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2021

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023

Animal Sciences

Predator-prey interactions

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Intraspecific Variation In Prey Susceptibility Mediates The Consumptive Effect Of Predation: A Case Study Of Yellowstone Elk And Wolves, Lacy M. Smith Dec 2021

Intraspecific Variation In Prey Susceptibility Mediates The Consumptive Effect Of Predation: A Case Study Of Yellowstone Elk And Wolves, Lacy M. Smith

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023

The reintroduction of wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park starting in 1995 is an important case study for understanding the consequences of predation on a prey population. Simulation studies conducted prior to and shortly after wolf reintroduction predicted that wolf predation of elk (Cervus canadensis) would have a modest influence on elk abundance. Predation of elk by wolves has been well documented and elk have remained the primary prey for wolves despite a decline in elk abundance. I used two quantitative approaches to estimate the influence of wolf predation on adult female elk survival and …