Other Prey

Don't mind if I do...

Wolves are opportunists so they might eat other smaller animals if presented with an easy catch. But mostly, Yellowstone wolves stick with larger ungulates that can feed the whole pack. Wolves in other ecosystems specialize in other prey. Midwestern wolves eat a lot of white tailed deer and beaver. Coastal wolves fish and eat coastal critters. Arctic wolves hunt caribou, arctic hares, and musk oxen.

Unlike coyotes or foxes, Yellowstone wolves don't usually supplement with berries or plants. And while they may kill other carnivores, they probably don't eat them (because they don't taste that great). This is why you can't eat competitors in the game (and they don't eat you).

Yellowstone is home to a rich variety of animals and WolfQuest has a long wish list of animals we would love to add to the game.

Ungulates

Hooved herbivores (plant-eaters) are favorite meals for wolves

Yellowstone is home to eight ungulate species, three of which are in WolfQuest and two more are coming soon.

In WolfQuest

  • Elk
  • Moose
  • Mule deer
  • Bighorn sheep (Coming Soon!)
  • Bison (Coming Soon!)

On the WolfQuest Wishlist

  • Pronghorn
    • evolved in North America 20 million years ago - that makes pronghorn one ancient ungulate!
    • sometimes called an "antelope" but true antelope are only found in Africa and southeast Asia
    • can sprint 45–50 miles per hour, an adaptation to outrun a long-extinct cheetah. (So, good luck catching one!)

Other

  • White-tailed deer (very rare in Yellowstone)
  • Mountain goats (not native to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem)

Rodents

Mostly not worth a wolf's time

Rodents are a major food source for many Yellowstone predators...but not wolves. For the most part, rodents (mice, voles, shrews, squirrels..) are tiny and many live underground or high up in trees or hibernate most of the year. So, they are not important food for wolves ... nor high on the WQ wishlist. The amount of effort, compared to an ungulate feast, needed to hunt rodents is better left to smaller carnivores.

In WolfQuest

  • Beaver (Yellowstone wolves have not been seen hunting beavers, but these hefty rodents would make a fine meal)

On the WolfQuest Wishlist

  • Yellow-bellied Marmot (this plump rodent might be a good addition)
  • Uinta Ground Squirrel (sleeps most of the year, but older, summer pups might enjoy hunting them)
  • Porcupine (because, although not common, they would be hilarious)

Hares, Rabbits, & Pika

More fun for players than real life wolves

They look like rodents but have different teeth and only eat plants (not nuts and seeds). Like rodents, they are a lot of work to catch for very few calories. If you are a large canid, you will look for larger prey. In WolfQuest, hares offer a fun chase and might tide you over while you master hunting ungulates.

In WolfQuest

  • Snowshoe hare

On the WolfQuest Wishlist

  • White-tailed Jackrabbit (to give the snowshoe hares a break)

  • Pika (awfully small.. but would be the cutest thing you have ever hunted)

Birds

Hard to catch, mostly feathers

A wolf might eat a bird if it landed near its mouth but why bother? Birds are best left to smaller predators with lower calorie requirements. Even big birds like eagles and ravens are too quick and careful to be a reliable food source. WolfQuest has birds for ambience but none are huntable.

Fish

Slippery and small. Let the otters have them.

Yellowstone wolves have not been observed spending time fishing. You might ask: What carnivore wouldn't want a nice, fat trout? But predators will always look to expend the least effort for the most calories. The amount of energy needed to catch enough fish to feed your whole wolf family is not worth it – compared to an elk buffet that will sustain a pack for a week or so. Smaller, canid predators like coyotes might consider fishing worth their time if easier meals (like your elk buffet) are not available. Other small predators, like ospreys, bald eagles, and otters specialize in fishing.