The seasonal interaction between predator and prey

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The seasonal interaction between predator and prey has been acknowledged but never fully understood. As seasons change species behavior changes along with the grazing or hunting land they choose to inhabit. An example of this is the elk, summers they chose to live higher up grazing above tree line, but in winter they move to lower elevation into forests to provide shelter form the weather. Understanding the seasonal interaction between predator and prey allow biologists to understand the impact of certain populations in the area.
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Over a span of 14 years 12 gray wolf packs were monitored by biologists. Each pack was tracked for a certain season and for a 30 day study period. Biologists recorded all ungulate carcasses found from the wolves, and the species, date, sex, and cause of death was recorded. In all from the 12 packs 942 carcasses were recorded and 81 scavenged carcasses in the winter season. The summer and spring packs had 296 carcasses and 14 scavenged carcasses (Metz, et al. 2016). In addition the data recorded the biologists took into consideration each pack size and the biomass of prey in the area. The fat content from bone marrow samples were recorded to monitor the nutritional content of the wolves’ diet. This data was used to get a better understanding of a wolves’ diet and their kill rates depending on the season (Metz, et al. 2016).
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  • Fall '19
  • wolf, Coyote, Gray Wolf, Rocky Mountains

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