How wolf personalities can alter wetlands

by the University of Minnesota
June 6, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (06/06/2022) —  Can wolf personalities change ecosystems? According to the latest research from the Voyageurs Wolf Project, published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, they can. 

Previous work by the Voyageurs Wolf Project – which is funded by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) – demonstrates that wolves can alter the creation of wetlands by killing beavers.  

Observations from the field indicated that some wolves were much better at ambushing and killing beavers and, in turn, altered more wetlands than other wolves.  The researchers suspected that individual wolf personalities were responsible for this pattern.

“Most dog owners are convinced their dogs have personalities. We suspected wolves have personalities as well and that this difference can be seen in differences in predation and hunting behavior,” said co-author Tom Gable, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher and project leader with the Voyageurs Wolf Project. 

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Read the Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment paper: