Hunters aren’t the only predators!

Cow moose defends her newly born calf from the Grant Creek wolf pack in Denali National Park, Alaska.

Cervids main predators are grey wolf, black bear, grizzly, coyote, cougar, bobcat and lynx. Each predator has its own hunting strategies and techniques. This also applies to preys, responding according to the predator.

Predators play a role in the control of cervid populations and help maintaining the quality of habitats. An adult cervid in good condition can face its predator and will defend itself by striking it with its legs or antlers, strong enough to inflict sometimes significant but rarely fatal injuries. Fawns or calves, and juveniles, less experienced, as well as weak or sick individuals have less success and risk exhaustion while facing repeated predatory attacks.

In the absence of predators, cervids use all available habitats; populations grow rapidly and some negative impacts can be observed. This is the case for white-tailed deer’s expanding populations: some of which to such high-density levels they cause more road collisions and damages to agricultural fields.loup

oursMale cervids use their antlers to keep the predator away. As for the females, they strike sometimes fatally with their hooves, stand between their young and the predator or sometimes seek refuge in water.

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