Estimating Biomass of Berries Consumed by Gray Wolves
January 29, 2020
Gray wolves (Canis lupus) consume berries and other wild fruits seasonally when available or abundant. However, a method to convert percent frequency of occurrence or percent volume of berries in wolf scats to percent biomass has not yet been developed. We used estimates of the average number of blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) seeds in 10 individual wolf scats collected in and adjacent to Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota, USA, along with published values of the number of seeds per blueberry and blueberry masses to estimate that a wolf scat containing only berries equated to an average of 0.468 kg of berries consumed. We recommend using this berry conversion factor (0.468 kg/scat) to convert the percent frequency of occurrence or percent volume of berries and other wild fruits to percent biomass when estimating wolf diets from scats.
Author(s): THOMAS D. GABLE, STEVE K. WINDELS, JOHN G. BRUGGINK