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Wolves find happy hunting grounds in Yellowstone National Park
Date:8/30/2007

s, thus influencing post-encounter outcomes," Boyce said.

Boyce and colleagues noted that "browse communites"foraging areas in open, flat landscape near roads or rivers (which can cut off escape routes)offer the greatest risk of wolf predation for elk. Also, deep snowy areas, which are much harder for the heavy, hoof-legged elk to move through than the lighter, wide-pawed wolves, are also dangerous.

The great challenge for the elk, however, is that the risky foraging areas provide sustenance during the critical winter months, when the elk experience shrinking fat reserves.

"Our study makes clear that elk in winter face a clear trade-off between forage quality and predation risk. How elk perceive and manage the trade-off between food and safety will ultimately determine if they will survive," Boyce said.


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Contact: Ryan Smith
ryan.smith@ualberta.ca
780-492-0436
University of Alberta
Source:Eurekalert

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