The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon

Inflatable dancers to ward wolves

March 4, 2019

By Oregon Family Farm Association,

Like farmers use scarecrows to protect seeds and crops from birds, a Jackson County rancher is employing an inflatable dancing tube man to keep gray wolves from killing his livestock.

Ted Birdseye set up a lime-green inflatable dancer, such as those seen in used-car lots, in his pasture after Oregon-7’s Rogue Pack killed a calf in the field. They had previously slain five cows and a dog, according to The Mail Tribune. Early results proved promising, although Birdseye didn’t know how well it would deter the wolves in the long term.

He received the air dancer with a generator from Defenders of Wildlife, a conservation group. Another air dancer arrived but without power so he wasn’t able to set it up immediately.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife described the calf’s death as the 10th kill of livestock or dogs blamed on the Rogue Pack since September in western Jackson and eastern Klamath counties.

Birdseye previously used electric fences, lights, flags, noisemakers, and guard dogs to protect his livestock, but opted to try the inflatables after hearing ranchers in Eastern Oregon had used them successfully.

The male gray wolf dubbed OR-7 because of his GPS collar, also known as Journey, migrated from the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon south in the Cascade Range in search of a mate and settled in eastern Jackson County.

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