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Predation on Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) by Wolverines (Gulo gulo) after long pursuits

Audrey J. Magoun, Cristina R. Laird, Mark A. Keech, Patrick Valkenburg, Lincoln S. Parrett, Martin D. Robards

Abstract


Ungulates are an important source of food for Wolverines (Gulo gulo), especially in winter when scavenging on carcasses is a primary means of obtaining food. However, Wolverines are also known to prey on ungulates. We followed fresh tracks of Wolverines pursuing Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) on six occasions on the tundra of northern Alaska in 2011, 2015, 2017, and 2018; all ended in a predation event after pursuits of 4−62 km. Exhaustion of the Caribou after long pursuits appeared to contribute to the success of predation attempts. Snow conditions appeared to be a factor in only one of the six cases.


Keywords


Alaska; Caribou; Gulo gulo; predation; Rangifer tarandus; Wolverine

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22621/cfn.v132i4.2050



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