Predator Prey Relationships

Predator hunting may indirectly and unintentionally influence predator-prey dynamics by changing the age- and sex structure of predator populations

Elbroch et al

Weak spatiotemporal response of prey to predation risk in a freely interacting system

Elk Generally Unconcerned by the Presence of Wolves. If you’re looking at an individual elk, the odds of you being killed by a wolf is really, really small. Even if an elk and wolf cross paths which is only happening every seven to 11 days, the chance of a wolf killing the elk is only about 10 percent.

Cusack et al

Age-specific foraging strategies among pumas, and its implications for aiding ungulate populations through carnivore control

“It’s not the predator that determines how many prey there are,” Laundré said. “It’s the weather, how much food, how cold it gets, how hot it gets, all these types of things.”

Indeed, many scientists blame protracted droughts across the western U.S., not pumas or other predators, for diminished mule deer numbers.

Elbroch et al

Weak spatiotemporal response of prey to predation risk in a freely interacting system

Study of the relationship between wolves and elk and elk responded to the risk posed by wolves in Yellowstone National Park

Dr. Jeremy Cusack et al

Effects on White-Tailed Deer Following Eastern Coyote Colonization

The first long-term, large scale assessment by researchers who  documented there no consistent decline in deer harvest numbers after coyote arrival.

Bragina et al

Predation shapes the evolutionary traits of cervid weapons

Elk Make Odd Choice in Antler Game

Metz et al

Do Wolves Ambush Beaver

Researchers describe the first documented observation of a gray wolf killing a beaver, an observation that has provided valuable insight into how beavers defend themselves when attacked by wolves, how wolves hunt beavers, and the predatory strategies and cognitive abilities of wolves.

Gable et al

The forgotten prey of an iconic predator: a review of interactions between grey wolves Canis lupus and beavers Castor spp.

Gable et al

USFWS – Temporal use of the Nushagak Peninsula by wolves, Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, southwestern Alaska

Wolves focus their hunting efforts on the Nushagak Peninsula when caribou are readily available. Caribou numbers are responsible for how many wolves spend time on the peninsula. Evidence suggests that wolves did not cause the caribou populations’ decline and do not cause the caribou population to fluctuate.

Beavers are a surprisingly significant food source for gray wolves during the open water season according to new research done at Voyageurs National Park

Gable et al

Wildlife CSI – Panhandle elk mortality study

The Panhandle region placed 172 GPS radio-collars on 6-month old elk calves in the Coeur d’Alene and St. Joe River drainages since 2015.  A couple reasons we collared so many elk was to determine survival rates and for those elk that didn’t make it, find out why they died.

Yellowstone Science – The Challenge of Understanding Northern Yellowstone Elk Dynamics after Wolf Reintroduction

The wolf is a consistently low-success hunter of a wide range of prey. Its strategy is to find the easy mark: a prey animal that is easily killed because of its small size, old age, poor health, or treacherous surroundings.

Studying the Winter Nutritional Status of Moose and its Relationship to Moose Survival, the Population Trend, and Climate Change in a Declining Population in Northeastern Minnesota

DelGiudice, Severud

The decrease of the Little Smoky caribou population (Canada) is the result of human activities that adversely altered the caribou’s environment

15 authors, including Gilbert Proulx

Where and How Wolves Kill Beaver

Gable et al

Predator foraging response to a resurgent dangerous prey

Researchers shine spotlight on Yellowstone wolves’ scavenging behavior

Tallian et al

Density-dependent intraspecific aggression regulates survival in northern Yellowstone wolves (Canis lupus)

Cubaynes et al

Do Wolf Tracks and Few Deer In Your Fall Hunting Area Mean What You Think They Mean?

By Glenn DelGuidice, PhD

Body Size and Predatory Performance in Wolves: Is Bigger Better?

MacNulty et al

Predatory Senescence in Ageing Wolves

MacNulty et al

Wolf Harassment Has Little Impact On Elk

Middleton et al

Deer survival is influenced by many factors including disease, predation, weather, and hunter harvest.

In the Upper Peninsula (UP), deer survival is especially influenced by winter food supply and cover. Research is needed to better understand the impact of predation on deer, while also determining how predation is influenced by winter weather and deer habitat conditions. Follow this ongoing predator/prey study at

Intra-seasonal variation in wolf Canis lupus kill rates

Vucetich et al
Knowing kill rate is essential for knowing the basic nature of predation
Intra-Seasonal Variation Kill Rates.pdf

Predicting prey population dynamics from kill rate, predation rate and predator–prey ratios in three wolf-ungulate systems

Vucetich et al
Predation rate (PR) and kill rate are both fundamental statistics for understanding predation
Predicting prey population dynamics.pdf

The Effect of Prey and Predator Densities on Wolf Predation

Peterson et al
Per capita rates of killing may typically depend on the density of both prey and predator
Effect of Prey and Predator.pdf

Effects of Social Structure and Prey Dyanamics on Extinction Risk in Gray Wolves

September 25, 1996

The predator-prey power law: Biomass scaling across terrestrial and aquatic biomes

Study finds that predator numbers don’t always increase with prey. September 4, 2015

Wolf Paw Print