Finally, a real study, and released to the public-
Not surprisingly (to me anyway) the effect of wolves on elk populations varies by area and presence of other predators such as grizzly bears. In addition hunters affect elk more than wolves. When considering wolves and ungulates alone, I take this report to be generally quite positive for the effects of wolves on ungulates.
Here is the news release, but there is the much larger report available to for those interested. Here is the 90+ page full report. Ralph Maughan
Added. Notice how the MSM immediately gives the results of this an immediate spin by means of the headline. Wolves tied to elk decline in parts of state. By EVE BYRON – Independent Record
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – FEBRUARY 6, 2008
Contact Ron Aasheim, 406-444-4038; Justin Gude, 406-444-3767; or visit FWP’s Web site
Study Finds Mixed Wolf Impacts On Elk Populations-
Not all elk populations respond in the same manner when faced with sharing the landscape with wolves, a new report by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks suggests.
Researchers who spent the past seven years measuring the populations and behavior of elk in Montana found that elk numbers in some areas of southwestern Montana have dropped rapidly due mostly to the loss of elk calves targeted by wolves and grizzly bears that inhabit the same area. The same study, led by FWP and Montana State University, also suggests that in some areas of western Montana elk numbers have increased while hunter-harvests of elk have decreased, with little apparent influence by local wolf packs on elk numbers.
“One-size-fits-all explanations of wolf-elk interactions across large landscapes do not seem to exist,” said Justin Gude, FWP’s chief of wildlife research in Helena.
The 95-page report contains two sections. The first section summarizes research efforts in the Greater Yellowstone Area and southwestern Montana, with a primary focus on wolf-elk interactions. The second section summarizes FWP data collection and monitoring efforts from the entire range of wolves in Montana. Read the rest of this entry »