Presentation Type

Poster

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Mark Hebblewhite

Faculty Mentor’s Department

W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation

Abstract

The aim of this study is to describe Canis lupus (gray wolf) pup survival rates throughout the summer months in Yellowstone National Park. Understanding pup survival has implications for trends in pack and population age structure, cooperative breeding ecology and other breeding tendencies, social hierarchies, and population fitness, among other elements of species-specific population ecology. A general understanding of trends in pup survival is also relevant to state and federal land that allow grey wolf harvest. Understanding such trends and survival ecology give managers and biologists the opportunity to evaluate grey wolf populations at a more comprehensive level and implement more effective management decisions. This study will analyze how pup survival rates vary temporally and spatially primarily throughout Yellowstone’s Northern Range. Data will be quantified using field notes from Yellowstone’s Wolf Project staff, focusing on the months May through September, and years 2009 through 2013. The data was originally collected and recorded from direct observation of wolves by Wolf Project staff and other diligent citizen scientists. Using this data, the study will ultimately quantify number of breeding wolf packs observed, total number of pups, and pup survival rates specific to each pack and population-wide. The report will also provide spatial information specific to Yellowstone regarding temporal trends in pup survival, resulting in a variety of visual maps.

Category

Life Sciences

Share

COinS
 
Apr 17th, 3:00 PM Apr 17th, 4:00 PM

Canis Lupus (Gray Wolf) Pup Survival in Yellowstone National Park

UC South Ballroom

The aim of this study is to describe Canis lupus (gray wolf) pup survival rates throughout the summer months in Yellowstone National Park. Understanding pup survival has implications for trends in pack and population age structure, cooperative breeding ecology and other breeding tendencies, social hierarchies, and population fitness, among other elements of species-specific population ecology. A general understanding of trends in pup survival is also relevant to state and federal land that allow grey wolf harvest. Understanding such trends and survival ecology give managers and biologists the opportunity to evaluate grey wolf populations at a more comprehensive level and implement more effective management decisions. This study will analyze how pup survival rates vary temporally and spatially primarily throughout Yellowstone’s Northern Range. Data will be quantified using field notes from Yellowstone’s Wolf Project staff, focusing on the months May through September, and years 2009 through 2013. The data was originally collected and recorded from direct observation of wolves by Wolf Project staff and other diligent citizen scientists. Using this data, the study will ultimately quantify number of breeding wolf packs observed, total number of pups, and pup survival rates specific to each pack and population-wide. The report will also provide spatial information specific to Yellowstone regarding temporal trends in pup survival, resulting in a variety of visual maps.