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Lecture 15

Lecture 15.docx

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Biology 3446B
Robert Solomon

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Lecture 15 – Predation and Predator Management The effects of predators on wildlife populations and the active management of predators if probably the most controversial topic in Wildlife Management Predation is a powerful selective force which has shaped the behavior and morphology of prey species - We expect that any evolutionary change via natural selection in a pretty population would be followed by an adaptive change in the predator population and vice versa Predation may also influence prey distribution and abundance and can alter population composition by selectively removing individuals on one sex or certain age classes or sick/inferior animals Prey may be seasonally selected for and more susceptible to predation Quality Control by Predators - Predators are successful in capturing genotypes of prey that are: o Less alert o Less cryptically coloured o Less quick o Less fit for defence - Over generations, this selection shapes the characteristics of both prey and predator species - Genetic combinations not well adapted are eliminated early - Prey and predators are managed in a genetic sense - Expect predators to be more successful in capturing: o Injured o Sick o Weak o Old/young Example: wolves and moose - Wolves take mostly calves and very old moose - Wolf pack challenged every moose encountered to see how willing they are to defend themselves - Prime-age health moose that stood their ground were usually abandoned in search of other moose - Findings: o Prime-age animals, 1.6 year old were far more vulnerable when snow was deep o With deep snow, wolves killed close to representative sample of the moose population o When snow was deep and killing easy, wolves didn’t eat a lot of what they killed, simply killed another moose - Why multiple predation and incomplete consumption? Based partially on differences in carcass components o +++ organs  Usually eaten first  Soft and low in connective tissue  Obtain trace minerals and nutrients from these tissues and vegetable matter o ++ muscles  Must remove the skin – takes energy  Muscle is tougher than organs – must be ripped apart o + skeletal parts  Long bones contain marrow  Most predators cannot crack these bones o 0 integument  Made up of keratin which most animal
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