Ravens are known to scavenge from wolves and people, but the degree to which they exploit these and other sources of food has not been studied in detail. In 2019, Matthias Loretto and John Marzluff began tagging ravens in Yellowstone National Park with long-lasting GSM transmitters. After tagging >60 ravens and relating their movements to those of people and wolves, we are gaining an appreciation of their reliance on both providers. Dr. Marzluff will describe the movements of territorial and non-breeding ravens and relate these to wolf- and human-provisioned foods. He will focus on the exploits of individual birds to emphasize variability. They observed ravens using wolf kills, but their discovery appears more incidental than a result of following or purposeful search. As we begin to quantify the relationship between wolves and ravens, we may learn more about their synchrony, but at present it appears to be weak, with discovery of kills occurring during the day rather than after communal roosting. Ravens made extensive use of anthropogenic resources, including direct handouts, waste water treatment ponds, dumps, agriculture, roadkills, and hunter offal. Territorial ravens have extensive knowledge of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and exploit areas in excess of 6500 square miles to obtain their yearly needs.
John Marzluff is James W. Ridgeway Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington.
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