CHILCOTIN WOLF FEEDING ECOLOGY STUDY
Wolves & Wild Horses: Seeking to Understand Predator-Prey Interactions, Energy Flow & Trophic Relationships
Understanding the seasonal dietary patterns of wolves in the study area will help to plan for future conservation of ecological integrity in this biologically rich area, and help to guide preventative husbandry practices to be efficient and effective. It will also provide some accurate information where currently perceptions are based on anecdotal evidence. The research may also shed light on whether or not wolves are capable of controlling a wild horse population in the large Xeni Gwet’in Aboriginal Wild Horse Preserve, which has been a target Valhalla Wilderness Society (VWS) and Friends of Nemaiah Valley (FONV) conservation area for a decade.
An improved understanding of the ecological role of how an apex predator affects biodiversity in this remote and unique area may influence the groups’ current request to designate this area as a wild horse reserve at the National level. It is largely intact and nearly the size of Yellowstone National Park. Here all of the top predators still exist side by side with a small ranching community and a vast wilderness, including salmon and dry-land grizzly bears.
Together with these groups, Wolf Awareness Inc. will continue to actively engage in communication with the public, media and government on the biodiversity crisis and the critical role of preserving top predators and large carnivores, an often controversial issue.
School programs about large carnivores, predator prey relationships, and biodiversity are also provided in the outreach component of this project. We will be incorporating our science-based “Predator-Friendly Rancher’s Guide”; tailored to reduce conflicts among wolves and people by preventing livestock losses through husbandry practices. By taking a proactive approach and precautionary action within a small and remote community, this project aims to act as a pilot.
Accurate ecological information that will come from our field work is necessary in this unique region in order to adequately protect the rich biota and plan for long-term conservation. To carry out this mission, we are requesting your help. Your donation will help cover travel costs, research equipment and lab expenses associated with hair and scat analysis.
The Valhalla Wilderness Society, Friends of Nemaiah Valley and Xeni Gwet’in community of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation are project partners in this study.
Check out this short video about the research area and the important work Friends of the Nemaiah Valley (FONV) is helping to accomplish there
– by film maker Jeremy Williams of River Voices Productions