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Winter Severity and Wolf Predation on a Formerly Wolf-Free Elk Herd
L. David Mech, Douglas W. Smith, Kerry M. Murphy and Daniel R. MacNulty
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 65, No. 4 (Oct., 2001), pp. 998-1003
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3803048
Page Count: 6
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Wolves, Elks, National parks, Predation, Wildlife management, Calves, Bone marrow, Forest ecology, Dietary fats, Age
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We studied wolf (Canis lupus) predation on elk (Cervus elaphus) in Yellowstone National Park from 17 March to 15 April 1997 (server winter conditions) and from 2 to 31 March 1998 (mild winter conditions) 2-3 year after wolves were reintroduced to the park. Elk composed 91% of 117 kills. Data comparisons for 1997 versus 1998 were: hunting success rate, 26% versus 15%; kill rate, 17.1 kg/wolf/day versus 6.1; percent of kill consumed in first day, 7 versus 86; percent femur marrow fat of adult kills, 27 versus 70; calf:adult ratios of kills, 2:33 versus 17:23; sex ratio of kills, 14M:19F versus 17M:6F; mean age of elk killed, males 6.1 years, females 15.2 versus males, 4.8, females 13.0. Winter severity influenced the wolf-elk relationship more than the naivete of the elk herd to predation by wolves.
The Journal of Wildlife Management © 2001 Wiley