Wolves and Deer

Information on the Relationship Between Wolves and Deer
News

Should Gray Wolves Be Reintroduced To Colorado? December 5, 2019 Colorado, 
HPPR
... Wolves were last known to be living in Colorado in the 1940s... one of the biologists Mike Phillips, who happens to be a Montana state senator that I spoke with in my reporting, told me he thinks it would probably take around 45 relocated wolves over the period of three years to establish a viable population...

Fewer Yellowstone wolves equals no wolf-on-wolf deaths November 11, 2019 
East Idaho News
... “Project staff detected 151 kills that were definitely, probably, or possibly made by wolves in 2018: 95 elk (62.9%), 25 bison (16.6%), 11 mule deer (7.3%), 3 deer of unknown species (2.0%), 2 coyotes (3.0%), 2 pronghorn (1.3%), 1 grizzly bear (0.6%), 1 mountain lion (0.6%), and 11 unidentified animals (7.3%). The composition of wolf-killed elk was: 22.1% calves, 6.3% yearlings, 22.1% adult females, 37.9% adult males, 3.2% adults of unknown sex, and 8.4% of unknown sex and age.” ...

Caribou numbers up 49 per cent after four-year wolf cull October 8, 2019 British Columbia, Vancouver Sun
... The population of three mountain caribou herds in the South Peace region has risen by 49 per cent just four years into an experimental wolf cull program ... the report concludes “it is highly recommended that wolf reduction continue to be implemented” until the herds are self-sustaining...

... WDFW is beginning a study to collar wolves, cougars, bobcats, moose, deer and elk to track predator and prey interactions. There has been no baseline assessment to understand how a wolf's prey, like deer, elk, etc. have changed as wolf numbers have grown...

... in 1960:  on Coronation Island  ... a high density of blacktailed deer and no wolves... biologists from Fish and Game released two pairs of wolves ... in 1964:  at least 13 wolves...  in 1965:  no sign of deer on the north side of the island ... February 1966:   only three wolves ...wolf scats ... suggesting the animals had resorted to cannibalism ... August 1966:   just three sets of fresh deer tracks... in 1983: no evidence of wolves, but the deer were once again plentiful...

... Washington Fish and Wildlife will again target a wolfpack preying on cattle in the Kettle River Range ... Cattlemen say the wolves have thinned deer herds and turned to cattle for food...
Research

... In Canada, boreal caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) are declining in numbers, in part due to increased predation by wolves (Canis lupus). One management option to reduce wolf–caribou interactions and thus protect caribou is to remove man-made linear features (LFs), structures such as roads, trails, and cut lines, which are used by wolves as traveling paths... 

... a recently published study based on information collected in Yellowstone National Park shows that elk use much the same behavior to avoid mountain lions and wolves... Dan Stahler, Yellowstone Cougar Project manager...

The biological basis for deer hunting October 13, 2019 West Virginia, The Register-Herald
... In 1970, Graeme Caughley suggested that the mule deer population explosion on the Kaibab Plateau was due more to the recovery of the range than to the disappearance of predators. It turns out that while predators were being removed from the area, so were domestic livestock. At least 200,000 sheep and 20,000 cattle were removed at the same time the predators were exterminated. Caughley argued that deer flourished not because predators disappeared, but because the elimination of domestic grazers provided a virtually unlimited food supply for deer...

... 15 years of data collected on Idaho’s wolf and elk population... found that wolves accounted for 32% of identified mortalities for female elk while mountain lions accounted for 35%. That disparity grew when looking at elk calf survival with wolves accounting for 28% of known-fate deaths and lions accounting for 45%...
... a new study has found that the secretive cougar is actually the main predator influencing the movement of elk across the winter range of northern Yellowstone National Park... "Cougars hunted mainly in forested, rugged areas at night, whereas wolves hunted mainly in grassy, flat areas during morning and at dusk" ...

SL Berry, LA Shipley, RA Long, C Loggers - Ecosphere, 2019 Washington
... About 90% of the diets consumed by both deer species consisted of deciduous shrubs and forbs, and they selected many of the same plant species. However, overall diet composition was 38% dissimilar, with mule deer consuming diets that were more likely to contain shrubs with higher levels of tannins and lower levels of dry matter digestibility than diets eaten by white‐tailed deer...
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