A University of Alberta study says a provincial program that uses hunting licence fees to compensate ranchers when cows, sheep, horses or llamas are killed by predators also supports conservation efforts.
The research shows private ranchland provides important habitat for wolves, cougars, bears and eagles.
Study co-author Mark Boyce says the predator compensation program helps offset the cost of losing animals, so ranchers are more willing to maintain wildlife habitat.
Hunters who have criticized the program say their licence fees are subsidizing it when it should be paid for by the Agriculture Department.
Several other provinces and states do compensate ranchers with agriculture dollars.