Wolf News Roundup 8/15/2019
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
August 14, 2019
A wolf attacked a man who was sleeping in tent (one of four family members in the tent) at a busy campground in Canada¡¯s Banff National Park. The injured man was hospitalized with serious injuries, and nearby campers helped to scare away the wolf. Wildlife officials shot a wolf nearby the next morning, and confirmed through DNA testing that the wolf killed was the one that attacked the man.
Wolves, Lions, & Elk
A new paper in the Journal of Wildlife Management examines the effects on wolf pack size and winter conditions on elk mortality, as well as the influence of mountain lion predation on elk. Researchers monitored elk survival throughout Idaho from 2004-2016 and developed predictive models for mortality, assessing wolf pack size, winter conditions, and individual-level characteristics. They found that "chest girth had the largest effect on risk of mortality for calves followed by pack size and snow depth.
"Other than the effect of senescence in the oldest (>15 yr) individuals, pack size and snow depth had the largest effect on risk of mortality for adult females. We estimated cause©\specific mortality and predation was the dominant cause of known©\fate mortalities for adult females (35% mountain lion [Puma concolor] and 32% wolf) and calves (45% mountain lion and 28% wolf), whereas malnutrition accounted for 9% and 10% of adult female and calf mortalities, respectively. Wolves preferentially selected smaller calves and older adult females, whereas mountain lions showed little preference for calf size or age class of adult females.
"Our study indicates managers can increase elk survival by reducing wolf pack sizes on surrounding winter ranges, especially in areas where, or during years when, snow is deep. Additionally, managers interested in improving over©\winter calf survival can implement actions to increase the size of calves entering winter by increasing the nutritional quality of summer and early fall forage resources. Although our study was prompted by management questions related to wolves, mountain lions killed more elk than wolves and differences in selection of individual elk indicate mountain lions may have comparably more of an effect on elk population dynamics."
The Duluth News-Tribune has an article about the wolves of Voyageurs National Park, including details about the life of wolves in this unique environment - from prey encounters to social interactions.
Check out the links below for details on these stories.