Chapter

On Being Caribou and Musk Ox

Joel Berger

in The Better to Eat You With

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780226043630
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226043647 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226043647.003.0011
On Being Caribou and Musk Ox

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This chapter describes the author's efforts to study the interaction between predators and prey in Alaska, specifically caribou response to wolves. Caribou rely on different tactics to thwart enemies. They avoid deep snow, mainly because vulnerability to predators increases. They also seek open areas, since visibility for predator detection is better. Beyond these strategies, behavior may vary among populations and between individuals even within the same population. At high altitudes, pregnant females often separate from herd mates. Speed is also important to outdistance all but aerial predators. Unlike moose or bison, caribou rarely will fight carnivores, and then only as a last resort.

Keywords: predators; prey; Alaska; wolves; predator; caribou

Chapter.  5103 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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