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Daily Newscasts

Study: Wolves Are ID Coyote Control

March 4, 2008

Boise, ID – Gray wolves moving into the food chain in Idaho have resulted in more pronghorn fawns, according to a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society. While some may think the wolves would decimate the pronghorn populations, study author Joel Berger says what really happens is that the wolves reduce the population of coyote, the most common pronghorn fawn predators.

"It's what's referred to as a food web dynamic. Without wolves, coyote populations achieve higher densities."

Berger says coyotes and wolves do not hunt the same way, and wolves rarely touch pronghorn fawns, or other very young large animals.

"Wolves, being more than twice the size of coyotes, are not wasting their time hunting for little six- and eight- and nine-pound pronghorn fawns."

Berger says the pronghorn success story he documented in and around Grand Teton National Park is at risk because the state of Idaho plans to allow up to 80 percent of its wolves to be killed. Wolves were taken off the federal Endangered Species list last month.

To view the full report, visit

Deborah Smith/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - ID