When Predators Attack

Interesting little piece about predators hunting and slaying other predators. Looks like hunters prefer to pick on smaller predators and rarely take on similarly sized opponents. The reason is competition for resources, not predation. Victims are rarely eaten.

Oh course, when the competition is tough, it turns into open warfare. The wolves on Lake Superior’s Isle Royale are battling it out between three packs. Competition for food is fierce on the island because the moose population is at a 48 year low. The island currently supports 450 moose, far fewer than the 1,100 that populated the island five years ago. Scientists suspect that this is part of the aging of a ‘baby boom’ in the moose population ten years ago, compounded by changing habitat in the island’s forest. The forest’s stands of birch and and aspen are being replaced by less nutritious spruce and balsam fir. The change in trees also led to a decline in beaver populations, an alternative food for the wolf packs. And the 30 wolves on the island are feeling the pinch.