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Wolf Predation on Wintering Deer in East-Central Ontario

George B. Kolenosky
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 36, No. 2 (Apr., 1972), pp. 357-369
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3799065
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3799065
Page Count: 13
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Wolf Predation on Wintering Deer in East-Central Ontario
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Abstract

Quantitative data on predation of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) by wolves (Canis lupus) in east-central Ontario were obtained by following a pack of eight wolves from January 11 to March 20, 1969. Data on sex and age of deer killed during the winters of 1964 to 1969 and success of hunts by wolves in 1968 and 1969 have been included. During the main winter of study, the pack travelled a total of 327 km over a period of 46 days for an average daily travel rate of 7.1 km. The maximum range of the group during the period of surveillance encompassed 224 km2. The pack killed 29 deer during 63 days, or one deer per 2.2 days. Distances travelled between kills ranged from 0.3 to 43.4 km and averaged 14.7. The amount of food available per wolf per day was 3.67 kg. The calculated daily food consumption was 0.10 kg per kg of wolf per day. The average age (2.43) of deer killed by wolves was greater than the average age (2.02) of deer killed by hunters. The sex ratio of 42 adult deer killed by wolves was 250 males:100 females; in a sample of 290 hunter-killed deer the ratio was 92:100. In 1968, the hunting success of wolves was 25 percent compared with 63 percent in 1969. It was calculated that during the 5-month winter period, the wolves removed 9 to 11 percent of the 730 deer present when winter began.

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