Influence of disturbance and potential predator effects on the persistence of boreal woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Manitoba

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dc.contributor.supervisor Walker, David (Environment and Geography) en_US
dc.contributor.author Schindler, Douglas
dc.date.accessioned 2018-01-15T14:57:20Z
dc.date.available 2018-01-15T14:57:20Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1993/32834
dc.description.abstract The Western Canadian population of boreal caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) is of special concern and is listed as “threatened” under the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA). In Canada, a non-disturbance threshold of 65% of a given range is required. The thesis objective was to assess the influence of natural and anthropogenic disturbance on calf recruitment and adult female survival and to assess habitat use of caribou in relation to a possible predatory species, grey wolf (Canis lupus). Lambda rates (λ) were estimated and compared to disturbance regimes on 5 boreal caribou evaluation ranges in northwestern Manitoba. Fine scale disturbance was also investigated using fuzzy classification on collared females to determine the gradient of disturbance across core, peripheral and overlapping fuzzy ranges. Resource selection was undertaken on caribou and wolves to determine habitat utilization during spring and summer calving and calf rearing season. Regression of λ against percentage of landscape disturbance for natural and anthropogenic sources were found to be not significant, however, high rates of calf mortality were observed during the first weeks of life. Analysis of disturbance in fuzzy ranges indicated higher levels of disturbance in overlap areas and core areas less disturbed. Resource selection showed that caribou and wolves are not selecting similar habitat during the calving and calf rearing period. High calf mortality could not be explained by wolf predation. The research suggests that disturbance levels alone may not be appropriate for assessing population persistence, and assessment of black bear predation on calves is identified as a research need. en_US
dc.subject Caribou en_US
dc.subject Predator-prey en_US
dc.subject Disturbance en_US
dc.subject Range fragmentation en_US
dc.subject Wolves en_US
dc.subject Resource selection en_US
dc.subject Lambda rates en_US
dc.subject Black bear en_US
dc.subject Habitat mapping en_US
dc.title Influence of disturbance and potential predator effects on the persistence of boreal woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Manitoba en_US
dc.degree.discipline Environment and Geography en_US
dc.contributor.examiningcommittee Baydack, Richard (Environment and Geography) Hare, James (Biological Sciences) Organ, John (Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts Amherst) en_US
dc.degree.level Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) en_US
dc.description.note February 2018 en_US

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