Food habits of the wolf Canis lupus in Latvia based on stomach analyses

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:Žunna, A, Ozolin, J, Pupila, A
Journal:Estonian Journal of Ecology
Volume:58
Pagination:141-152
Date Published:2009
Keywords:Canis lupus, Sus scrofa
Abstract:

The diet of Canis lupus in Latvia was studied from December 2001 to April 2008 based on analyses of 165 stomachs. Wild ungulates (cervids and wild boar) were the main food of the wolves. Cervids were found in 64.7% of the samples (69.7% of the biomass), wild boar in 25.9% of the samples (22.6% of the biomass), and beavers in 8.6% of the samples (6.4% of the biomass). The average mass of stomach contents was 824.1 g. Empty stomachs made up 26.7% of all stomachs. Statistically significant differences were found comparing variances of stomach content biomass between 1-2-year-old and adult animals and also in beaver remains in the diet of male and female wolves (12.9% and 3.2% of the stomach content biomass, respectively). There were no other significant differences in the diet composition, stomach content biomass, and percentage of empty stomachs among age groups, between sexes, and between eastern and western parts of Latvia. Interpretation and implications to wolf conservation policy based on the given results are suggested.

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