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The habitat preferences of Newfoundland woodland caribou across range components and scales: implications for management

Title:

The habitat preferences of Newfoundland woodland caribou across range components and scales: implications for management

Hebert, Issac (2012) The habitat preferences of Newfoundland woodland caribou across range components and scales: implications for management. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

An increase in predation following forestry is thought to be the main cause for the decline of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou). Identifying and protecting important habitats within caribou ranges can be used for conservation of this species. In this thesis, we constructed core areas of Newfoundland woodland caribou using both an objective and an arbitrary method, identified important habitats in different spatial and temporal components of caribou ranges, and determined if habitat preference and the proportion of cutovers changed across the range components. In addition, we determined the stand characteristics preferred by the caribou within coniferous forests (CF) and whether the cutovers regenerate into forests of similar value as those preferred by caribou. We found that the core areas defined using an arbitrary method was half the size of the core areas defined using the objective method and bogs and CF had the highest selectivity index across all of the range components. The preference for each habitat and the proportion of cutovers changed across the temporal yet not the spatial components of the range. Within the core areas, CF were used in similar proportion as cutovers however, the CF used by the caribou did not share the same characteristics with any of the cutover age categories. These results suggest that the use of arbitrary cores may underestimate the core areas and that caribou have seasonal habitat requirements. In addition, caribou utilize both cutovers and CF despite each habitat having different stand characteristics.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Hebert, Issac
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Biology
Date:07 September 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Weladji, Robert
ID Code:974705
Deposited By:ISSAC HEBERT
Deposited On:30 Oct 2012 14:30
Last Modified:30 Oct 2012 14:30
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