We investigated patterns of winter wolf predation, including prey selection, prey switching, kill rates, carcass utilization, and consumption rates for four wolf packs during three different study periods (March 1989, March 1990, and November 1990) in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Wolves killed predominantly caribou (165 caribou, seven moose, and five Dall sheep) even when moose and sheep were more abundant. Prey selection varied between study periods. More moose were killed in march 1989, a particularly deep snow year, and more sheep were killed in November 1990 than during other periods. Overall kill rates ranged from 0-8 days/ungulate killed (x̅ = 2.0, SD = 1.6) and did not vary between study periods. Pack size and species killed explained significant variation in the length of time intervals between kills. Although caribou density varied nearly 40-fold between pack territories, it had little influence on predation characteristics except at low densities, when kill rates may have declined. Caribou distribution had marked effects on wolf predation rate.
|Title||Winter wolf predation in a multiple ungulate prey system, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska|
|Authors||Bruce W. Dale, Layne G. Adams, R. Terry Bowyer|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Publication Subtype||Conference Paper|
|Series Title||Occasional Publication of the Canadian Circumpolar Institute|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Alaska Science Center|