Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Mobility of moose-comparing the effects of wolf predation risk, reproductive status, and seasonality

Wikenros, Camilla; Balogh, Gyongyver; Sand, Hakan; Nicholson, Kerry L.; Mansson, Johan

Abstract

In a predator-prey system, prey species may adapt to the presence of predators with behavioral changes such as increased vigilance, shifting habitats, or changes in their mobility. In North America, moose (Alces alces) have shown behavioral adaptations to presence of predators, but such antipredator behavioral responses have not yet been found in Scandinavian moose in response to the recolonization of wolves (Canis lupus). We studied travel speed and direction of movement of GPS-collared female moose (n = 26) in relation to spatiotemporal differences in wolf predation risk, reproductive status, and time of year. Travel speed was highest during the calving (May-July) and postcalving (August-October) seasons and was lower for females with calves than females without calves. Similarly, time of year and reproductive status affected the direction of movement, as more concentrated movement was observed for females with calves at heel, during the calving season. We did not find support for that wolf predation risk was an important factor affecting moose travel speed or direction of movement. Likely causal factors for the weak effect of wolf predation risk on mobility of moose include high moose-to-wolf ratio and intensive hunter harvest of the moose population during the past century.

Keywords

carnivore; linearity; movement pattern; predator-prey interaction; speed of movement; ungulate

Published in

Ecology and Evolution
2016, volume: 6, number: 24, pages: 8870-8880

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Balogh, Gyöngyvér
Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Nicholson, Kerry
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology

UKÄ Subject classification

Ecology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2598

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/78475