Volume 41, Issue 1 p. 129-131
Tools and Technology

Estimating biomass of berries consumed by gray wolves

Thomas D. Gable

Corresponding Author

Thomas D. Gable

Northern Michigan University, Department of Biology, 1401 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, MI, 49855 USA

E-mail: [email protected]

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Steve K. Windels

Steve K. Windels

Voyageurs National Park, 360 Highway 11 E, International Falls, MN, 56649 USA

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John G. Bruggink

John G. Bruggink

Northern Michigan University, Department of Biology, 1401 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, MI, 49855 USA

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First published: 09 February 2017
Citations: 8

ABSTRACT

Gray wolves (Canis lupus) consume berries and other wild fruits seasonally when available or abundant. However, a method to convert percent frequency of occurrence or percent volume of berries in wolf scats to percent biomass has not yet been developed. We used estimates of the average number of blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) seeds in 10 individual wolf scats collected in and adjacent to Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota, USA, along with published values of the number of seeds per blueberry and blueberry masses to estimate that a wolf scat containing only berries equated to an average of 0.468 kg of berries consumed. We recommend using this berry conversion factor (0.468 kg/scat) to convert the percent frequency of occurrence or percent volume of berries and other wild fruits to percent biomass when estimating wolf diets from scats. © 2017 The Wildlife Society.