Jedediah Brodie, Heather Johnson, Michael Mitchell, Peter Zager, Kelly Proffitt, Mark Hebblewhite, Matthew Kauffman, Bruce Johnson, John Bissonette, Chad Bishop, Justin Gude, Jeff Herbert, Kent Hersey, Mark Hurley, Paul M. Lukacs, Scott McCorquodale, Eliot McIntire, Josh Nowak, Hall Sawyer, Douglas Smith and P.J. White Relative influence of human harvest, carnivores, and weather on adult female elk survival across western North America Journal of Applied Ecology 50
Article first published online: 19 MAR 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12044
Elevated baseline adult female elk mortality from wolves in years with high winter precipitation could affect elk abundance as winters across the western US become drier and wolves recolonize portions of the region. In the absence of human harvest, wolves had additive, although limited, effects on mortality. However, human harvest, and its apparent use by managers to offset predation, primarily controls overall variation in adult female mortality. Altering harvest quotas is thus a strong tool for offsetting impacts of carnivore recolonization and shifting weather patterns on elk across western North America.
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