current up-to-date information on yellowstone parks wolf population
go to: Yellowstone Wolf Update Page
Not Wolves Killing Elk Calves
from two years of field research shows bears, not wolves to be the
main cause of elk calf predation on the northern range of Yellowstone
The past ten
years biologists have recorded a low elk calf survival rate, nearly
50%. Wolf critics have claimed that wolves were the main culprit,
and that having wolves reintroduced into Yellowstone would wipe
out the elk.
"Multi-Trophic Level Ecology of Wolves, Elk, and Vegetation
in Yellowstone National Park" will continue another 3
years. Data collected the first year showed that bears took more
elk calves than wolves.
ear tagged 44 new born elk calves during the second, 2004 study
period with radio transmitters. Thirty one of the original 44 are
now dead. Eighteen of the calves were taken by bears (black and
grizzly), 3 - wolves, 4 - coyotes, 1 - golden eagle, 1 - unknown
specie, bear or wolf, 2 - unknown predator, and 2 - non-depredation
causes (natural or other).
first years study of 2003, 51 new born elk calves were ear collared,
of which 34 died. Nineteen calves were killed by grizzly and black
bears, 5 - wolves, 3 - coyotes, 2 - either bears or wolves, 1 -
mountain lion, 1 - wolverine, and 3 - unknown causes (natural or