An additional factor in pronghorn comeback

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Chat Page Version 1.60 ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 11:20:48 08/28/16

In Reply to: Pronghorns versus wolves posted by Granite Head

Granite Head,

The fencing remediation has certainly been helpful. I suspect that another factor is the wolf-induced reduction in the Northern Range coyote population. Coyotes remain on the Northern Range, but nowhere near as many as what we saw pre-wolf reintroduction.

There was a study under way, trying to determine the root cause of dropping pronghorn numbers, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but I have never seen published results. We got to know one of the researchers, who was temporarily living in Gardiner. She told us they suspected that coyote predation on juvenile pronghorn was having a big impact on the population, but they had to do much more research to truth test their theory.

I know that I do not see anywhere near the coyote numbers that I used to observe in the 1980s and 1990s on the Northern Range. There was a time, in the very late 1990s and very early 2000s, when coyotes were converging on the roadside in Lamar Valley and Little America. The belief was they were seeking relief from wolf pressure, and knew the wolves were reticent to approach the roadside. Eventually, by the mid-2000s, we didn't see anywhere near as many coyotes, near the road or in the backcountry. I know they are still around. I just don't see the pre-wolf presence that existed years ago, like when Hope Ryden was doing the field research for her book, "God's Dog".

For pronghorn, the reduction in coyotes on the Northern Range and the improvement in fencing outside the park, is a win/win on both their traditional ranges.


Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:
Please enter the following value as your Submit Key:     
Submit Key:
Note: The Submit Key is Case Sensitive. Do not Copy and Paste!

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Chat Page Version 1.60 ] [ FAQ ]