SCIF continues to support research on predator-prey interactions. These scientific studies are the foundation of future management decisions regarding how predators and their prey populations will be managed. The impact of predators such as bears, wolves, coyotes, mountain lion, lynx and bobcats on big-game populations is critical in making contentious management decisions.
The scientific studies funded by SCIF indicate that large predators, while capable of taking big game animals at any time of the year, are actually more effective at taking certain species and ages of species under specific conditions. The long-term cumulative impact of this predation is still unknown; however, they all point to some level of reduced abundance of big game animals.
While this sounds like bad news for hunters, the actual impact on hunting opportunities (if both predators and prey are carefully managed) may not be as great as many fear. Additional research will be needed to help clarify all of these issues and to identify optimum population ratios.