Title of Poster

Wolf-beaver Dynamics in Voyageurs National Park

Name of Conference

The Wildlife Society’s 22nd Annual Conference

Location of Conference

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Date of Poster Session


Document Type

Poster Session




Beavers (Castor canadensis) can be the primary prey of wolves (Canis lupus) from spring to fall in boreal ecosystems. However, little is known about this predator-prey relationship and the strategies wolves employ to prey on beavers. Our objectives are to understand this dynamic by examining 1) the association between the proportion of wolf diet (biomass) comprised of beaver and beaver density, 2) whether wolf predation of beavers is the result of wolves actively searching for beavers or encountering them incidentally, and 3) the impact of wolf predation on beaver population levels. This project is currently being conducted in Voyageurs National Park, MN and will continue until November 2015. Voyageurs National Park has robust beaver and wolf populations, making it ideal for examining this dynamic. Research consists of capturing and fitting wolves with GPS telemetry collars, identifying prey items in wolf scats, and estimating the wolf population in the park. Similarly, active and inactive beaver lodges will be identified in the Fall of 2015 to estimate the beaver population as well as determine wolf use of beaver habitats. We are examining six packs that use areas in and around Voyageurs National Park, and plan on fitting one wolf from each pack with a 20 minute fix GPS collar to examine space use in relation to active and inactive beaver lodges. As of June 1st 2015, we have collected 430 scats from these packs. All of this information will provide a more thorough understanding of wolf-beaver dynamics in ecosystems where wolves and beavers coexist

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