Linking Wolf Diet to Changes in Marine and Terrestrial Prey Abundance

  • Diana J.R. Lafferty
  • Jerrold L. Belant
  • Kevin S. White
  • Jamie N. Womble
  • Anita T. Morzillo
Keywords: wolves, Canis lupus, diet, Glacier Bay, Alaska

Abstract

Since most wolf (Canis lupus) diet studies have been conducted in inland ecosystems, comparatively few data are available on diets of wolves in coastal systems. We investigated the diet of wolves in Glacier Bay, Alaska, from 12 May to 28 June in both 2010 and 2011. Although we identified 12 different prey species, including birds and small to medium-sized mammals, in wolf scats, moose (Alces alces) was the most frequent food item, observed in 80% of all scats. In contrast, a study conducted in 1993 in an area 37 km away found harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii) in 41% of wolf scats. Although we cannot account for differences in sampling design between the two studies, wolf diets may have changed between the two time periods.

Published
2014-05-28