JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. —Wolves roaming the north end of Grand Teton National Park have developed an appetite for moose during the wintertime, a study shows.
The Jackson News reports that 43 moose, including 25 cows, were found wolf-killed by Grand Teton and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service researchers during the winters of 2010 and 2011. Preliminary data shows another 13 were killed during 2012, Grand Teton biologist Steve Cain said.
Wildlife officials have been dealing with a Jackson Hole moose herd in decline for years.
An exchange of emails between Park Service and Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials shows the study findings surprised biologists.
“Wow, I don’t think anyone can argue that wolf depredation on moose is not additive and that they are not having an effect on moose numbers,” Game and Fish large carnivore biologist Bob Trebelcock wrote in a May email.
The two packs studied were the Phantom Springs and Pacific Creek packs, which each numbered 13 animals in year-end 2011 counts.
Wolves killed 58 elk, too.