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Fri May 5, 2006
Wolves Affecting Cattle Weights?
Laramie, Wy – Wolves could be reducing how much cattle weigh. Ranchers in Montana's Paradise Valley say their shipping weights have declined since the federal government reintroduced wolves to Yellowstone National Park in 1995.
They say their cattle stay close to gates instead of grazing entire pastures.
Nervous animals tend to eat less than relaxed animals.
To see if there's a correlation between wolves and lower shipping weights, Montana State University's Jim Knight will examine shipping records and a variety of factors -- such as rainfall -- that may be responsible for reduced weights.
He may obtain satellite images that show vegetation cover.
Knight is a professor of animal and range sciences at Montana
State, and an M-S-U Extension wildlife specialist. He expects to finish his study by the end of the summer.