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Winter wolf predation in a multiple ungulate prey system, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska

Occasional Publication of the Canadian Circumpolar Institute 35
By: , and 
Edited by: Ludwig N. CarbynSteven H. Fritts, and Dale R. Seip

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Abstract

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 ( = 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.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Winter wolf predation in a multiple ungulate prey system, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska
Series title Occasional Publication of the Canadian Circumpolar Institute
Series number 35
ISBN 0-919058-92-2
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher Canadian Circumpolar Institute, University of Alberta
Publisher location Edmonton, AB
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 8 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Ecology and conservation of wolves in a changing world: Proceedings of the second North American symposium on wolves: Occasional Publication 35
First page 223
Last page 230
Conference Title Second North American Symposium on Wolves
Conference Location Edmonton, AB
Conference Date 25-27 August 1992
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Gates of the Arctic National Park