Ungulate Prey (ungulate + prey)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Foraging of lynxes in a managed boreal-alpine environment

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 3 2000
Peter Sunde
Foraging of Eurasian lynxes Lynx lynx was studied with telemetry and snow tracking in central Norway. In all habitats and at all seasons, medium-sized ungulates (roe deer Capreolus capreolus, reindeer Rangifer tarandus and domestic sheep Ovis aries) dominated the diet (81% of ingested biomass estimated from faeces). Mountain hares Lepus timidus and galliform birds comprised the remainder of the diet (15% and 3%, respectively). Lynxes with different life history status did not differ in prey choice, but adult males utilised carcasses of ungulate prey considerably less (16% of the edible parts) than did females with offspring (80%) and subadults (58%.). Forest habitats in lowlands and adjacent to cultivated fields were the most favourable foraging habitats (indexed as the prey encounter rate per km lynx track) primarily owing to the presence of roe deer. Two family groups tracked in winter killed 0.2 ungulate per day. The importance of agricultural land as a foraging habitat and the dominance of livestock in the diet in remoter areas indicate that the lynx has responded to agriculture and reindeer husbandry during the past century by switching from smaff game to ungulates. [source]

Summer predation rates on ungulate prey by a large keystone predator: how many ungulates does a large predator kill?

J. W. Laundré
Abstract Estimates of predation rates by large predators can provide valuable information on their potential impact on their ungulate prey populations. This is especially the case for pumas Puma concolor and its main prey, mule deer Odocoileus hemionus. However, only limited information on predation rates of pumas exist where mule deer are the only ungulate prey available. I used VHF telemetry data collected over 24-h monitoring sessions and once daily over consecutive days to derive two independent estimates of puma predation rates on mule deer where they were the only large prey available. For the 24-h data, I had 48 time blocks on female pumas with kittens, 43 blocks on females without kittens and 30 blocks on males. For the daily consecutive data, the average number of consecutive days followed was 51.5±4.2 days. There were data on five female pumas with kittens, five pregnant females and nine females without kittens. Predation rates over an average month of 30 days from the 24-h monitoring sessions were 2.0 mule deer per puma month for males (15.1 days per kill), 2.1 mule deer per puma month (14.3 days per kill) for females without kittens and 2.5 mule deer per puma month (12.0 days per kill) for pregnant females and females with kittens. For the consecutive daily data, females without kittens had an estimated predation rate of 2.1±0.14 mule deer per puma month (14.9±0.90 days per kill). Pregnant and females with kittens had predation rates of 2.7±0.18 and 2.6±0.21 mule deer per puma month, respectively (11.4±0.72 and 12.0±1.1 days per kill, respectively). Predation rates estimated in this study compared with those estimated by energetic demand for pumas in the study area but were lower than other field derived estimates. These data help increase our understanding of predation impacts of large predators on their prey. [source]

Could we live with reintroduced large carnivores in the UK?

MAMMAL REVIEW, Issue 3 2004
ABSTRACT 1.,Literature on the wolf Canis lupus, brown bear Ursus arctos and lynx Lynx lynx is reviewed to determine if sufficient semi-natural habitat exists in the UK for a viable population of any of these species and to assess the potential risks to human safety, livestock and economically valuable wildlife. Public attitudes to the recovery and reintroduction of some other mammals are also briefly reviewed. 2.,The large home range sizes and low population densities of large carnivores mean that the Scottish Highlands is the only UK region with the potential to support a viable population. Human population density is also lower in the Highlands and the density of wild ungulate prey higher than in many parts of Europe where large carnivores survive. 3.,Attacks on people have been recorded in Europe for healthy bears and for rabid bears and wolves but there are no reports of attacks by lynx. Bears are more carnivorous in the north of their range than in the south and although wild mammals seldom appear to be important prey serious predation of livestock can occur. Livestock predation is also reported for the wolf and the lynx but they appear to prefer wild prey if available. However, mass kills of up to 100 or more sheep are occasionally recorded for wolves. 4.,Attitudes to reintroductions and carnivores generally tend to be favourable amongst the general public, but negative amongst those most likely to be adversely affected. Fears for human safety and significant livestock predation with bears and wolves, respectively, suggest that reintroduction of these species is unlikely to be acceptable in the foreseeable future. Reintroduction of the lynx may be feasible but habitat suitability and potential impact on vulnerable native wildlife need to be assessed. Socio-economic and legal issues also need to be addressed before such a reintroduction is considered. [source]

Evidence for top predator control of a grazing ecosystem

OIKOS, Issue 11 2008
Douglas A. Frank
The importance of top predators in controlling ecological processes in large, intact ecosystems is unclear. In grasslands that support abundant ungulates, top,down control by predators may be particularly important, because of the tight biogeochemical linkages of ungulate prey with plants and soil microbes. Here, I examined the effects of the recent reintroduction of the gray wolf Canis lupus on ecosystem processes in Yellowstone National Park, where herds of grazing ungulates previously have been shown to stimulate several processes, including soil net nitrogen (N) mineralization. Rates of ungulate grazing intensity and soil net N mineralization were compared before and after wolf reintroduction in grasslands ranging five-fold in aboveground production. Grazing intensity and grassland net N mineralization declined after wolf reintroduction, a likely partial function of fewer ungulates; wolf predation has been one of several factors implicated in causing the decline in Yellowstone ungulates. In addition, the spatial pattern of grazing and net N mineralization changed after reintroduction. A shift in the spatial patterns of grazer-associated processes is consistent with a growing body of work indicating that wolves have changed habitat use patterns of ungulates in Yellowstone National Park. These findings suggest widespread wolf effects on ungulate prey, plants, and microbial activity that have spatially reorganized grassland energy and nutrient dynamics in Yellowstone Park. [source]