Travel Rates of Wolves, Canis lupus, in Relation to Ungulate Kill Sites in Westcentral Alberta

Gerald W. Kuzyk, Christoph Rohner, Fiona K. A. Schmiegelow

Abstract


Recent advancements in Global Positioning Systems (GPS) radiocollar technology permit analysis of fine-scale animal movements. We used concurrent aerial and GPS monitoring to determine winter travel rates of Wolves (Canis lupus) in relation to ungulate kill sites in managed forest landscapes in westcentral Alberta. Wolves preyed predominately on Moose (Alces alces) and travelled 4.2 times less when near ungulate kill sites than when away from them. As Wolves are thought to be an important factor in Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) declines, information is needed to assess predation risk to Caribou from Wolves under a variety of landscape conditions. If Wolves have restricted movements near Moose kill sites, this may lead to decreased encounter rates with Caribou in systems where Moose are abundant. Deer (Odocoileus spp.) are probably an important component of this Wolf-prey system but little is currently known about this relationship. Projecting long-term implications of ongoing development activities requires a more detailed understanding of the responses of all species to landscape change.

Keywords


Moose; Alces alces; Wolf; Canis lupus; predation risk; Woodland Caribou; Rangifer tarandus caribou; GPS data; Alberta

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22621/cfn.v119i4.190



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