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Coyotes-Wolves-Cougars.blogspot.com

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

While it is well documented that Wolf Packs will "go to war" and fight neighboring Wolf Packs to obtain additional territory, I have never seen or heard of a lone female Wolf invading a Wolf natal den to try and kill the pups of the year..............The video that you will view by clicking on the link below shows how fiercely the females of a given Arctic Wolf Pack will defend their newly born pups from an invading lone female wolf..................A must view!


A MUST-SEE VIDEO OF FEMALE WOLVES DEFENDING THEIR PUPS AGAINST
AN INTRUDING LONE FEMALE --CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO VIEW

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https://www.livescience.com/61384-brutal-wolf-pack-fight-video.html&ct=ga&cd=CAEYASoUMTgxMjQ5NTgzNzAzMDQzOTE4MzIyGmRhOTdjZjk0NzgwNDY5OWE6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNHN9g7qk_XYfHzKb3R9PItN9nZTEQ

Pack of Female Wolves Destroys Enemy Intruder in Brutal Fight (Video)

  | 

A pack of female wolves defends its den from an intruder in a new PBS documentary.
Credit: Nature: Arctic Wolf Pack/WNET
Moms are fierce — especially when they're wolves.
In a dramatic new video from an upcoming PBS documentary on Arctic wolves, a pack of female wolves defends its den from a bedraggled, strange wolf who attempts to make a meal of the pack's defenseless cubs.
Well, defenseless except for their mother and her three female packmates.
In a snarling, brutal sequence, the pack drags, bites and pulls the invader away from the pups. Within moments, the pups are safe from danger, and the stranger is on the run.
he footage is part of a new episode in the series "Nature." The episode, "Arctic Wolf Pack," airs on PBS on Jan. 17. The documentary follows a pack of Arctic wolves (Canis lupus arctos) living only 500 miles (800 kilometers) from the North Pole. The snowy-furred canines birth their fuzzy, blind pups in dens burrowed into the Arctic tundra. Their mother, dubbed Snow White, isn't alone in caring for them. Her packmate, Black Spot, nurses Snow White's pups — a mysterious behavior never before captured on film. To make milk, Black Spot must have recently given birth herself, but the fate of her mate and her own litter is a mystery.
Arctic wolves are found in Greenland and the far northern reaches of Canada. It's the only subspecies of gray wolf that is not threatened by hunting or loss of habitat, according to the World Wide Fund (WWF) — an advantage it gains by living so far north that it rarely encounters humans.
Beyond its white fur, the Arctic wolf's short muzzle and small ears distinguish this subspecies from its more southerly gray cousins. These adaptations make it easier for the wolves to retain body heat, according to the WWF. The wolves live off of Arctic hares, caribou and musk ox, the latter of which grow to at least 10 times the wolves' weight. With such large prey, survival is a matter of cooperation between packmates — whether that means banding together to hunt or to protect the next generation.
The documentary "Nature: Arctic Wolf Pack" from THIRTEEN premieres Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 8 p.m. on PBS

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

In suburban Rockland County New York(suburb of NYC), so-called journalists are seeking to scare people about Eastern Coyotes(e.g. Coywolves), calling them "dangerous" and making them out to be "frankenstein-like"................I thought that the beginning of this new year of 2018 merited another review of what the Eastern Coyote is and what it is not---- and what it is doing in our woods, fields, towns and cities...........Just to reiterate, THE COYWOLF IS NOT A THING,,,,,,,AND IT IS NOT LOOKING TO EAT YOU!



You might rememberhaving seen this Eastern Coyote video from Queens, New York  a couple of years ago
 https://youtu.be/ezrUK3_2uQ0


 Yes, eastern coyotes are hybrids, but the ‘coywolf’ is not a thing

Talk of “coywolves” – a blend of coyote and wolf – is everywhere. There is a PBS specialcalled Meet the Coywolf, a recent article in the Economist, and it is now trending on Facebook. The media really love this new animal name.
There is no doubt that there is a hybrid canid living in the eastern US, and that it is the result of an amazing evolution story unfolding right underneath our noses.









However, this is not a new species – at least not yet – and I don’t think we should start calling it a “coywolf.”

Genetic swapping

What creature are we talking about? In the last century, a predator – I prefer the name “eastern coyote” – has colonized the forests of eastern North America, from Florida to Labrador.
New genetic tests show that all eastern coyotes are actually a mix of three species: coyote, wolf and dog. The percentages vary, dependent upon exactly which test is applied and the geographic location of the canine.
Coyotes in the Northeast are mostly (60%-84%) coyote, with lesser amounts of wolf (8%-25%) and dog (8%-11%). Start moving south or east and this mixture slowly changes. Virginia animals average more dog than wolf (85%:2%:13% coyote:wolf:dog) while coyotes from the Deep South had just a dash of wolf and dog genes mixed in (91%:4%:5% coyote:wolf:dog). Tests show that there are no animals that are just coyote and wolf (that is, a coywolf), and some eastern coyotes that have almost no wolf at all












In other words, there is no single new genetic entity that should be considered a unique species. Instead, we are finding a large intermixing population of coyotes across the continent, with a smattering of noncoyote DNA mixed in to varying degrees along the eastern edge. The coywolf is not a thing.
 All eastern coyotes show some evidence of past hybridization, but there is no sign that they are still actively mating with dogs or wolves. The coyote, wolf and dog are three separate species that would very much prefer not to breed with each other. However, biologically speaking, they are similar enough that interbreeding is possible.
This genetic swapping has happened more than once in their history; one study showed that the gene for black coat color found in North American wolves and coyotes today (but not in Old World wolves) originated in dogs brought to the continent by the earliest Native Americans. Some prehistoric hybridization event transferred the dog gene into wild wolves and coyotes.

The eastern coyote is born

We can estimate the date of the most recent hybridization events that created eastern coyotes by analyzing their genetic structure. Their DNA show that about 100 years ago, coyotes mated with wolves, and about 50 years ago with dogs. A century ago, wolf populations in the Great Lakes were at their nadir, living at such low density that some reproductive animals probably couldn’t find another wolf mate, and had to settle with a coyote.









The more recent date for the dog hybridization likely results from a cross-species breeding event at the very leading edge of the wave of colonizing coyotes in the east, possibly after a few females first spanned the St Lawrence seaway into upstate New York, where they would have encountered abundant feral dogs, but no other coyotes.
Nowadays, eastern coyotes have no problem finding a coyote mate. Their populations continue to grow throughout their new forested range, and they seem more likely to kill a dog than breed with it. Wolf populations in the Great Lakes have also recovered, and the wolf is once again the worst enemy of the coyote, rather than its last-chance prom date.
Coyotes have also expanded north into Alaska, although there is no sign of hybridization in that range extension. In Central America, they have expanded out of Mexico’s deserts, working their way south past the Panama Canal in the last decade, apparently bound for South America.
No genetic studies have looked at Central American coyotes, but photographs of doglike animals suggest that coyotes might be mixing it up across species lines along the leading edge of this southward expansion as well.

Coywolfdog evolution

Hybridization across species is a natural evolutionary phenomenon. The old notion that an inability to breed should define what a species is has been abandoned by zoologists (with a resounding “I told you so” from botanists). Even modern humans are hybrids, with traces of Neanderthal and Denisovan genes mixed into our genome.











The first requirement for evolution is variation, and mixing genes from two species creates all sorts of new variations for evolution to act on. Most of these probably die, being a compromise between two longstanding species that were already well-adapted to their own niches.
However, in today’s rapidly changing world, new variations might actually do better than the old types. Some of these genetic mixes will survive better than others – this is natural selection.
The coyote with a bit of wolf genes to make it slightly larger was probably better able to handle deer, which are overabundant in eastern forests, but still wily enough to live in a landscape full of people. These animals thrived, dispersed east and thrived again, becoming the eastern coyote.
Exactly which dog and wolf genes are surviving natural selection in today’s eastern coyote is an area of active research.
Coyotes with odd coat colors or hair types are probably the most conspicuous sign of dog genes in action, while their slightly larger size might come from wolf genes. Some of these genes will help an animal survive and breed; others will make them less fit. Natural selection is still sorting this out, and we are witnessing the evolution of a new type of coyote right under our noses, one that is very good at living there.











Western coyotes adapt locally to their environments, with limited gene flow between populations (called “ecotypes”) living in different habitats, presumably reflecting local specialization.
Will eastern coyotes specialize locally as well? How will dog and wolf genes sort out across cities and wildernesses of the east?
Expect some really cool science in the next few years as researchers use modern genetic tools to sniff out the details of this story.

Evolution still in progress

There are many examples of bad animal names that cause a lot of confusion.
The fisher is a large type of weasel that does not eat fish (it prefers porcupines). The mountain beaver of the Pacific Northwest is not a beaver and does not live in the mountains. And then there’s the sperm whale…
We don’t get many opportunities to name new animals in the 21st century. We shouldn’t let the media mess up this one by declaring it a new species called the coywolf. Yes, there are wolf genes in some populations, but there are also eastern coyotes with almost no wolf genes, and others that have as much dog mixed in as they do wolf. “Coywolf” is an inaccurate name that causes confusion.
















The coyote has not evolved into a new species over the last century. Hybridization and expansion have created a host of new coyote variations in the east, and evolution is still sorting these out. Gene flow continues in all directions, keeping things mixed up, and leading to continual variation over their range, with no discrete boundaries.
Could evolution eventually lead to a coyote so specialized for eastern forests that they would be considered a unique species? Yes, but for this to happen, they would have to cut off gene flow with nonhybrid animals, leading to distinct types of coyotes that (almost) never interbreed. I think we are a long way from this possibility.
For now, we have the eastern coyote, an exciting new type of coyote in the midst of an amazing evolutionary transition. Call it a distinct “subspecies,” call it an “ecomorph,” or call it by its scientific name Canis latrans var. But don’t call it a new species, and please, don’t call it the coywolf.

Monday, January 15, 2018

"The impacts of hyperabundant white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations on understorey plant community structure and composition are well-established"................ However, few studies have examined how the recovery of wolves might moderate these effects"........... "Recent studies of species interactions in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) suggest that the recovery of wolf populations can naturally ameliorate ungulate-caused ecosystem simplification"............. "In this study, we examine whether a similar trophic cascade was triggered by the recovery of the Great Lakes wolf population in northern Wisconsin"........... "In addition, by assessing community-level responses as opposed to species-level responses and by measuring across several spatial scales of observation, we hope to inform future research by identifying the ideal response variable and spatial scale for detecting effects of top predators in similar terrestrial systems"............ "As predicted for a trophic cascade response, forb species richness at local scales (10 m2) was significantly higher in high wolf areas (high wolf areas: 10.7 ± 0.9, N = 16, low wolf areas: 7.5 ± 0.9, N = 16, P < 0.001), as was shrub species richness (high wolf areas: 4.4 ± 0.4, N = 16, low wolf areas: 3.2 ± 0.5, N = 16, P < 0.001)"................... "Also as predicted, percentage cover of ferns was lower in high wolf areas (high wolf areas: 6.2 ± 2.1, N = 16, low wolf areas: 11.6 ± 5.3, N = 16, P < 0.05)"






CLICK ON THIS LINK TO READ FULL RESEARCH ARTICLE

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO READ A 2ND RESEARCH ARTICLE


Recolonizing wolves trigger a trophic cascade in Wisconsin (USA)

Authors

  • First published: 
  1. Summary

    1. We tested the hypothesis that wolves are reducing local browse intensity by white-tailed deer, thus indirectly mitigating the biotic impoverishment of understorey plant communities in northern Wisconsin.
    2. To assess the potential for such a top-down trophic cascade response, we developed a spatially and temporally explicit model of wolf territory occupancy based on three decades of wolf monitoring data. Using a nested multiscale vegetation survey protocol, we compared the understorey plant communities of northern white cedar wetlands found in high wolf areas with control sites found in low wolf areas.
    3. We fit species–area curves for plant species grouped by vegetation growth form (based on their predicted response to release from herbivory, i.e. tree, seedling, shrub, forb, grass, sedge or fern) and duration of wolf territory occupancy.
    4. As predicted for a trophic cascade response, forb species richness at local scales (10 m2) was significantly higher in high wolf areas (high wolf areas: 10.7 ± 0.9, N = 16, low wolf areas: 7.5 ± 0.9, N = 16, < 0.001), as was shrub species richness (high wolf areas: 4.4 ± 0.4, N = 16, low wolf areas: 3.2 ± 0.5, N = 16, < 0.001). Also as predicted, percentage cover of ferns was lower in high wolf areas (high wolf areas: 6.2 ± 2.1, N = 16, low wolf areas: 11.6 ± 5.3, N = 16, < 0.05).
    5. Beta richness was similar between high and low wolf areas, supporting earlier assumptions that deer herbivory impacts plant species richness primarily at local scales. Sampling at multiple spatial scales revealed that changes in species richness were not consistent across scales nor among vegetation growth forms: forbs showed a stronger response at finer scales (1–100 m2), while shrubs showed a response across relatively broader scales (10–1000 m2).
    6. Synthesis. Our results are consistent with hypothesized trophic effects on understorey plant communities triggered by a keystone predator recovering from regional extinction. In addition, we identified the response variables and spatial scales appropriate for detecting such differences in plant species composition. This study represents the first published evidence of a trophic cascade triggered by wolf recovery in the Great Lakes region.
    7. Photo pair of understorey vegetation within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, WI.( top picture below) Shows a high wolf area (within the Bootjack Lake pack territory) and (bottom pictue below) shows the paired low wolf area (in the buffer zone between the Bootjack Lake pack and the Miles Lake pack).




















































Diagram of hypothesized tri-trophic interactions in northern Wisconsin forests. Solid arrows represent direct positive and negative interactions. Dashed arrows represent hypothesized indirect interactions. Dotted line represents competitive interactions.










intensity of wolf impact based on 10 years (1998–2008) of wolf pack territory data (WiDNR). Years of occupancy represent the duration of wolf pack tenure. High wolf areas = 8–10 years of occupancy, low wolf areas = 0–3 years of occupancy


Mike Phillips, Director of the Turner Endangerd Species Fund and a biologist who was at the center of Gray Wolf re-introduction in the Greater Yellowstone region is giving a talk on Wolf-re-introduction in Colorado at the Third Street Center in Carbondale at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 and at 7 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.............."A “couple dozen” gray wolves could be released in western Colorado under a science-based restoration plan, and it wouldn’t take long to reach a viable population of 250 or more"................."About 85 percent of the variability in a wolf population on an annual basis is explained by the abundance of food"........"Colorado has millions of acres of Federal land and even after an annual take of about 80,000 ungulates by hunters, Colorado Parks and Wildlife estimates there are about 700,000 deer and elk in the state"...............“If you give just a small number of gray wolves an opportunity to occupy high-quality habitat, they can pretty well take care of the rest"..............."“Here’s a good way to look at co-existing with gray wolves"...............: "We can put a man on the moon and bring him back".............. "We can take your heart out of your chest and put it in better than before"............ “I promise you we can find a way to get along with the gray wolf"


Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?




No one should be if they follow the research, contends Mike Phillips, a wildlife biologist who played a leading role in the return of gray wolves to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Phillips is director of the (Ted) Turner Endangered Species Fund and a consultant to the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project, which is trying to improve public understanding of gray wolf issues and present options for re-establishing them in Colorado. He also is a state senator in Montana.
Phillips will be the featured speaker Feb. 7 and 8 in Carbondale and Aspen as part of the Naturalist Nights series presented by Wilderness Workshop, Roaring Fork Audubon and Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. Phillips has been studying wolves since 1980 and has worked full-time since 1986 to try to restore their habitat in the U.S.
“I don’t know a lot of things but I know a little bit about wolf recovery and conservation, and I guarantee you that western Colorado is highly suitable to reintroducing gray wolves to restore a viable population,” Phillips said in a phone interview this week.
A “couple dozen” gray wolves could be released in western Colorado under a science-based restoration plan, and it wouldn’t take long to reach a viable population of 250 or more, he said.











Wolf restoration advocates such as Phillips contend western Colorado is well-suited for wolves for a couple of reasons. It’s got millions of acres of federal land that is suited for the animals, and it has the deer and elk populations to sustain them. Even after an annual take of about 80,000 ungulates by hunters, Colorado Parks and Wildlife estimates there are about 700,000 deer and elk in the state, he noted.“If you give just a small number of gray wolves an opportunity to occupy high-quality habitat, they can pretty well take care of the rest,” he said.
“We know in areas where human-caused mortality is low — in other words when people don’t kill them — about 85 percent of the variability in a wolf population on an annual basis is explained by the abundance of food,” Phillips said. “That’s not too complicated, right? Food matters. And you’ve got a boatload of food in western Colorado.”
He sees Colorado as the “arc stone” between gray wolf habitat to the north and Mexican red wolf habitat to the south.
Not everyone is ready to welcome wolves back to Colorado. Opposition is widespread among ranchers and some sportsmen.
ACES brought in Phillips last year for presentations, which were crowded and occasionally contentious. Ranchers voiced their opposition to wolf re-entry in meetings in Aspen and Carbondale.
“It’s that age-old debate, right? Wolves versus livestock,” said Chris Lane, ACES director. “It was contentious (last year) and we don’t want to be contentious.”
He said ACES wants to remove the contentiousness from the debate and educate people on issues surrounding re-entry of wolves. Phillips is one of the foremost experts on wolf behavior, Lane said. He is hoping some of the myths can be dispelled, including that wolves kill humans.
“We’re increasing our wolf education component,” Lane said, indicating that Phillips’ presentation will be just one part of that effort.
Phillips said wolves can alter the habits and movements of big game, but sportsmen would retain as many opportunities as ever to hunt deer and elk in Colorado.
The potential effect of wolves on livestock is a more complex matter. Phillips said there is the potential for an “occasional problem for an individual rancher” and those must be addressed. If a wolf pack kills a cow or sheep, the rancher must be compensated and it has to be assumed that the particular livestock herd has also suffered from not putting on weight. That’s essentially taking money out of a rancher’s wallet. Livestock get “agitated” and disrupted from their regular feeding patterns once there has been a wolf kill on their herd, Phillips said. Montana has a livestock loss program that could be a model for Colorado, he said.













He doesn’t believe the potential issue poses enough risk to prevent wolf reintroduction.
“The fact of the matter is most ranchers in Colorado aren’t ranching in wolf country. And ranchers who do ranch in wolf country, they’re not going to suffer depredations. It’s the atypical wolf that depredates,” Phillips said, stating that data from Montana back his claim.
There have been a handful of cases of a lone wolf wandering into Colorado, most likely from the north, and getting killed. There is no evidence of a persistent wolf presence in the state, Phillips said.
Rocky Mountain Wolf Project says it would make more sense for Colorado to reintroduce wolves under an effective management plan than risk resettlement naturally. The federal Endangered Species Act covers wolves that wander into the state on their own. They cannot be legally killed.
Colorado already has a gray wolf management plan that could be implemented if the state took the step to introduce the animal. The plan places more control in the state’s hands.
“Here’s a good way to look at co-existing with gray wolves: We can put a man on the moon and bring him back. We can take your heart out of your chest and put it in better than before,” Phillips said. “I promise you we can find a way to get along with the gray wolf.”
He is distressed that wolves are so feared and were hunted so close to extinction. Wolf bounties existed as far back as the 1600s in North Carolina, according to Phillips.
“It was a war for 300 years,” he said.
Phillips will give his presentation on Wolf Recovery and Conservation at the Third Street Center in Carbondale at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 and at 7 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Regardless of the knee-jerk response by Government Officials to Caribou decline being Predator removal, all informed folks know that forest fragmentation of any kind, industrial, residential, oil and gas,,,,,,,,,,,,and Ski Trails---ARE THE ACTUAL REASONS FOR CARIBOU DECLINE......You punch holes in the forest and other hoofed browsers like Moose and Deer wander further north, as do their predators)Wolves, Bears and Coyotes)........Caribou become easier targets for the Carnivores,,,,,,,,,The net result--CARIBOU DECLINE!.......A slightly different paradigm of Caribou decline is taking place in Gapesie Nationa Park in Quebec, Canada-----"A recent paper in the journal Biological Conservation studied the response of Atlantic-Gaspésie mountain caribou (an endangered population of woodland caribou) to backcountry skiers in the Gaspésie"........... "It suggests that even a relatively subtle human activity, like skiing, can contribute to the mass decline of these animals".............. "In fact, this herd of caribou could vanish from the area within two decades"................"Caribou moved away from the ski area for approximately 42 hours after encountering skiers, and only returned when they felt the humans had left"............ "The problem is the caribou are moving to lower elevations, where they’re more likely to encounter predators"................"Gaspésie National Park is considering restricting access by hikers and skiers when caribou are on the land"

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/d344eq/gaspesie-national-park-quebec-woodland-caribou-conservation&ct=ga&cd=CAEYACoUMTgxMjQ5NTgzNzAzMDQzODkzMjgyGmVjNDQ0NDQ2NGM4YjZhYTE6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNGAU3E8G_mQtoMbD61UVlZd_bEiuQ

Backcountry Skiing Is Hurting Canada’s Endangered Caribou

by: Lisa Cumming

Gaspésie National Park in Quebec is well-known for its beautiful views of the mountains and diverse wildlife. Skiers and hikers might even catch a glimpse of the iconic woodland caribou, featured prominently on Canada’s 25-cent coins. But it turns out that what may seem like harmless encounters with wildlife are actually a catalyst for caribou endangerment.


A recent paper in the journal Biological Conservation studied the response of Atlantic-Gaspésie mountain caribou (an endangered population of woodland caribou) to backcountry skiers in the Gaspésie. It suggests that even a relatively subtle human activity, like skiing, can contribute to the mass decline of these animals. In fact, this herd of caribou could vanish from the area within two decades if it isn’t properly protected, lead author Martin-Hugues St-Laurent told me.












While caribou are under threat across Canada, this specific herd is the only population that exists south of the St. Lawrence River, according to St-Laurent, a professor of animal ecology at the Université du Québec à Rimouski. In the past 30 years, the population has shrunk 63 percent because of increased predation by coyotes and black bears. St-Laurent estimates there are only around 70 individuals left.






















In this study, he and his team used GPS collars to monitor the movements of Gaspésie caribou across a portion of their range for 2.5 years. They found these caribou moved away from the ski area for approximately 42 hours after encountering skiers, and only returned when they felt the humans had left. The problem is the caribou are moving to lower elevations, where they’re more likely to encounter predators.















“People are saying, ‘I was out skiing and I saw a caribou, so caribou are not avoiding skiers.’ But that’s not the truth,” said St-Laurent. “We are seeing the same pattern: skiers are there, caribou are there, but after a couple of hours the caribou are leaving. When there are no skiers, the caribou come back.”

SKIING IN Gaspésie National Park












St-Laurent said that in the last 35 years an “ecological trap” has emerged. There’s an abundance of predators in the valleys, like coyotes and black bears, he explained, and this has forced caribou to stick to the mountain tops—where they will find skiers.
“By responding to skiers, the animals are going to lower elevations, where the probability of encountering coyotes is higher than on the summits,” said St-Laurent.



St-Laurent said that the head office of the Gaspésie National Park is considering restricting access by hikers and skiers when caribou are on the land. The park’s governing body, la Société des établissements de plein air du Québec, has a conservation strategy for caribou, which includes moderating the access to certain mountains.

“The additional pressure that skiers are putting on caribou is [not negligible],” said St-Laurent. “If we are losing one or two females every year, in 20 years there [will be] no more caribou out there.”