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Monday, January 29 • 2:40pm - 3:00pm
SYMPOSIA-02: Collaborative Studies on Wolf Ecology in the Greater Voyageurs National Park Ecosystem

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AUTHORS. Joseph K. Bump, Thomas Gable, Jordan Pruszenski - University of Minnesota; Steven Windels, Voyageurs National Park

ABSTRACT. Gray wolves are an integral component of boreal forest ecosystems, capable of structuring prey populations and altering prey behavior.  This talk will highlight two projects on wolves in Voyageurs National Park and the role of CESU in supporting this research.  One projects focuses on the ecology of wolf-beaver predation and the second project explores how wolf hunting/trapping outside the national park may impact protected wolves within park boundaries. Recent studies in the greater Voyageurs National Park ecosystem, demonstrated that up to 38% of the summer diet is beavers. In other areas of the state beavers are much less a part of wolf diet, generally less than 5-15%. Moose persist in this system at low numbers, despite a healthy wolf population. This project will address questions such as, ‘Does the high abundance of beavers, a more easily killed prey item than moose, result in lower predation on moose?’ and  ‘How does the availability of beaver prey affect wolf predation on adult and fawn deer in summer and fall?’ Few wolf packs persist exclusively within the borders of Voyageurs National Park.  In the period 2012-2014 hunters killed 973 wolves in Minnesota. Wolf harvest in Ontario, Canada, adjacent to the park, has occurred since 1993.   This project will examine potential, ecological consequences and management implications of harvest seasons on wolves in Voyageurs National Park.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm CST