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New Wolf Study Looks at Predation rates

May 20, 2019
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Learning more about predator-prey relations in Jackson Hole.

Jackson -

The Wyoming Game and Fish is partnering with researchers from the University of California Berkely on a new wolf study launched this past winter looking to document patterns of wolf predation on elk and other ungulates during winter. Researchers are focusing on the southern portion of Jackson Hole, including the Gros Ventre drainage, the National Elk Refuge and associated areas. The primary goals are to estimate kill rates and assess characteristics of prey species and environmental conditions associated with risk of mortality.

In this first field season researchers investigated 287 "cluster groups" of GPS locations from collared wolves to determine where a kill may have been made. When visited on the ground, most of those clusters (177) were simply places where wolves had bedded. However, a total of 30 were determined to be sites where a wolf kill was likely, with an additional 18 potential kill sites. Upon investigation, another 13 were determined to be wolf scavenging events with another 45 simply unknown. Results are considered preliminary at this time with fieldwork continuing next winter. 

- WGFD -

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