thumbnail

Wolf-bison interactions in Yellowstone National Park

Journal of Mammalogy

By:
, , , , , , and

Links

Abstract

We studied interactions of reintroduced wolves (Canis lupus) with bison (Bison bison) in Yellowstone National Park. Only 2 of 41 wolves in this study had been exposed to bison before their translocation. Wolves were more successful killing elk (Cervus elaphus) than bison, and elk were more abundant than bison, so elk were the primary prey of wolves. Except for a lone emaciated bison calf killed by 8 1-year-old wolves 21 days after their release, the 1st documented kill occurred 25 months after wolves were released. Fourteen bison kills were documented from April 1995 through March 1999. All kills were made in late winter when bison were vulnerable because of poor condition or of bison that were injured or young. Wolves learned to kill bison and killed more bison where elk were absent or scarce. We predict that wolves that have learned to kill bison will kill them more regularly, at least in spring. The results of this study indicate how adaptable wolves are at killing prey species new to them.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Wolf-bison interactions in Yellowstone National Park
Series title:
Journal of Mammalogy
Volume
81
Issue:
4
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description:
p. 1128-1135
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Mammalogy
First page:
1128
Last page:
1135
Number of Pages:
7