The Odd Couple….Wolves And Pronghorn Antelope

Here’s another repost honoring National Wolf Awareness Week.

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The Odd Couple….Wolves And Pronghorn Antelope

January 22, 2010

Wolves are Yellowstone’s Pronghorn antelopes best buddy because they control coyote populations, who prey heavily on Pronghorn fawns. The irony is wolves rarely prey on the fawns themselves. There is a symbiosis between wolves and the antelope. When wolves are around the survival rate of  Pronghorn fawns goes up.

Sometimes nature creates strange bedfellows. HOWL for biodiversity!!

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Are Wolves The Pronghorn’s Best Friend?

ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2008) — As western states debate removing the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act, a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society cautions that doing so may result in an unintended decline in another species: the pronghorn, a uniquely North American animal that resembles an African antelope.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080303145300.htm

Posted in: biodiversity, gray wolf/canis lupus

Tags: Pronghorn Antelope, wolves, biodiversity

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Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 12:44 am  Comments (11)  
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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Howling4Justice: The Odd Couple….Wolves And Pronghorn Antelope: http://wp.me/pDTDG-Zz

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  2. And in our great qwest of Manifest Destiny back in the 1800’s Pronghorn were all about exterminated as well. For ranchers, ungulates including Elk and Pronghorn were killed to allow space for the precious cow….

    What really is left for wolves to eat these days? No beaver, pronghorn, little elk… seems to me the stupid cow is a logical choice for a smart wolf.

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    • You got that right g… The thing that’s so ironic and sad is the cows everyone cares about so much are going to end up on someones dinner plate. I feel sorry for them, it’s not their fault they were bred to be eaten. I gave up meat ten years ago, for that very reason.

      N.

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  3. This is the information that the biased/slanted game agencies withhold or accidently on purpose fail to include/release in their studies that produce anti wolf propoganda. I believe in their minds that wolfs only accomplish four positive things.
    1. Bring in Federal money
    2. Raise additional funds for their agency through wolf license fee’s (Hunting)
    4. Insure their employment
    3. Die!
    Sorry to sound so pessimistic but I have lost all faith in these public service employee’s and agencies.
    When an individual will put their personal/career gains ahead of making the right decision for the right reasons our wildlife suffer. The current system is infected with these type of individuals. Not all of them but to many are in leadership positions. As for the others , to allow yourself to be quite when you know something is wrong is in my eyes worse then the individual making the polictical motivated decision. M

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    • Marc I completely agree and am on the same page. I was reading Chris Servheen, predicting The Continental Divide Grizzlies being delisted in 5 years. They Yellowstone griz are protected once again, thanks to Molloy and now they’ll be going after the bears up here. They had their little Interagency Bear meeting and look who all came (see list below) Yeah, those are the people I trust with the Great Bear’s future. Finally, when they are making some progress, trying to expand their range into The Breaks, Servheen starts talking about delisting them. I just am so sick of these people. I’m sure the states can’t wait to get their hands on them so they can start blasting them all to kingdom come. What lies in the heart of someone that will kill beauty like the wolf and grizzly? Ice is what lies there.

      U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service
      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management,
      U.S. Geological Survey
      State wildlife agencies of Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming as well as Canada.
      http://www.flatheadnewsgroup.com/articles/2010/01/21/hungryhorsenews/news/news_8735992593_01.txt

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  4. Many of these so-called ‘managers’ seem to stop at the point where a predator kills an animal that they themselves want to kill. The population of ungulates decreases and for hunters that’s bad.

    Coyotes may kill deer but they serve another role as part of nature’s disposal group. Scavengers play an important part in minimising the spread of disease by picking up the leftovers of larger predators – they also keep the number of rodents down. Not many a coyote hunter will admit this. After all, the law says thems is pests (along with foxes and raccoons)!

    The natural cycle is only seen as an inappropriate method because it is inconvenient to the desires of humans. Tampering with it for human satisfaction hasn’t borne any fruit thus far.

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    • John, they can find an excuse for anything they want. They’re not interested in science or the natural order, only their agenda, which is to manage predators to a low level so ranchers will have the landscape sanitized and hunters can kill elk. That’s it. That’s why we’re here to remind them that their policies are narrow and self serving. To keep speaking out and hopefully one day have a seat at the table. The political climate will change if we keep plugging away.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,
      Nabeki

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  5. My observation in Central Idaho: pronghorn antelope numbers have increased where wolves are present. But, now that wolf packs are being killed by Wildlife Services and hunters, the coyotes are more numerous again, or at least more visible. Coyotes can only catch a pronghorn fawn when it is first born and maybe for a few hours after. I have observed other pronghorns, including bucks nearby when a doe is giving birth. If a coyote comes near, it is driven off. Coyotes, wolves, pronghorns and other wildlife all evolved together, at least in this part of the country and would do fine if we would leave them alone.

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    • Hi SL,
      Is IDFG interested in Pronghorn antelope or just elk and deer? Funny how some species seem to be much more important. You would think the state game agencies would spend their money on education about wolves and the good they do for the ecosystem instead of trying to kill them.

      They act like these animals didn’t evolve together and somehow can’t get along without being “managed”. It’s all about power and control.

      N.

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  6. I might add, that coyotes spend a lot of time hunting rodents: mice, voles, and ground squirrels (the latter in May/June/July. If hunters would stop shooting squirrels, and let the coyotes have them instead, fawns of deer and pronghorn would have less appeal.

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    • Totally agree SL.

      N.

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