20 Feb 2009, 11:41pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Wolves
by admin

Wolf-Killed Elk - Winter 2009

Note: the linked report contains graphic photographs of wolf-killed elk. We have chosen not to post the photographs directly. Last year Mr. Alder submitted and we posted a similar report on the elk of the Lochsa River [https://westinstenv.org/wildpeop/2008/03/04/lochsa-river-elk-report/].

by Steve Alder, Chairman of the Clearwater Chapter of Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife Idaho

The following pictures [here, 2.5 MB] were taken during the beginning of February 2009. The location of the predation was along the North Fork of the Clearwater River in North Central Idaho.

Historically the elk had a difficult time in heavy winters just to survive without the addition of the wolf in their ecosystem. During these rough winters, the elk are concentrated and forced into narrow canyons at lower elevations where they attempt to find adequate feed and struggle through the winter. During these winters, the elk are reduced to a small percentage of their traditional range and are very concentrated. The elk can be literally trapped in these narrow canyons during deep snow conditions as the snow prohibits the elk from escaping the wolf.

Another condition that hinders the elk from escape is the deep crusted snow after the snow thaws and freezes again. The elk’s hooves fall through the crusted snow allowing easy killing by the wolves. In past years, we have documented dozens of “surplus” or “Sport killed” elk that were just killed and uneaten. Now with the elk numbers at an all time low, we are observing less surplus killing than previously as the wolves are running out of their traditional prey base as the elk numbers in this region are declining so rapidly.

The saddest aspect of the kill involves the extraction of the unborn calf. Without exception over the many years of photographing wolf killed elk, we have never observed one cow elk that didn’t have the fetus removed. In fact we have found cow elk still alive with the fetus ripped out! After a cow elk is downed by the wolves, the first thing we have observed is that the wolves extract and eat the fetus. Sometimes they will take a bite out of a rear quarter but many times they will leave the remainder of the carcass until a later date. In essence each time a cow elk is killed, two elk are gone and calf recruitment ceases. A prominent Canadian wolf biologist verified this fetus extraction ritual a few years ago while I was researching this subject. At the time, IDF biologists denied these findings as false and unfounded and indicated that our wolves are not pulling fetuses. …

21 Feb 2009, 4:09am
by Wolf-Killed Elk - Winter 2009 : Black Bear Blog

[...] photos, of some of the carnage cause by wolves so far this winter in the Lochsa River area. The Western Institute for the Study of the Environment logs the story for [...]

26 Feb 2009, 7:32pm
by wheat

This makes me so mad!!!!!!

2 Mar 2010, 8:37am
by Montana

If the city slickers want wolves they should know that these killers use to live almost every where in the U.S. So Central Park is their natural habitat, lets reintroduce them there.



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