Ecological Research

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 547–557

Encounter frequencies between GPS-collared wolves (Canis lupus) and moose (Alces alces) in a Scandinavian wolf territory

  • Ane Eriksen
  • Petter Wabakken
  • Barbara Zimmermann
  • Harry P. Andreassen
  • Jon M. Arnemo
  • Hege Gundersen
  • Jos M. Milner
  • Olof Liberg
  • John Linnell
  • Hans C. Pedersen
  • Håkan Sand
  • Erling J. Solberg
  • Torstein Storaas
Original Article

Abstract

Over 6,000 GPS fixes from two wolves (Canis lupus) and 30,000 GPS fixes from five moose (Alces alces) in a wolf territory in southern Scandinavia were used to assess the static and dynamic interactions between predator and prey individuals. Our results showed that wolves were closer to some of the moose when inside their home ranges than expected if they had moved independently of each other, and we also found a higher number of close encounters (<500 m) than expected. This suggests that the wolves were actively seeking the individual moose within their territory. Furthermore, the wolves showed a preference for moving on gravel forest roads, which may be used as convenient travel routes when patrolling the territory and seeking areas where the moose are. However, due to the particularly large size of the wolf territory combined with relatively high moose densities, the wolves generally spent a very small proportion of their time inside the home range of each individual moose, and the frequency of encounters between the wolves and any particular moose was very low. We suggest that the high moose:wolf ratio in this large Scandinavian wolf territory compared to that typically occurring in North America, results in a relatively low encounter frequency and a low predation risk for individual moose, as the predation pressure is spread over a high number of prey individuals.

Keywords

Alces alces Canis lupus GPS collar Moose:wolf ratio Predation risk 

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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ane Eriksen
    • 1
  • Petter Wabakken
    • 2
  • Barbara Zimmermann
    • 2
  • Harry P. Andreassen
    • 2
  • Jon M. Arnemo
    • 2
  • Hege Gundersen
    • 1
  • Jos M. Milner
    • 1
    • 2
  • Olof Liberg
    • 3
  • John Linnell
    • 4
  • Hans C. Pedersen
    • 4
  • Håkan Sand
    • 3
  • Erling J. Solberg
    • 4
  • Torstein Storaas
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of BiologyUniversity of OsloBlindernNorway
  2. 2.Department of Forestry and Wildlife ManagementHedmark University CollegeKoppangNorway
  3. 3.Grimsö Wildlife Research Station, Department of Conservation BiologySwedish University of Agricultural ScienceRidderhyttanSweden
  4. 4.Norwegian Institute for Nature ResearchTrondheimNorway

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