Saturday, October 3, 2009

Talking about wolves

Ralph Maughan points to this account of a lecture by Doug Smith (USFW's head of the wolf recovery project). Interesting tidbits:

- Yellowstone's wolves, being protected from hunting, have older and more experienced pack members, so their dynamics aren't necessarily the same as other North American wolves;

- when hunting, fast females tend to lead a chase and secure a victim, while heavier males follow up and help finish the kill more effectively (I didn't know that there were gender roles in hunting!);

- Smith believes that elk and wolf populations will eventually attain a more stable equilibrium than they now have, one at which there may only be half as many wolves as there currently are.

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