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As Top Predators, Wolves Limit Their Own Numbers


Wolves are highly social animals that live in well-organized family units called packs. Cooperative living gives wolf families a number of benefits. In addition to facilitating successful hunting, pup-rearing, and defending pack territory, cooperative living allows wolves to limit their own population densities—or self-regulate—helping to keep their ecosystems in balance.

Unlike small mammals who multiply like bunnies or some predators who’s boom or bust depends on said bunnies, large carnivores like wolves keep their own numbers in check. According to a recent work published in OIKOS, population control is what distinguishes “apex predators” from the rest.