Minneapolis Star Tribune Article: When humans kill a single wolf, it can decimate an entire wolf pack

January 20, 2023
Article source: 
Star Tribune

Reported by Greg Stanley

Human-caused deaths — mainly from poachers, legal hunters and vehicle collisions — have destabilized wolf packs, changing the social behavior of their surviving pack mates, according to a study published this week by researchers from Voyageurs, Yellowstone, Denali, Yukon-Charley Rivers and Grand Teton national parks. ​

​ Packs were more likely to dissolve if members were killed by a car or bullet than those that suffered more natural deaths, said Kira Cassidy, lead author and research associate with the Yellowstone Wolf Project.

The difference is especially drastic when a pack leader — either the breeding male or female — is killed by a human. Those packs were 73% more likely to fall apart by the end of the year.