Academic journal article Science and Children

Hungry Moose More Tolerant of Wolves' Presence

Academic journal article Science and Children

Hungry Moose More Tolerant of Wolves' Presence

Article excerpt

Driven by the need for food, moose in western Wyoming are less likely to change their behavior to avoid wolves as winter progresses, according to new research.

The findings provide new insights into the interactions of the region's apex predators and their prey. The results also highlight the complexity of the relationships between wolves and big-game species, making it difficult to reach general conclusions about whether and how fear of wolves has impacted the ecosystem, the researchers say.

The scientists tracked movements of dozens of GPS-collared moose and wolves in Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest over a five-year period, detecting 120 unique encounters among 25 individual moose and six wolf packs. An encounter was defined as when moose and wolves were within about 1,600 yards of each other.

They found that movements of moose increased in early winter following encounters with wolves, but only when wolves were within about 550 yards. Even then, the moose didn't move from their preferred habitat, which is near streams and marshy areas. …

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