Cleaning Up

lynx-1

This year there has been many lynx in the local woodlands. I saw a kit the other day when I was going into town, and almost everywhere I go I see lynx tracks. Interestingly, there are not a lot of snowshoe hare, their main prey – some – but not a lot. Maybe the lynx have been doing them in, as there were a lot of hares around last summer.

Some lynx have been on our property, but there have been more wolves than lynx. Wolves took down and ate one of the whitetails that have been hanging around the house all winter. Killed it within 150 m of the front door. Since we’ve been living here (almost 20 years), wolves have killed several deer within 200 m of the house. I must admit, I really don’t like that.

This morning, Lil and I checked out where we could hear ravens calling, suspecting they had killed a deer. No dead deer in that spot. What we found instead was where two wolves were resting. It looks like we chased them off. We suspect the ravens could see them, and were pestering them,

Anyway, the spot where the wolves were resting was almost exactly where we had picked up Neva earlier in the winter when she had run off after having escaped with leash attached (she pulled the leash from Lil’s hand, lunging after deer that were in the yard) . The leash got tangled up in some blowdown and Neva had to spend the night stuck out in the bush. We had been sick with worry the wolves would get her.

Having chased the wolves off, we trudged back to the house; now, the ravens were on the far side of the beaver pond, and it was pretty obvious something was going on. Sure enough, when we went there, we found a kill. It was a fawn, likely one of the twins that have been regular visitors all winter.

When winter began, there were at least three fawns. One, the smallest, disappeared about three weeks ago. So only one is left, unless the wolves got that one too. No sign of the doe and her remaining fawn today, and they are usually around the house every morning.

This winter is going to see a high percentage of the remaining deer killed by a wolf population that can’t be maintained by the existing food supply. That means starving, dead and dying wolves by the end of winter.

Predators need an abundance of prey to survive.

Seeing there’s few deer (and no moose at all) I’d have to say the wolves are living on borrowed time.

Might be the same for the lynx. Lots of lynx, not a lot of hares.

Although it’s been a mild winter – not too cold and not much snow –  it looks like it’s going to be a hard one for these two big predators. The cupboard is getting bare.

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