be a bad thing. After all, our government has been at war with wildlife since 1914, and the death toll has been tremendous: federal agents kill a combined ninety thousand wolves, bears, coyotes, and cougars every year, often with dubious biological effectiveness. Only recently have these species begun to recover. Given improved scientific understanding and methods, can we continue to slow the slaughter and allow populations of mammalian predators to resume their positions as keystone species? As carnivore populations increase, however, their proximity to people, pets, and livestock leads to more conflict, and we are once again left to negotiate the uneasy terrain between elimination and conservation. In The Predator Paradox, veteran wildlife management expert John Shivik argues that we can end the war while still preserving and protecting these key species as fundamental components of healthy ecosystems. By reducing almost sole reliance on broad scale “death from above” tactics and by incorporating nonlethal approaches to managing wildlife—from electrified flagging to motion-sensor lights—we can dismantle the paradox, have both people and predators on the landscape, and ensure the long-term survival of both. As the boundary between human and animal habitat blurs, preventing human-wildlife conflict depends as much on changing animal behavior as on changing our own perceptions, attitudes, and actions. To that end, Shivik focuses on the facts, mollifies fears, and presents a variety of tools and tactics for consideration. Blending the science of the wild with entertaining and dramatic storytelling, Shivik’s clear-eyed pragmatism allows him to appeal to both sides of the debate, while arguing for the possibility of coexistence: between ranchers and environmentalists, wildlife managers and animal-welfare activists, and humans and animals....

Title : The Predator Paradox: Ending the War with Wolves, Bears, Cougars, and Coyotes
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780807084960
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Predator Paradox: Ending the War with Wolves, Bears, Cougars, and Coyotes Reviews

  • Kimk
    2019-02-20 03:19

    The Predator Paradox by John Shivik attempts to explain how we can preserve predators while respecting the needs of an ever growing and expanding human presence in the animals' habitat. Shivik does an excellent job providing a balanced look at the many voices and viewpoints surrounding this issue. He discusses in detail the various methods that can be used to help wolves, bears, coyotes and cougars co-exist with humans, focusing on the research of a number of biologists. The information gleaned from this research was absolutely fascinating to me. Usually, I expect books and articles on this topic to be incredibly biased, but Shivik does an thorough and sensitive job discussing the concerns of both sides of this debate. The writing is beautiful, almost novel like in parts which made the reading quite engaging and swift. I appreciated learning the value of predators to keeping the ecology in balance: how aspen were faltering because predators were removed and the elk were eating the saplings or how wolves select ill deer helping strengthen the herd. I also was moved by his presentation of the herders and ranchers: how slim their margins are and how fear rules many of their decisions. The book didn't offer any easy answers, but it sure helped me appreciate the complexity of the issue and gave me hope that with further research in alternative means of wildlife management, we might be able to reach a detente. I highly recommend this well written, easily accessible and absolutely fascinating look into the intersecting world of humans and "classic" predators. I appreciate Goodreads First Reads for providing me the opportunity to receive and read this book in exchange for my fair review.

  • Tony Parsons
    2019-02-12 22:36

    My biological father was an avid big game hunter. He had over a 100 rifles & hand guns. Many he snuck back from WWII Germany. I shot my first squirrel at age 4. I did not enjoy going with him & killing Bambi & Simba. I & my son were once bird hunters (dove, quail, pheasant, prairie chicken, ducks/geese). At least they had a 50/50 chance. Do I understand the survival of the fittest & why animals need to maintained & hunted (ecosystems; preserving/protecting), of course I do. Getting every 1 to work together (U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service; National Park Service; Wildlife Conservation Society) good luck with that. There were/always will be poachers, animal activists, etc. The U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service & National Park Service needs something to do anyway, don’t want them down at the local coffee shop getting free doughnuts & coffee.A very awesome book cover. There were great illustration, pictures, font & writing style. A very well written set of informative historical facts, statistics, and acts passed, scientific research all jam packed into this book. It was very easy to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. No grammar errors, repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This would make great documentary movie, PP presentation or mini TV series (A & E; History channel). There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars. Thank you for the free book Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)

  • Lizzy
    2019-02-09 22:25

    An interesting topic, ordinarily, but this book is sloppily written and poorly organized. The author asks questions and either fails to address them or does so after contemplating something else. He goes into rants that are randomly inserted into a chapter, whose chapter it somewhat fits. Anyways, it's a topic that's been explored better elsewhere, and this could've been a better book with some more thought and editing.He tried way too hard to make the book interesting, with boring and not very helpful anecdotes about people that he comes to throughout the book and going into story mode like so many nonfiction authors try to do. A lot of the writing was painful; especially egregious was the line "their hip hop jewelry flashed and dangled." It sounded like a science academic trying his hand at a style of writing he has little experience with and it felt very awkward to read.

  • Lori Taylor
    2019-02-14 05:17

    This book is not for the scientist only. It speaks to us on how to live with our predators and not wage war. It encourages our personal behavior in the wild and in our neighborhoods. Must read.

  • Nancy
    2019-02-10 04:35

    The Predator Paradox by John A. Shivik is a must read for anybody interested in predators and/or predation.  This includes those who raise livestock, conservationists, ethical vegetarians and vegans, and others. He states that predators are good for the environment generally, but some do eat livestock. His book is an exploration of ways to work toward minimizing the predator toll and it's collateral damage, while protecting livestock. I'm not spoiling your read by what follows, but hope to alert you to pay attention to some details. Shivik is wise in many ways. He looks at the culture of ranching and talks of the importance of speaking ranchers' language. He explores the whether's and how's of possibly impacting that culture to benefit predators and livestock. He fascinatingly explores experiments with various predators to learn what might reduce or even eliminate their preying upon livestock. He's practical rather than an idealist. He even acknowledges that Americans eat an unhealthily large amount of beef.From my perspective, Shivak missed on a few points that would have increased the books' value. He says chicken and pork, currently mostly raised in industrial situations, are worse for the environment than cattle. He does not make direct comparisons. He should compare grass fed beef with chickens raised outside where they eat bugs for a living. In comparable situations, the chickens are likely the most environmentally friendly, especially if they are killed before their first winter. Both are expensive.Shivik tells us how to talk to ranchers, but not to animal rights' activists. Since both groups work hard to impact legislation and state regulations regarding predators, it would make sense to help readers how to talk to both. Shivik may have been strategic when he skipped putting predation on humans into perspective. Why didn't he compare humans killed by predators to other natural outdoor hazards, such as lightning, falls, avalanches hypothermia, heat exhaustion, etc., or to human-related hazards like car and ATV accidents, drownings, shootings, domestic dog attacks, etc. His point is to motivate people to stay safe from predators, a good thing. Unfortunately, I think he encourages the already incredibly disproportionate human fear of putting anyone, especially kids, into the outdoors. I agree with many of the virtues Shivik attributed to hunting compared to getting one's meat at the grocery store. He did skip one important point. Most hunters still use lead bullets. The bullet shatters when it enters the animal. Chips of lead are spread through much of the meat that hunters take home as well as the gut piles they leave in the wild. X-rays of a typical deer burger, for example, show flecks of lead throughout the ground venison. Lead is toxic to humans, especially in that it lowers the intelligence of babies and children who ingest it, whether from old lead paint or potentially venison. Hunters who get a large supply of game are likely doing themselves and their families a disservice unless they use non-lead bullets. At the environmental level, lead shot has killed many predators and carrion eaters. California condors have to be caught periodically and treated for lead poisoning in order to survive. Eagles, hawks, smaller avian carrion eaters like magpies and many others die of lead poisoning, and so do the mammalian predators. Despite my spending so much times on what I consider the book's shortcomings, I agree with Shivik. There is hope for a considerable reduction in predator slaughter to protect livestock and the unintended collateral damage to non-target species. I encourage you to read the book.

  • Sarah Scott
    2019-01-23 23:19

    I received this book for Early Reviewers, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Another full disclosure moment: in case you haven't already noticed, I am a little biased when it comes to books with animal topics. I have worked for a number of non-profits dealing with animal rights, welfare and conservation, so keep that in mind when reading my reviews! ;-) When I picked this book up, I was expecting an argument that was dry, uncreative, and offering little in the terms of solutions. I thought the author would focus on what we were doing wrong, and not what we could do to fix the problem in a realistic way. I could not have been more wrong. I was pleasantly surprised by the ease with which I was able to understand the material - yes, the text is not as captivating as it could be, and that is certainly its biggest fault, but it is definitely digestible to the average reader. I would argue that in order to be picked up by the ideal audience, it should be rewritten to be slightly more engaging (it sometimes reads a bit like a thesis or journalistic paper). BUT, that being said, Shivik knows what he is talking about in this book. He lays it all out - the problems with our current relationship with predators (wolves, bears, cougars, and particularly coyotes), current solutions developed for predator management, and the issues with those solutions. He offers hands-on ideas and ways we could tackle this paradox, and talks about the different factors that go into the "war" concerning our co-existence. It was an excellent and informing read.A few passages that I enjoyed (and subsequently bookmarked and read to my husband): "Another western bumper sticker reads, 'Earth First! We'll log the other planets later.' Why would someone with such a sentiment care about trophic cascades? Why would this person care about loss of species, other than species with economic value? Ecological arguments are irrelevant in such a context. All hope is not lost, however. The chasm between the various camps is not too wide to cross, but reaching solutions will require an acknowledgement of, and respect for, the idea that other value systems may be as valid as one's own. We must acknowledge our own internal biases too." (After discussing study findings indicating that bears will return to the same spot over and over, even if unrewarded each time after the first) "Bears learn and remember well. Cabin owners and campers should remember this: people have to leave food out only once. It could be a forgotten bag of pet food on the porch or bits of meat on the grill. If a bear finds the food and eats, then stopping the bear from returning is far more difficult than just cleaning up the next time." "The researchers also came to understand that coyotes that killed sheep were also better at avoiding human control methods. Coyote control preferentially removed the "good" coyotes, but left the repeat offenders, and the most destructive coyotes had become the most difficult to kill...the number of coyotes that were removed had no correlation with lamb loss; predation continued regardless of widespread removal until the actual culprit was taken."

  • Breanna Green
    2019-01-22 21:32

    I enjoyed this quick, easy read and have picked up valuable information. There is a ton of info crammed into few pages but it is delivered clearly without getting bogged down in technical jargon. One doesn't need to have a biology degree to understand it, and that's what makes it such a good book, and one that any involved in the predator debate should pick up. Great for those who wonder if the emotion surrounding carnivores is always love or hate. Spoiler, it isn't.

  • Leslie Patten
    2019-02-20 03:22

    A good overview about Wildlife Services and how humans are still killing a lot of predators unnecessarily. Shivik goes into detail about non-lethal deterrents. Three stars only because it's a boring read unless you are doing research.

  • Janet
    2019-01-21 21:30

    Dr John Shivik is a wildlife biologist and researcher specializing in devising non-lethal control of predators.It's a subject that I read with keen interest since it's a issue here in the Montana mountain valley where I live Although I don't have livestock , except for a few horses, my property has coyotes, foxes and the occasional mountain lion traveling through. Naturally bears live here, although I don't see them at my place. A wildlife biologist wolf specialist says the wolf density here in the valley is greater than in Yellowstone Park.I learned a lot from this book about the research going into predator control and the predators themselves.Unfortunately, there aren't any easy answers. Dr Shivik gives the impression that the the answers are at hand and the war is over, but it isn't and won't be for years to come. Coyotes and wolves get habituated and begin ignoring strategies such as flags to scare them away from ranchers' yummy and enticing herds. Electric fencing is expensive for the huge pastures in the west and a moose traveling through can take down a quarter mile of fence in one go. Guard llamas are suggested for sheep as protection against wolves and coyotes, but while this may work for coyotes, wolves are happy to dine on llama. Other strategies are still in the development stage with long term results and cost/benefit ratios yet unproven. These include causing predators to be negatively conditioned with emetic chemicals, or neutering coyotes with the expectations that less pups will produce less livestock killing. Finally, some solutions such as getting rid of sheep ranching altogether or putting beef cattle in barns at night are simply nonsensical.The writing is lively and entertaining, but in places the tone of the book bothered me. Ranchers are almost universally portrayed as backward and rather unteachable. Those who don't agree with him (even those who live in Spain) are dubbed rednecks.The Mormon community he lives in is “known chiefly for their aversion to alcohol and coffee”. (p18)Several descriptions of his colleagues, especially women colleagues, are troubling. For example, this bit of sexist nonsense:"Val Asher would have been perfectly cast as the resourceful, confident, borderline truculent heroine in a dusty western. She had dark eyes and wavy brown hair, but was so tough and scrappy that you almost forget how pretty she was. I could not imagine that she'd ever appear in a dainty dress, much less petticoats. A long time wolf trapper, Val played the part accurately."Gag me with a spoon. How would you like to be the professional colleague that has to drag that around for the rest of her career?In addition, there are small, sloppy misstatements throughout the book such as the one on page 49 “opening the chest cavity, I see that the liver is gone ...” which had me on the internet to see if the author actually is a biologist. (He is). Summary: Highly readable although often condescending; interesting work and potential but promises more than it delivers. Recommended for those with an interest in the large predators, but definitely needs to be taken with a grain of salt for the biases expressed.

  • Holly
    2019-02-01 04:25

    This book was absolutely fascinating. A detailed look into why lethal methods to control predation on livestock rarely work, and why it's so hard to pinpoint any one blanket strategy dealing with predation.According to recent research, killing one predator only leaves an opening for another to fill it (on average 43 days before another takes it's spot). Deterrence and fear are the best methods, however the animals are so intelligent they keep figuring ways around the safeguards.What was really fascinating was that despite how many years of research has gone into this issue, the best, cost effective way to protect a flock seems to still be a guard animal. The book specifically highlights dogs, donkeys, llama, and armed human guards. The most success was had when using a mixture of guard animal and armed human presence along with alarm systems that made loud noises to scare predators.Very interesting and thought provoking read.

  • Jean Benedict
    2019-02-04 00:23

    This was a very interesting book. It gave me a whole new perspective on wildlife. I hope we are able to have a balance so we can live with predators. I am concerned as humans are taking over the habitats of wildlife. I won this book from First Reads and recommend it as a book everyone should read.

  • Rick
    2019-02-13 04:26

    I did not find this to be a particularly compelling read, but it does seem to offer a fairly balanced view of possible ways to afford greater protection to the large predators while acknowledging and addressing the real concerns of the farmers and ranchers whose livelihood can be directly impacted by the presence of said animals.

  • Carolyn
    2019-02-17 21:15

    This was a well-balanced exploration of a very divisive topic. Definitely worthwhile reading for anyone with an interest in the subject.

  • Jennifer
    2019-01-22 04:24

    Excellent book about how we need to learn to live with predators in order to properly keep ecosystems in balance and prey animals at healthy numbers.

  • Sherri Anderson
    2019-02-15 03:25

    I enjoyed the book and the writing style. I learned quite a few things but was disappointed in the last chapter as I did not think the summation was very good.