Yellowstone Wolf Article...

jlhois

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Saw this on Steve Rinella's Bookface page. Interesting read....This is my second attempt at posting this...Put it in wrong thread on my dang phone.

How many elk do Yellowstone wolves eat? | WyoFile

Some of the more interesting quotes, in my opinion:

Using Smith’s figures, wolves residing primarily in Yellowstone kill between 1,568 and 2,156 elk annually. In the Greater Yellowstone region, wolves take 8,448 to 11,616 elk per year, Smith’s figures indicate.

A large wolf can hold up to about 20 pounds of meat in its stomach at a time, Smith said. But after 20 years of chasing wolves and measuring them with a scale, top weight for a big male was 148 pounds — with nothing in its stomach.

Sure like when management of wolf populations are in the hands of the stakeholders it affects most.
 
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jlhois

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What, wolves don't eat elk...lies....all lies. Elk and wolves are friends.

The game numbers here are wayyyyy down because of it. They actually revised the moose tags down this year because of it.
 
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jlhois

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What, wolves don't eat elk...lies....all lies. Elk and wolves are friends.

The game numbers here are wayyyyy down because of it. They actually revised the moose tags down this year because of it.
Interesting that you mention moose numbers. Here in Idaho I hunted a unit that had a lot of elk and some moose. The wolves were very much keyed in on the moose. Captured them following moose on my game camera. In talking to locals the moose get stuck in the basins and make for less work.


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You have to remember......our transplanted wolves are feral. They are not the native specie. They are a much larger and more aggressive Canadian variety. Which were they originate, their main diet is moose. So it's no coincidence.
 

ndbuck09

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Does anyone have any official sources that the introduced canadian wolves are different than what was originally here in the Western US? Believe me I'm against such a large population of wolves but have been reluctant to use this aspect in my argument as I've never really seen any evidence or studies that talk about this aspect of the situation.
 

BigAntlerGetter

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Technically there really isn't a source that says they introduced the wrong wolves. But they brought in the Canadian wolf, the hearsay is that the biologists figured that a few Canadian wolves had migrated down anyways so that's what they should bring in. Others say they should have brought in the correct wolf species regardless of what had migrated. Timber wolves vs Canadian wolves size, aggression and eating habits is the difference. I can't find the sources anymore I once had over the entire deal with the different wolves, seemed to disappear when they were delisting the wolves.

But I did have a chart that showed the Yellowstone elk herd went from roughly 18,000 head in 1994 down to 3,500 head roughly in 2014. But was told that's because the govt had a mass killing over the years on elk vs the wolves doing their thing.
 

Jason Snyder

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Does anyone have any official sources that the introduced canadian wolves are different than what was originally here in the Western US? Believe me I'm against such a large population of wolves but have been reluctant to use this aspect in my argument as I've never really seen any evidence or studies that talk about this aspect of the situation.

If you look at all of the harvest data compiled in Idaho and Montana, as well as data collected from other states when collaring, you'll quickly see the "bigger" claim is completely unfounded. IMO, the "superwolf" claim is bullshit and nothing more.
 

Jason Snyder

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Technically there really isn't a source that says they introduced the wrong wolves. But they brought in the Canadian wolf, the hearsay is that the biologists figured that a few Canadian wolves had migrated down anyways so that's what they should bring in. Others say they should have brought in the correct wolf species regardless of what had migrated. Timber wolves vs Canadian wolves size, aggression and eating habits is the difference. I can't find the sources anymore I once had over the entire deal with the different wolves, seemed to disappear when they were delisting the wolves.

But I did have a chart that showed the Yellowstone elk herd went from roughly 18,000 head in 1994 down to 3,500 head roughly in 2014. But was told that's because the govt had a mass killing over the years on elk vs the wolves doing their thing.
Even in the middle 90's prior to wolf numbers rapidly expanding, there were huge issues with calf recruitment in that herd. Bears, wolves, a late season cow hunt, and an elk management plan that listed 4k elk as the objective for that area all add up to give you a current population of 3.5k.
 

WCS

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Does anyone have any official sources that the introduced canadian wolves are different than what was originally here in the Western US? Believe me I'm against such a large population of wolves but have been reluctant to use this aspect in my argument as I've never really seen any evidence or studies that talk about this aspect of the situation.
No, there is not. While wolves in North America have been broken into several subspecies, these subspecies are not based on any differences in genetic markers. Dr. Robert Wayne and Bridgett vonHoldt sequenced the genome of a number of wolves from across North America and found that there is not enough differences in their genomes to separate them into distinct subspecies - especially in Western North America. In the west, all of our wolves - past and present - are grey wolves.
 

bpotter

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No, there is not. While wolves in North America have been broken into several subspecies, these subspecies are not based on any differences in genetic markers. Dr. Robert Wayne and Bridgett vonHoldt sequenced the genome of a number of wolves from across North America and found that there is not enough differences in their genomes to separate them into distinct subspecies - especially in Western North America. In the west, all of our wolves - past and present - are grey wolves.
I don't know whether grey wolf genetics are similar to the domestic dog but suspect they could be similarly plastic. The same genotype (genes) can have a different effect (phenotype) depending which modifier genes are turned on.

In other words a chihuahua and a St. Bernard are genetically very similar and are the same species but look and behave very differently. Each probably recognize the other is a dog.

Could be the same with the wolf biotypes but probably does not make any difference at this point.

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WCS

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I don't know whether grey wolf genetics are similar to the domestic dog but suspect they could be similarly plastic. The same genotype (genes) can have a different effect (phenotype) depending which modifier genes are turned on.

In other words a chihuahua and a St. Bernard are genetically very similar and are the same species but look and behave very differently. Each probably recognize the other is a dog.

Could be the same with the wolf biotypes but probably does not make any difference at this point.

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While there is plasticity in the phenotypes of wolves, there is not the same differences in wolf populations as there is in domestic dogs. If this were the case we would see statistically significant differences in the sizes of arctic wolves vs wolves in the rocky mountains in Alberta and BC or wolves in Saskatchewan and Manitoba vs wolves in the Yukon and Alaska. Eastern wolves and the red wolves of Ontario are now thought to be smaller due to their hybridization with coyotes, and genetic evidence suggests that they are also actually grey wolves. Even when studies have used genetic samples from museum specimens that were killed in the American west, the genomes of those specimens do not suggest that there would have been differences in the size of grey wolves from these areas compared to their slightly more northern cousins. The myth that persists that there is a substantial size difference between the wolves that were captured in the rockies in Alberta and BC to be introduced into Yellowstone is not borne out in either the genotypes or phenotypes of western grey wolves.
 
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