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Interactions betwen Wolves & Cougars
Topic Started: Jan 9 2012, 08:37 PM (8,826 Views)
Taipan
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Reddhole
 
Below is a study documenting wolf and cougar interactions in Banff National Park. Apparently, wolves in groups as small as 2 individuals seemed to dominate. Here is the paper:

http://people.trentu.ca/dennismurray/PDF/Kortello%20et%20al.%202007.pdf

Large carnivore populations are recovering in many protected areas in North America, but the effect of increasing carnivore numbers on existing predator–prey and predator–predator interactions is poorly understood. We studied diet and spatial overlap among cougars (Puma concolor) and gray wolves (Canis lupus) in Banff National Park, Alberta (1993–2004) to evaluate how wolf recovery in the park influenced diet choice and space use patterns of resident cougars. Cougars (n =13) and wolves (n= 8 in 2 packs) were monitored intensively over 3 winters (2000–2001 to 2002–2003) via radio telemetry and snowtracking. We documented a 65% decline in the local elk population following the arrival of wolves, with cougars concurrently switching from a winter diet primarily constituted of elk to one consisting mainly of deer and other alternative prey. Elk also became less important in wolf diet, but this latter diet switch lagged 1 y behind that of cougars. Wolves were responsible for cougar mortality and usurping prey carcasses from cougars, but cougars failed to exhibit reciprocal behaviour. Cougar and wolf home ranges overlapped, but cougars showed temporal avoidance of areas recently occupied by wolves. We conclude that wolves can alter the diet and space use patterns of sympatric large carnivores through interference and exploitative interactions. Understanding these relationships is important for the effective conservation and management of large mammals in protected areas where carnivore populations are recovering.

Wolf and Cougars Populations - Both Sexes of Cougars in the Area and Wolf Packs as Small as 2 Individuals at the Beginning and End of the Study

As you can see, both male and female cougars were in the area and the wolf pack size was 2 in 1999 (beginning of the study), rising to 15 (increase likely due to pups/younger animals) in 2001, and then dropped to 7-10 in two packs in 2003 (at the end of the study).

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However, the wolves usually present at the end of the study in 2003 numbered only 2. This is from the related PhD thesis from the author, which provides additional details.

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Interactions at Kill Sites - Wolf Pairs Appear to Dominate

Below is a summary of interactions at kill sites and the authors' analysis from the PhD thesis. In 1999 when only a wolf pair lived in the area, they scavenged 6 (32%*19) cougar kills and cougars only scavenged 1 (5%*22) wolf kill. Neither species was observed to steal the other's kill that year. In 2002-2003 when only a wolf pair was likely present, they scavenged 3 (16%*19) cougar kills and cougars scavenged 0 wolf kills. The wolves stole 2 cougar kills (11% * 19) and cougars stole no wolf kills.

Apparently, cougars were reluctant to return to cougar kills that were scavenged by wolf pairs as well.

In 2001, when the wolf pack reached 15, a cougar was killed.
IMHO, a wolf pack is more likely to catch a cougar and this is why this occurred then, but obviously there is less risk with more animals present (though I stress most of these animals would have been pups or yearlings).

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reddhole
 
From Yellowstone. Biologist Rick Mcintyre analyzes.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=269otuwDK3c


Predators clash above Elkhorn

Fracas between wolves and mountain lion creates stir in Sun Valley neighborhood

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By JASON KAUFFMAN
Express Staff Writer

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A 2-year-old mountain lion believed to have been killed by gray wolves lies in the snow near Sun Valley’s Elkhorn neighborhood early Monday afternoon. A follow-up necropsy found multiple puncture wounds consistent with a wolf attack on the predator’s hindquarters, back and neck areas. Photo by Willy Cook


An age-old conflict between two formidable foes ended with the death of a well-traveled mountain lion in the foothills above Elkhorn this week.

The epic fight likely occurred Sunday night, Hailey-based Idaho Department of Fish and Game Conservation Officer Lee Garwood said as he ran his hand through the cougar's matted fur just after noon on Monday.

"There's still some warmth," he said.

According to Garwood, the confrontation likely pitted the solitary, 2-year-old male cougar against an unknown number of wolves from the Phantom Hill pack. Tipped off by nearby residents, the seasoned officer found the crumpled remains of the big cat near the carcass of a cow elk it had likely been feeding on before its fateful encounter.

Only a few hundred yards from where Garwood stood was the first of several large homes in the lower end of Parker Gulch.

The southwest-trending valley drains the rolling sagebrush- and conifer-dotted foothills that merge into the rugged Pioneer Mountains, Sun Valley's scenic backdrop.

Though he isn't entirely sure because of the numerous tracks that cut up the hillside where the cougar came to rest, Garwood is fairly certain how the lethal scene played out. It likely began with the cat's discovery of the elk carcass on the partly snow-covered hillside.

Preoccupied with the large source of protein, the cat may never have known that members of the Phantom Hill pack had discovered it until it was too late. It may have simply been a case of bad timing, Garwood said.

That the pack was in the vicinity is certain. Over the weekend, Sun Valley residents were treated to a scene reminiscent of Yellowstone's famous Lamar Valley. No more than a mile from the Bluff condominiums on the eastern edge of town, spectators watched the almost all-black wolf pack feeding on the remains of another elk through binoculars and spotting scopes.

Less than a mile separated that site and the spot where the pack came across the cougar—an easy high-ridgeline jaunt for the wolves.

The significance of the find wasn't limited to the rarity of inter-predator conflict. Garwood and another Fish and Game conservation officer, Rob Morris, had had contact with the same cougar just months ago.

In early January, Garwood got a call from Gimlet resident Lon Stickney. Looking out his window, Stickney had spotted his two 60- to 70-pound dogs in the fight of their lives with a snarling male cougar, the same one found dead in Elkhorn.

The officers relocated the cougar in the Little Wood River drainage north of Carey, on the opposite side of the rugged Pioneers. That means the cat made its way back from the south to the north side of the range—a straight-line distance of perhaps 30 miles over windswept ridges and 10,000-foot passes—in the weeks since the Gimlet encounter.

At the time, Garwood suspected that the cougar was searching for a new home range when it came across the dogs.

A necropsy on the cougar showed no malnourishment. It had elk hair in its stomach and healthy fat reserves.

"It was living pretty well," Garwood said.

The investigation also proved the extent of the predator's injuries. Garwood said numerous puncture marks were visible on the cat's hindquarters and on its back all the way through to the spinal cord. But it was two deep bite marks on the cat's neck that were likely fatal, he said.

"That's a tough fight. He had been bitten a bunch."

Garwood wasn't alone as he loaded the cougar up. Drawn to the scene were Sun Valley Mayor Wayne Willich and two police officers.

Willich has repeatedly voiced concerns about the presence of predators drawn to the hills above his city by wintering elk. On Monday, he grilled Garwood with questions about the impact of these predators living so closely with city residents.

Willich said he's already been brought up to speed on the habits of wintering elk.

"Now I need to start learning about cat biology," he said.

But Garwood cautioned Willich against assuming numerous cougars live nearby.

"There's not one up behind every tree," he said.

But, Garwood said, what may soon begin to happen in this part of Idaho is inter-pack conflict as wolves fill out available range.

"They're driven to hold that territory," he said.

Garwood said the fight proves that the Wood River Valley is an urban blip in the midst of a wilderness.

"We live in wild Idaho," he said.

http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005125077

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Taipan
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Some Relevant information -
Douglas Smith, who leads the Yellowstones National Park Service's Yellowstone Wolf Project.

"Smith saw a male grizzly drive a pack of wolves away from an elk carcass, then make a "king of the hill" defense as the wolves darted in and out, trying, but failing, to wear him out.

But wolves do not always win. Males (Wolves), at 125 pounds, can go after a 110-pound female cougar if they are in a pack, but a lone wolf is a bagatelle for a 160-pound male cougar. Smith has recorded two instances of cougars ambushing and killing single wolves -- one an adult, the other a pup.

"A lion has two sets of lethal weapons -- teeth and claws, whereas wolves' principal weapon is just teeth," said National Park Service cougar specialist Kerry Murphy. Cougars can dominate as long as they stay in the rocks or in the forest, where they can climb a tree. "We're still talking about dogs and cats," he said.

May 19, 2003

In Yellowstone, It's a Carnivore Competition

By Guy Gugliotta
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 19, 2003; Page A07

http://www.wildraven.net/AmericanGrizzly/recent_grizzly_bear_news.html

Cougars killing wolves -

"Wolves aren't decimating elk, researchers say"

Thursday, November 02, 2006

MCCALL, Idaho (AP) -- A pair of University of Idaho researchers living in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness say that while wolves around their three-room cabin are making elk more skittish, they're not decimating populations of the big game animals as some hunters fear.

Wolf researcher Jim Akenson, 48, and his wife, biologist Holly Akenson, 48, live and work at the Taylor Ranch Field Station as part of what is so far a nine-year study of wolf behavior. The ranch is 34 miles from the nearest road -- supplies come in by bush plane -- and may be the most remote year-round human habitat in the lower 48 states.

"When there is a pack around, cougars are not comfortable around their kills or raising kittens," says Jim Akenson. "A lot of times a big cougar will kill a wolf, but the pack phenomenon changes the table."

Four years ago, he recalls, he was riding a mule on an icy mountain trail 200 feet above Big Creek when he encountered a dead cougar. In an instant, a pack of wolves appeared and began howling.

"We could not turn around," says Akenson. "It is the most precarious condition you can imagine, with wolves howling around you."

Akenson's saddle mule, Daisy, sniffed at the cat carcass, stepped over it, and led Cricket and Rocky, the pack mules, down the trail. When Akenson returned later, he discovered the cougar had been killed by another cougar -- not by the wolves, as he'd suspected.

http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2006/11/02/news/regional/a630c16cdc72a3758725721700793083.txt


"Autopsy Indicates Lion Killed Wolf"
An investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has found no evidence of human-caused mortality in the death of a female Mexican gray wolf found dead in Eastern Arizona's Apache National Forest in October, 1999. A preliminary examination found the presence of premortem-induced puncture wounds characteristic to bites from another animal. The actual cause of death is suspected to be a bite wound to the neck inflicted by a cougar."

http://www.igorilla.com/gorilla/animal/1999/cougar_kills_wolf.html

Wolf B4 Killed by Mountain Lion?

It appears that Kelly, the six-year old gray female whose remains were recently found in Montana, was killed by a mountain lion. At
least it appears that way from the scrape marks. There is some possibility that Kelly (wolf B4), was partially consumed by a lion after her death.

The FBI lab in Ashland, Oregon is examining the remains. My report is unofficial, subject to change.

The dead wolf was found near Drummond, Montana. She had a puncture would from a mountain lion through her skull.

B4 was one of the first wolves reintroduced to Idaho. She was released with three other wolves at Corn Creek on the main fork of the Salmon River in Central Idaho in January 1995.


She migrated to Montana and spent the summer and fall in the vicinity of Rock Creek, SE of Missoula.

http://www.forwolves.org/ralph/32596.html

Park wolf pack kills mother cougar
A cougar with two new kittens was killed near Mt. Everts in Yellowstone National Park the last week of March by the Swan Lake or the Leopold wolf pack. Evidence at the scene indicated that 7 to 11 wolves participated in the attack. Mt. Everts is the steep, cliff-sided mountain just northeast of Mammoth Hot Springs.

The dead cougar was found by researchers from the Yellowstone Cougar Project. The cougar had 2 kittens about 4 months old. They will almost certainly perish. Two years ago Yellowstone wolves killed 4 cougar kittens. The mother cougar survived.

Wolves killing cougar and vice versa is not uncommon. Wolf 163M, a beautiful gray from the Druid Peak pack was found dead in February 2000 just outside the Park, high in the Absaroka Mountains. His body showed that cougar were present at about the time of his death, and might have killed him.

This January, 297F, a pup from the Mill Creek Pack, north of the Park, was killed by a cougar. Biologist Val Asher found the dead pup, partially consumed and buried. Tracks indicate 297F was ambushed while traveling with another wolf. Asher said prints in the snow indicated the wolf might have caught between two fence lines. Tracks showed the dead wolf's companion rapidly fled the area.

Wolf B4F, one of the first wolves reintroduced to Idaho, was killed by a cougar near Drummond, Montana early in 1996.

At the recent Interagency Wolf Conference at Chico, Montana, researchers Jim and Holly Akenson from the Hornocker Wildlife Institution gave a presentation about the interactions of predators and ungulates before and after the huge fires of 2000 in the Big Creek area of the Franck Church Wilderness of Idaho. Among many other findings, they found that wolves consistently displaced cougars from the cats' kills both before and after the fires.

Research by Diane Boyd and others in the North Fork of the Flathead in the early 1990s (NW Montana) found that wolves consistently killed cougar in the area.

There are estimated to be 15-20 cougar on Yellowstone's northern range. Prior to the current denning, there were about 80 wolves on the Park's northern range.

http://www.forwolves.org/ralph/wolves-deadcougar.htm

Wolves killing cougars at Yellowstone NP.

This information comes from "Yellowstone Science" volume 12 • number 1 • winter 2004

"IN DECEMBER 1999, we documented the first cougar mortalities due to wolves in Yellowstone National Park. In this apparently rare interaction, female cougar F107’s four kittens were killed in two separate events. We were able to document all four mortalities within less than 24 hours of their occurrence because F107 and the kittens were radio marked, and because of the collaboration between the cougar and wolf projects, which provided the ability to simultaneously monitor wolves and cougars. Field efforts by both projects provided as complete an interpretation of events proceeding and subsequent to the mortalities as possible. Each radio collar is equipped with a special feature called a mortality mode. Thus, any collar that remains stationary for longer than six hours will switch to a different pulse rate; in this case a faster pulse than when the collar is not stationary.
On December 16, 1999, a check for the F107 family group indicated that two of the kitten signals (F108 and M138) were in mortality mode and in the direction of the location of the cougar family group and Druid wolf pack from the previous day. We continued to monitor the remaining kittens in the family group, and on December 21, 1999, radio signals of the remaining two kittens (M140 and M142) indicated the kittens were dead. We hiked in to the sites and collected three of the kittens and all four of the radio collars within 45–815 yards of a cow elk carcass that had been killed by F107 between December 8 and 13. Sometimes, females with kittens may stay on a large elk kill for 8–10 days. Although details of the interaction and deaths were obscured by snow deposition, “troughs” through the snow and the location of the bodies suggested that three of the four kittens had run through the deep snow while being pursued by wolves. In particular, M138 had run upslope, out of tree cover, and was killed on top of a small sagebrush knoll. His body was found 139 yards from the elk carcass. His ears and nose had been chewed on and his lower left front leg was missing. After removing the kittens from the fi eld, we had project veterinarian Dr. Kathy Quigley assist with the necropsies. While few external wounds were visible, the amount of internal damage the kittens had sustained was extensive. The ribcages of three kittens had been crushed, inducing trauma to their hearts. Their lungs and livers were hemorrhaged and macerated from bite wounds, and canine punctures were evident into the stomach lining of two kittens. Kitten M138 also had a fracture of the first cervical vertebrae.
Several factors may have played a role in the cougar mortalities. Although adult cougars are proficient at seeking rock outcrop and trees as escape habitat from aggressors, kittens generally lack the experience or knowledge of their home range to seek out appropriate escape habitat. Kittens may seek cover on the ground or by climbing trees that lack ample branches for perching for long periods of time. Adult cougars typically choose to climb Douglas-fir trees with large branches when escaping pursuit by hounds during our capture efforts. Another factor that may have played a role in the deaths of the kittens was their small body mass. Kittens F108 and M138 weighed 16 pounds at death. Kittens typically weigh about25–35 pounds at four to five months of age. The small size of the kittens may have been negatively influenced by the size of the litter and the fact that this was F107’s first litter. The low body weight and snow depth may have affected the ability of the kittens to run effectively during pursuit by wolves. In deeper snow, kittens usually follow their mother through the path she has made in the snow. However, pursuit by an aggressor generally results in separation of the family unit. Finally, the Druid pack spent an unusual amount of time in the Rose Creek area compared to their typical movements about the Lamar Valley (Rick McIntyre, YellowstoneNational Park, personal communication). Whether they showed an affinity to this area because of the cougars is unknown; however, the wolves returned to the Rose Creek drainage between the times that they made two elk kills in Lamar Valley. It seems as though their foray into Rose Creek between elk kills may have been to re-investigate F107’s kill site. In either case, they encountered F107 with her kittens during their travels to or near her kill.

More recently, on April 4, 2003, at 7:05 AM, Polly Buotte and Jesse Newby of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Yellowstone Cougar Project detected a mortality signal on adult female cougar F106. At 8:30 AM, Buotte and Newby contacted Daniel Stahler of the Yellowstone Wolf Project, who was conducting an aerial telemetry flight for wolves. Buotte informed Stahler of the mortality signal and inquired if Stahler could obtain a location for them. From the air, Stahler and pilot Roger Stradley located F106 on top of Mt. Everts, andthey obtained a visual of the cat lying motionless on the ground. Stahler and Stradley also located F106’s two fourmonth- old kittens (M164 and M166) nearby; their collars were still transmitting active signals. At 2:30 PM, Buotte, Newby, Sawaya and Stahler hiked in to the site to investigate the cause of F106’s death. The kittens, which were still alive, were in the vicinity of F106’s carcass, but a few hundred meters away. The investigation revealed that F106 had been killed in a fight with a wolf pack. Evidence to suggest this included visible bite wounds on her neck, entrails pulled from her body, wolf hair in her claws and teeth, wolf tracks in the area, and clumps of both wolf and cougar hair. Extensive snow tracking suggests that F106 had been in the area hunting without her kittens, though we found no evidence of a kill. At least eight sets of wolf tracks came into the area at a walk; at one point, ~40 meters out, all the wolves were bounding toward the fi ght scene. They came in from several directions, at ~45º to F106. A swath of snow ~30 m wide was trampled and contained large clumps of both cougar and wolf hair, blood, and other body fluids. A depression in the snow~15 m away seemed to be where F106 lay down, severely injured. This area was melted and contained large clumps of cougar hair frozen into the snow. Her body was found ~10 m further away, which seems to indicate the wolves left her barely alive, then she crawled a short distance and died.
On the morning of April 3 at 9 AM, 10 members of the Swan Lake pack were seen crossing the road below Mt. Everts, heading towards the Beaver Ponds (Phil Perkins, YNP personal communication). One of the wolves was lagging far behind its pack mates and was limping badly from an injury to its left front leg. It seems very likely that these wolves were the ones involved in the altercation with F106, and they happened to be spotted as they were leaving the area. The Leopold wolf pack, which also uses this area, was known to be further east during this time (Dan Stahler, YNP, personal communication).
While monitoring for radio signals on the afternoon of April 2, cougar project personnel heard an active VHF signal on F106 from “Bear Rock” along the Jardine Road. With a directional antenna, her signal seemed to be coming from the top of Everts, where she waslater found dead. We did not hear F106’s signal on April 3; however, we did not listen from Bear Rock that day. We did hear her kittens on April 2 and April 3. Given the sighting of the Swan Lake pack in the area on April 3, it seems likely this interaction occurred during the night of April 2 or the morning of April 3. F106’s two male kittens eventually died after being orphaned at 4½ months of age.
Since the initiation of our study, these seven cougar mortalities have been the only ones directly linked to wolves. If direct interactions such as this tend to be rare events, the loss of six kittens may not be significant to the actual population size of cougars in Yellowstone. However, if all the kittens had survived to dispersal (an unlikely scenario), the five male kittens would have been highly likely to have dispersed to other areas and potentially contributed to other populations. If dispersal success is lower for cougars living with wolves, immigration rates to other populations may be affected, and harvest of cougars outside source areas such as Yellowstone may need to be altered. Our long-term study is focusing on trying to answer questions such as these."

http://www.nps.gov/yell/publications/yellsciweb/images/YS12(1).pdf

Seems since the re-intoduction of wolves to Yellowstone in 1995 7 cougars have been killed by wolf packs. Those being 1 female & 6 kittens. More may have died in the last two years but I haven't seen any accounts of them.


Male Wolf 163 has died, apparently of natural causes. Biologists report that the body of Wolf 163 has was examined at a location deep in the North Absaroka wilderness east of Yellowstone. The body appeared to have been scavenged upon extensively and not a lot of the information could be gained from the remains. However, mountain lion sign including tracks were found in the immediate area. 163's remains were also found near the carcass of a female bighorn sheep. Circumstantially, it appeared that either Wolf 163 or a mountain lion had made the kill and Wolf 163 died in a confrontation either defending the carcass or trying to usurp it from the lion.
http://www.wolftracker.com/Packs/163.htm

I have yet to come across any accounts of a wolf killing a cougar 1 on 1.

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Male Wolf 163 has died, apparently of natural causes. Biologists report that the body of Wolf 163 has was examined at a location deep in the North Absaroka wilderness east of Yellowstone. The body appeared to have been scavenged upon extensively and not a lot of the information could be gained from the remains. However, mountain lion sign including tracks were found in the immediate area. 163's remains were also found near the carcass of a female bighorn sheep. Circumstantially, it appeared that either Wolf 163 or a mountain lion had made the kill and Wolf 163 died in a confrontation either defending the carcass or trying to usurp it from the lion.
http://www.wolftracker.com/Packs/163.htm

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2 Female Wolves killed by Cougars - one is Wolf #B-4, the other is Wolf #297f from the Mill Creek Pack killed by a female Cougar.
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Young male Wolf killed by Cougar

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Source: Gray Wolves, Canis lupus, Killed by Cougars, Puma concolor, and a
Grizzly Bear, Ursus arctos, in Montana, Alberta, and Wyoming


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What’s that pile of sticks above?

The big bad wolf, apparently killed by a mountain lion in the East Fork of the Bitterroot in Montana. The elk hunter who took the pictures said he thought it was about a 90-pound, three-year-old female. The e-mail I got said, “He said that there were wolf tracks chasing elk all over up there and then he stumbled upon this kill. To him it looked like the lion was just laying there waiting to ambush something and this wolf was the unlucky one that came by.”
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http://prairiestateoutdoors.com/index.php?/walmsley/comments/cougar_1_wolf_0
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Apex
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thanks for reposting tapian good interesting info
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Bull and Terrier
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Thnaks for posting, great info
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Mountain lions kill collared wolves in Bitterroot

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Mountain lions have killed several wolves in the Bitterroot in recent months.

19 hours ago • By PERRY BACKUS - Ravalli Republic
(10) Comments

Mountain lions are taking a toll on Liz Bradley’s collared wolves in the Bitterroot this year.

Since January, two wolves radio-collared by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wolf biologist have been killed by mountain lions.

Last week, she found the latest dead wolf in the Warm Springs area, west of Sula.

Like all the others she’s investigated since 2009, the wolf’s skull showed a severe puncture wound – a trademark of a lion kill.

In the Sula case, the lion ate a good portion of the wolf and then covered the carcass with debris.

“It’s hard to say what happened,” Bradley said. “There was no elk or deer carcass nearby that they may have been competing over.”

There was, however, a deer carcass near the dead wolf she found in the Carlton Creek area west of Lolo in January. In that case, the wolf wasn’t consumed, but it did have the same canine tooth puncture through the skull.

“That one was probably a conflict,” she said.

Last year, Bradley found two dead wolves that were probably killed by mountain lions. One was in Davis Creek, east of Lolo, and the other was south of Conner.

In both cases, the carcasses were too far decomposed for positive identification on the cause of death. Both had clear puncture wounds through the top of their skulls.

In 2009, the first apparent lion-killed wolf was discovered in the West Fork area.

The number of wolf and lion encounters is unusual.

“I haven’t heard of it happening anywhere else,” Bradley said. “It’s pretty interesting that the Bitterroot has had so many.”

Large predators sometimes do kill each other. There have been documented cases of that happening in many places around the West.

“They compete for the same resource,” she said. “When there is overlap in areas where you have lots of prey, conflicts occur.”

Four of the five wolves that Bradley knows were probably killed by mountain lions were fitted with a radio collar.

“It’s too bad because we don’t have those now,” she said.

At the end of last year, Bradley had collars in seven packs in the Bitterroot. She’s now down to four.

“Ideally, we would have at least half of the packs collared in the Bitterroot,” she said.

Bradley estimates there are 14 packs in the Bitterroot, which includes the area around Lolo all the way down the east and west forks of the Bitterroot River.

On average, pack sizes are smaller in the Bitterroot following last year’s hunting season. The largest pack now has nine wolves. Most have four to seven adults, with several including just a male and female.

Going into the pup season, Bradley estimated that there were between 60 and 70 adult wolves in the entire Bitterroot area.

“That’s a little bit lower than what we had in 2011,” she said. “We had about 80 last year. We had some mortality.”

Bradley won’t know this year’s numbers of pups until sometime later this summer.

She is asking the public for help in locating packs for collaring this spring, especially in the Darby and Sula areas, as well as the north Bitterroot Valley.

Sightings can be reported by going to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website under the wolf section. For recent wolf sightings of multiple animals, Bradley asks that people call her cell phone at (406) 865-0017.

“I’m especially interesting in hearing about sightings in the Sula area right now,” she said.

If anyone stumbles across a dead wolf or mountain lion, she would be interested in hearing about that too.

Reach reporter Perry Backus at 363-3300 or pbackus@ravallirepublic.com.

http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/mountain-lions-kill-collared-wolves-in-bitterroot/article_68c0c60c-d792-59e3-b736-5b10c17eb10a.html
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kuri
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hm, i thought the collar is some form of protection. Or do cougars always kill with a skull bite?
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kuri
May 28 2012, 07:28 PM
hm, i thought the collar is some form of protection. Or do cougars always kill with a skull bite?
Bar unusual circumstances (pup caught in barbed wire for instance) it seems they kill northern Wolves will skull bites.

This is a very perculiar phenemenon, I wonder what's causing such conflict between the 2 species or if it's just coincidental. I hope we get some specifics of the kills published at some point.
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Canidae
May 28 2012, 09:08 PM
This is a very perculiar phenemenon, I wonder what's causing such conflict between the 2 species or if it's just coincidental.
Apparently its just high density of cugar and wolf populations.

Mountain Lions Have Killed 2 Wolves Since January

RAVALLI COUNTY
By KECI Staff
POSTED: 4:02 pm MDT May 29, 2012

LOLO, Mont. -- An encounter between a mountain lion and a radio collared wolf left the wolf dead and its carcass mostly consumed. Since January of this year, mountain lions have killed two radio collared wolves. The most recent kill was just discovered just last week.

The dead wolf was partially eaten and covered with brush. There was also a deer carcass found nearby.

Since 2009 Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have had numerous reports of mountain lions preying on wolves. FWP understands that there are occasionally altercations between wolves and mountain lions. It's not rare that a mountain lion can kill and consume a wolf when the two species are competing for food.

Mike Thompson, regional wildlife manager says, "We do have populations of both species, so high densities of both would be places where you would expect this kind of conflict to happen more."

The incident comes on the heels of controversy lately in Ravalli County over what some say is an over-population of wolves and a depredation of the elk population.

Back in January another wolf was found in the Bitterroot Valley, west of Lolo, with similar wounds to head.

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http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/31127293/detail.html
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Canidae
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Very interesting, as was the grizzly picture.

I don't see the average lone wolf engaging a Cougar over food though - there's an account of a wolf eating a Cougar-claimed Angus carcass and the wolf was very cautious when feeding.
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Taipan
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May 28 2012, 09:08 PM
I hope we get some specifics of the kills published at some point.
I emailed Liz Bradley:

"The two wolves killed this year were an adult male (2-3 years old) and a yearling male. The two suspected lion-killed wolves in 2011 were both adult females. The one confirmed killed in 2009 was an adult female."
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Taipan
May 31 2012, 05:44 PM
Canidae
May 28 2012, 09:08 PM
I hope we get some specifics of the kills published at some point.
I emailed Liz Bradley:

"The two wolves killed this year were an adult male (2-3 years old) and a yearling male. The two suspected lion-killed wolves in 2011 were both adult females. The one confirmed killed in 2009 was an adult female."
Nice one, very interesting.

Though, I think males become fully mature at 4?
I also wonder if it's the same cat each time, males in particular have large home ranges.
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kuri
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what gender the cougar was, is unknown?
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