Is wildlife threatened by extinction in areas occupied by wolves?

Eradication of prey animals through the wolf is not to be expected, as wolf territories are usually large enough so that they comprise enough prey in order to feed the pack in the long term. The yearly number of surviving pups is dependent on prey animal density and availability. When prey animal densities decrease, fewer pups reach adulthood, and the older offspring has to leave the parental territory earlier, as acceptance through the parents decreases. Additionally, competition with neighbouring packs increases, and there are more conflicts. Therefore, the way wolves live (in packs with distinct territoriality and dispersal of young wolves) prevents unbridled increase of the wolf density in a given area.

In contrast, specific human-made situations can lead to a strong decrease up to eradication of prey animals through wolves. In cases where ungulates have been introduced by humans in areas that do not match their habitat requirements in terms of predator avoidance, they can be helplessly exposed to predators. This is the case for mouflons, a wild sheep species that has been introduced in the 70ies. The mouflon needs steep cliffs in order to find protection from predators. In sandy, shallow areas, the mouflons cannot apply their specific anti-predator behaviour and are therefore easy prey for the wolf. Consequently, they do not occur any more in many areas that have been populated by wolves.