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Sample records for caribou

  1. Predation and caribou populations

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    Dale R. Seip

    1991-10-01

    Full Text Available Predation, especially wolf (Canis lupus predation, limits many North American caribou (Rangifer tarandus populations below the density that food resources could sustain. The impact of predation depends on the parameters for the functional and numerical response of the wolves, relative to the potential annual increment of the caribou population. Differences in predator-avoidance strategies largely explain the major differences in caribou densities that occur naturally in North America. Caribou migrations that spatially separate caribou from wolves allow relatively high densities of caribou to survive. Non-migratory caribou that live in areas where wolf populations are sustained by alternate prey can be eliminated by wolf predation.

  2. Population Ecology of Caribou in British Columbia

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    D.R. Seip

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available The abundance and geographic range of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou decreased in many areas of British Columbia during the 1900's. Recent studies have found that predation during the summer is the major cause of mortality and current population declines. Increased moose {Alecs alces populations may be related to past and current caribou declines by sustaining greater numbers of wolves (Canis lupus. Mortality rates were greater in areas where caribou calved in forested habitats, in close proximity to predators and moose. Caribou populations which had calving sites in alpine areas, islands, and rugged mountains experienced lower mortality and were generally stable or increasing. A predator-induced population decline in one area appeared to stabilize at low caribou densities, suggesting that the wolf predation rate may be density dependent.

  3. Contaminants in two West Greenland caribou populations

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    Gamberg, Mary, E-mail: mary.gamberg@gmail.com [Gamberg Consulting, 708 Jarvis St., Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2J2 (Canada); Cuyler, Christine [Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, PO Box 570, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland (Denmark); Wang, Xiaowa [Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, ON L7S 1A1 (Canada)

    2016-06-01

    Two caribou populations in West Greenland were sampled and the kidneys, liver and muscle analyzed for contaminants, including aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, selenium and zinc. Although close in proximity, the two populations are topographically separated by an ice cap, which creates different climates and vegetation types in each region. Contaminant levels reflected the differing diets of the two caribou populations. To the south in the wetter lichen-rich region, caribou had significantly more aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, selenium and zinc, likely due to atmospheric deposition on lichens. To the north in the dry desert steppe where grasses predominate, caribou had higher levels of copper. Cows collected in late winter had significantly less hepatic copper, lead and mercury if pregnant, indicating placental transfer of these elements. Our results suggest that hepatic copper levels < 200 μg g{sup −1} dry weight may result in copper depletion in pregnant cows and hepatic mercury concentrations above 0.5 μg g{sup −1} dry weight may negatively affect fertility in caribou cows. Hepatic mercury levels were negatively correlated with cow body weight, suggesting an adverse effect on body condition. Element concentrations found in tissues from these caribou are not considered to be of a health concern for those consuming this traditional food. - Highlights: • Caribou tissue contaminant profiles may reflect different diets. • Low hepatic copper may result in copper depletion in pregnant caribou. • High hepatic mercury may negatively affect fertility in caribou cows. • Hepatic mercury is negatively correlated with body condition in caribou cows. • Metal levels in tissues are not a health concern to people consuming caribou.

  4. Conditions for caribou persistence in the wolf-elk-caribou systems of the Canadian Rockies

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    Mark Hebblewhite

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Woodland caribou populations are considered threatened in Alberta and have declined in the Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks of Banff and Jasper despite protection from factors causing caribou populations to decline outside of parks. Recent research emphasizes the importance of the numeric response of wolves to moose in moose-caribou-wolf systems to caribou persistence. Moose are rare in the Canadian Rockies, where the dominant ungulate prey for wolves is elk. Few studies have explored wolf-elk dynamics and none have examined implications for caribou. We used data collected in Banff to estimate the numeric response of wolves to elk from 1985 to 2005. Because no caribou kill-rate data exist for the Rockies, we explore the consequences of a range of hypothetical kill-rates based on kill-rates of alternate prey collected from 1985 to 2000 in Banff. We then multiplied the numeric response of wolves by the estimated caribou kill-rates to estimate the wolf predation response on caribou as a function of elk density. Caribou predation rates were inversely density dependent because wolf numbers depend on prey species besides caribou in multiple prey species systems. We then combined this simple wolf-elk-caribou model with observed demographic and population estimates for Banff and Jasper caribou from 2003-2004 and solved for the critical kill-rate thresholds above which caribou populations would decline. Using these critical kill-rate thresholds, Jasper caribou are likely to persist when wolf densities are below 2.1 - 4.3 wolves/1000km2 and/or when elk densities are below 0.015- 0.033 elk/km2. Thresholds for Banff caribou persistence are much lower because of inverse density dependence. Future research is needed on some of the necessary assumptions underlying our modeling including multi-prey wolf numeric responses, wolf kill-rates of caribou, caribou mortality by other predators, and spatial aspects of wolf-elk-caribou dynamics.

  5. Caribou conservation and recovery in Ontario: development and implementation of the Caribou Conservation Plan

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    Ted (E.R. Armstrong

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The range of Ontario’s woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou (forest-dwelling ecotype has receded northward substantially over many decades, leading to its current Threatened designation. Ontario released its Caribou Conservation Plan (CCP in the fall of 2009. This policy responded to public input and recommendations from the Ontario Woodland Caribou Recovery Team and the Caribou Science Review Panel, and outlines conservation and recovery actions to conserve and recover caribou. Within an adaptive management framework, the CCP builds upon a recent history of managing at large landscape scales in Ontario to implement a range management approach as the basis for recovery actions. These commitments and actions include enhanced research and monitoring, improved caribou habitat planning at the landscape scale, an integrated range analysis approach using advanced assessment tools to evaluate thresholds of habitat amount, arrangement and disturbance, the assessment of probability of persistence, consideration of cumulative effects, meeting forest management silvicultural performance requirements, consideration of caribou recovery implications when managing other wildlife, an initial focus on the southern edge of caribou distribution where threats are most significant, improved outreach and stewardship, and consideration of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge in recovery actions. Implementation of the CCP signifies a long-term provincial commitment to caribou recovery, initially focusing on identified priorities within the CCP.

  6. National recovery strategy for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou, boreal population, in Canada

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    Dave Hervieux

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Recovery planning for the boreal population of woodland caribou is a complex task, spanning eight Canadian provinces and territories. To accommodate unique situations across the country, recovery planning for this Species at Risk Act-listed threatened species is occurring at both provincial/ territorial and national levels. The national recovery strategy strives to identify nationally important issues and provide direction for provinces and territories as they plan and implement boreal caribou recovery within their jurisdictions. The national vision is to conserve and recover boreal caribou and their habitat across Canada. Specific goals are to: 1 Prevent extirpation of local boreal caribou populations from all existing caribou ranges; and 2 Maintain or enhance local boreal caribou populations at or to self-sustaining levels within all existing caribou ranges; and 3 Maintain or enhance boreal caribou habitat to support self-sustaining local populations. Nineteen broad national approaches are identified. These approaches include items relating to: habitat planning and management, caribou population monitoring and management, management of human-caused mortality, management of other wildlife species, consideration of government legislation and policy,promotion of stewardship and public outreach, and research. Specific outcomes are provided for each stated recovery approach. For more information on Canada's national recovery strategy for the boreal population of woodland caribou please see www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/recovery/default_e.cfm

  7. Voles, lemmings and caribou - population cycles revisited?

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    Anne Gunn

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available Although we may be confident that many caribou populations fluctuate, we have not made much progress in linking patterns of fluctuations with their underlying processes. Caribou abundance is relatively synchronized across continents and over decades which points to climatic variation as a causative factor. Progress on describing intrinsic and extrinsic factors for smaller-bodied and larger-bodied mammalian herbivore population dynamics also reveals the role of climatic variation and specifically decadal variations. Based on experience elsewhere, we can expect complex relationships between caribou, climatic variation and their forage rather than simple correlations. Caribou responses to decadal trends in climate likely accumulate through successive cohorts as changes in body mass which, in turn, leads to changes in lifetime reproductive success.

  8. Introduction to the Population Ecology of North American Caribou

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    Dale R. Seip

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Bergerud has discussed how major differences in caribou density across North America appear to be related to the impact of wolf (Canis lupus predation, and the strategies used by caribou to avoid wolves. Caribou living in areas without wolves usually occur at high densities and are regulated by competition for food. In this session, we asked the presenters to discuss the population ecology of different caribou herds in North America and to evaluate if they fit the general model.

  9. Caribou nursery site habitat characteristics in two northern Ontario parks

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    Natasha L. Carr

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available To prevent further range recession, habitat features essential to the life-history requisites of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou such as calving and nursery sites need to be protected for the persistence of the species. Woodland caribou may minimize predation risk during calving by either spacing out or spacing away from predators in the forest to calve on islands, wetlands, or shorelines. Our objective was to determine the characteristics of shoreline habitats used as calving and nursery sites by female woodland caribou in northern Ontario. Detailed vegetation and other site characteristics were measured at nursery sites used by cow-calf pairs in Wabakimi and Woodland Caribou Provincial Parks for comparison with shoreline sites that were not used by caribou within each park. Differences in habitat variables selected by female caribou in the two study areas reflect broad ecoregional differences in vegetation and topography. In Wabakimi Provincial Park, understorey tree density and ground detection distance played key roles in distinguishing nursery sites from sites that were not used. In Woodland Caribou Provincial Park, groundcover vegetation and shrub density were important in the selection of nursery sites by female caribou. Generally, female caribou in both parks selected nursery sites with greater slope, lower shrub density but thicker groundcover vegetation, including greater lichen abundance, and higher densities of mature trees than shoreline sites that were not used. The identification of these important features for caribou nursery sites provides a basis for improving their protection in future management policies and legislation.

  10. Defining subspecies, invalid taxonomic tools, and the fate of the woodland caribou

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    Valerius Geist

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available If my argument is valid, then true woodland caribou are only the very few, dark, smallmanned caribou scattered across the south of caribou distribution. They need the most urgent of attention.

  11. Transferrin variation and evolution of Canadian barren-ground caribou

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    Knut H. Røed

    1990-09-01

    Full Text Available Blood samples were obtained from 95 barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus of the Beverly herd in Northwest Territories, Canada. Polyacrylamid gel electrophoresis was used to score for genetic variation in the locus coding for transferrin. The pattern of allele frequency distribution are compared with previously reported values of Eurasian tundra reindeer (R.t. tarandus, Alaska caribou (R.t. granti, Peary caribou (R.t. pearyi, and Svalbard reindeer (R.t. platyrhynchus. In the Beverly herd a total of 21 different transferrin alleles were detected. The amount of genetic variation was higher in the Canadian barren-ground caribou than what has been detected in other subspecies of reindeer/caribou. Highly gene-tical differences in the allele frequencies were detected between the Canadian barren-ground caribou and the other subspecies. The genetic identity analyses indicates approximately the same amount of genetic differentiation when the Canadian barren-ground caribou are compared with Alaska caribou as with the Peary caribou. The allele frequency pattern could be explained by a possible origin of the Canadian barren-ground caribou from an ancestral population which was genetical influenced by animals surviving the We-ichselian glaciation in refugia both in high Arctic, in Beringia, and south of the ice sheet.

  12. Predation rate by wolves on the Porcupine caribou herd

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    Robert D. Hayes

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available Large migratory catibou {Rangifer tarandus herds in the Arctic tend to be cyclic, and population trends are mainly driven by changes in forage or weather events, not by predation. We estimated daily kill rate by wolves on adult caribou in winter, then constructed a time and space dependent model to estimate annual wolf (Canis lupus predation rate (P annual on adult Porcupine caribou. Our model adjusts predation seasonally depending on caribou distribution: Pannual = SIGMAdaily* W *Ap(2*Dp. In our model we assumed that wolves killed adult caribou at a constant rate (Kdaily, 0.08 caribou wolf1 day1 based on our studies and elsewhere; that wolf density (W doubled to 6 wolves 1000 km2-1 on all seasonal ranges; and that the average area occupied by the Porcupine caribou herd (PCH in eight seasonal life cycle periods (Dp was two times gteater than the area described by the outer boundaries of telemetry data (Ap /1000 km2. Results from our model projected that wolves kill about 7600 adult caribou each year, regardless of herd size. The model estimated that wolves removed 5.8 to 7.4% of adult caribou as the herd declined in the 1990s. Our predation rate model supports the hypothesis of Bergerud that spacing away by caribou is an effective anti-predatory strategy that greatly reduces wolf predation on adult caribou in the spring and summer.

  13. Aggression and coexistence in female caribou

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    Weckerly, Floyd W.; Ricca, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    Female caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are highly gregarious, yet there has been little study of the behavioral mechanisms that foster coexistence. Quantifying patterns of aggression between male and female, particularly in the only cervid taxa where both sexes grow antlers, should provide insight into these mechanisms. We asked if patterns of aggression by male and female caribou followed the pattern typically noted in other polygynous cervids, in which males display higher frequencies and intensity of aggression. From June to August in 2011 and 2012, we measured the frequency and intensity of aggression across a range of group sizes through focal animal sampling of 170 caribou (64 males and 106 females) on Adak Island in the Aleutian Archipelago, Alaska. Males in same-sex and mixed-sex groups and females in mixed-sex groups had higher frequencies of aggression than females in same-sex groups. Group size did not influence frequency of aggression. Males displayed more intense aggression than females. Frequent aggression in mixed-sex groups probably reflects lower tolerance of males for animals in close proximity. Female caribou were less aggressive and more gregarious than males, as in other polygynous cervid species.

  14. Caribou response to human activity: research and management

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    Donald R. Miller

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the need by researchers and managers of caribou (Rangifer tarandus to carefully assess the impact of their study methods on animals and results. An error made during a study of barren-ground caribou is described. Assumptions made during preparation of study methods need to be tested during collection of data. Study plans should include communication with, and respect for, residents who depend on the caribou resource. During field observations of caribou behavior, feeding habits, rutting activity or sex and age composition, closer is not better. During capture, handling and marking activities, shorter processing time is better. During aerial surveys, photography, sex and age determinations, higher is better. When interpreting data collected from marked caribou, and generally applying to the unmarked population, caution is advised. The merits and drawbacks of helicopter use to capture and mark caribou for research and management need to be discussed.

  15. Climate and management interact to explain the decline of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in Jasper National Park

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    Mark Bradley

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Woodland caribou in the southern portion of Jasper National Park have declined from an estimated 435 in the mid 1970s to a population estimate of 87 in the fall of 2009. We examined the available historical information to determine why caribou have declined. We compared three main hypotheses for caribou decline in JNP: human disturbance, climate change, and wildlife management. We used historical human use statistics, climate data, and animal abundance information to weigh the evidence for these competing hypotheses over two time scales. Caribou decline could not be attributed to changes in climate over the long-term, or an increase in human use (our proxy for disturbance. Caribou decline was attributed to a combination of climate and wildlife management. Recovery of caribou in Jasper National Park will likely be contingent on managing the interaction between the predator/prey dynamic and climate change.

  16. Experimental log hauling through a traditional caribou wintering area

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    Harold G. Cumming

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available A 3-year field experiment (fall 1990-spring 1993 showed that woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou altered their dispersion when logs were hauled through their traditional wintering area. Unlike observations in control years 1 and 3, radio-collared caribou that had returned to the study area before the road was plowed on January 6 of the experimental year 2, moved away 8-60 km after logging activities began. Seasonal migration to Lake Nipigon islands usually peaked in April, but by February 22 of year 2, 4 of the 6 had returned. The islands provide summer refuge from predation, but not when the lake is frozen. Tracks in snow showed that some caribou remained but changed locations. They used areas near the road preferentially in year 1, early year 2, and year 3, but moved away 2-5 km after the road was plowed in year 2. In a nearby undisturbed control area, no such changes occurred. Caribou and moose partitioned habitat on a small scale; tracks showed gray wolf (Canis lupus remote from caribou but close to moose tracks. No predation on caribou was observed within the wintering area; 2 kills were found outside it. Due to the possibility of displacing caribou from winter refugia to places with higher predation risk, log hauling through important caribou winter habitat should be minimized.

  17. A Bayesian approach to evaluating habitat for woodland caribou in north-central British Columbia.

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    R.S. McNay; B.G. Marcot; V. Brumovsky; R. Ellis

    2006-01-01

    Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) populations are in decline throughout much of their range. With increasing development of caribou habitat, tools are required to make management decisions to support effective conservation of caribou and their range. We developed a series of Bayesian belief networks to evaluate conservation policy...

  18. Managing for Caribou Survival in a Partitioned Habitat

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    H.G. Cumming

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Forest management guidelines for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in Ontario need to be re-examined in light of the finding that caribou partition habitat with moose (Alces alces, partly to find virtual refuges from predation by gray wolves (Canis lupus. Forest-wide guidelines seem inappropriate for a species that is widely scattered and little known. Management should concentrate on and around currently used virtual refuges to ensure their continued habitability. Cutting these areas may force the caribou into places with higher densities of predators; winter use of roads might bring poachers, increased wolf entry, and accidents. A proposal for 100 km2 clear-cuts scheduled over 60+ years across the forest landscape would probably minimize moose/wolf densities in the long run as intended, but because of habitat partitioning might forfeit any benefits to caribou in the short-term. Sharply reducing moose densities near areas where caribou have sought refuge might incline wolves to switch to caribou. Cutting beyond caribou winter refuge areas should aim at maintaining current moose densities to prevent wolves from switching prey species. Operations level manipulation of the forest around each wintering area should provide winter habitat for the future, while treatment replications with controls across the whole forest would provide reliable knowledge about which approaches work best. The remainder of the forest should be managed to maintain suitable densities of all other species.

  19. Will ecosystem management supply woodland caribou habitat in northwestern Ontario?

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    David L. Euler

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystem management is emerging as an important concept in managing forests. Although the basic conceptual idea is not new, important defining principles are developing that elucidate some of the specific attributes of ecosystem management. These principles include: the maintenance of all ecosystems in the managed forest, rhe emulation of natural disturbance patterns on rhe landscape and the insurance that structure and function of forested ecosystems are conserved. Forest management has an impact on woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou, although the presence of wolves (Canis lupus and moose (Alces alces in the same northern ecosystems also affects the caribou-forestry interacrion. Specific management for caribou as a featured species has been proposed, based on managing large landscape blocks. Ecosystem management would also produce habitat in a manner that might accomplish the goal of conserving woodland caribou as well as maintaining other important ecosystem functions.

  20. Woodland caribou management in Alberta: historical perspectives and future opportunities

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    Elston H. Dzus

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Woodland caribou conservation has been the topic of much debate for the past few decades. By the late 1970s there was growing concern about declining woodland caribou populations and the interaction between industrial activities and woodland caribou. Initial concerns led to the closure of the licensed hunting season in 1981. Early confrontation between government and industry in the late 1980s transformed into a series of evolving collaborative ventures. Improving our understanding of the basic ecology of woodland caribou in Alberta was at the center of early research efforts; more recent studies have examined the effects of industrial activities on caribou and effectiveness of various mitigation factors. Despite having amassed an impressive body of information from a research and monitoring perspective, progress on implementing effective management actions has been less dramatic. Industry has endured significant costs implementing a variety of perceived conservation initiatives, but caribou populations continued to decline through the last few decades. While some parties feel more research is needed, there is growing consensus that changes to habitat as induced by human activities are important factors influencing current caribou declines. Predation is a proximate cause of most caribou mortality. Climate change mediated alterations to habitat and predator-prey interactions remain a key source of uncertainty relative to future caribou population trends. Management actions will need to deal with long term habitat changes associated with human land use and short term implications of increased predation. In 2005, the provincial minister responsible for caribou conservation responded to the draft 2004 recovery plan and created the Alberta Caribou Committee (ACC. The goal of the ACC is to maintain and recover woodland caribou in Alberta’s forest ecosystems while providing opportunities for resource development, following guidance provided by the

  1. Limiting factors in caribou population ecology

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    David R. Klein

    1991-10-01

    Full Text Available Caribou and wild reindeer populations fluctuate over time. On this fact there is general agreement. Factors responsible for population limitation and subsequent declines have been examined within the framework of animal population theory. There is, however, little agreement when factors limiting specific populations are generalized to Rangifer populations over broad geographic regions. Comparative examinations of wild Rangifer populations worldwide discloses that factors that have regulated those populations are highly variable between populations, apparently as a reflection of the differences in environmental variables unique to each population. Examples exist of populations where major regulating factors have been climatic extremes, predation, hunting mortality, food limitation, insects, parasites, disease, interspecific competition, and human developmental impacts or combinations of these factors. This diversity of limiting factors affecting caribou and wild reindeer populations is a reflection of the ecologial complexity of the species, a concept that has often been ignored in past efforts to reach management decisions by extrapolation from the limited localized knowledge available on the species.

  2. Wolf predation in the Burwash caribou herd, southwest Yukon

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    David A. Gauthier

    1986-06-01

    Full Text Available The role of wolf predation as a proximate mortality factor influencing caribou herd growth was assessed in the Burwash herd (400 animals in the southwest Yukon between 1980 - 1982. Ten to 14 wolves in two packs preyed primarily on caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou and moose (Alces alces with disproportionate consumption of caribou (relative to available biomass in the rut and winter periods. Wolf predation was responsible for 72% of total annual mortality in 1980 - 1981 and 46% in 1981 - 1982. Losses due to human harvest varied between 7 to 13%. Additional limited data on climatic factors and winter forage indicated forage-climate were not major proximate mortality factors in 1980 - 1981, but that early-calving climate may have been a factor in increased calf mortality in 1982.

  3. Traditional behaviour and fidelity to caribou calving grounds by barren-ground caribou

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    Anne Gunn

    1986-06-01

    Full Text Available Evidence for the fidelity of female barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus spp. of each herd to specific calving grounds is convincing. Involvement of learned behaviour in the annual return of those cows to the same calving grounds implies such actions are a form of «traditional» behaviour. Even wide variations in population size have not yet knowingly led to marked changes in size or location of calving grounds or prolonged abandonment of established ones. Rarely is the adoption of new calving grounds reported and emigration to another herd's calving ground or interchange between calving grounds has not yet been unequivocally documented. The calving experience of individual caribou and environmental pressures may modify the cow's use patterns of her calving grounds. The current definition of herds based on traditional calving grounds may require modification, if increasing caribou numbers result in changes in traditions. However, current data do not contradict either the fidelity to traditional calving grounds or the concept of herd identity based on that fidelity.

  4. Population dynamics of caribou herds in southwestern Alaska

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    Patrick Valkenburg

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available The five naturally occurring and one transplanted caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti herd in southwestern Alaska composed about 20% of Alaska's caribou population in 2001. All five of the naturally occurring herds fluctuated considerably in size between the late 1800s and 2001 and for some herds the data provide an indication of long-term periodic (40-50 year fluctuations. At the present time, the Unimak (UCH and Southern Alaska Peninsula (SAP are recovering from population declines, the Northern Alaska Peninsula Herd (NAP appears to be nearing the end of a protracted decline, and the Mulchatna Herd (MCH appears to now be declining after 20 years of rapid growth. The remaining naturally occurring herd (Kilbuck has virtually disappeared. Nutrition had a significant effect on the size of 4-month-old and 10-month-old calves in the NAP and the Nushagak Peninsula Herd (NPCH and probably also on population growth in at least 4 (SAP, NAP, NPCH, and MCH of the six caribou herds in southwestern Alaska. Predation does not appear to be sufficient to keep caribou herds in southwestern Alaska from expanding, probably because rabies is endemic in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes and is periodically transferred to wolves (Canis lupus and other canids. However, we found evidence that pneumonia and hoof rot may result in significant mortality of caribou in southwestern Alaska, whereas there is no evidence that disease is important in the dynamics of Interior herds. Cooperative conservation programs, such as the Kilbuck Caribou Management Plan, can be successful in restraining traditional harvest and promoting growth in caribou herds. In southwestern Alaska we also found evidence that small caribou herds can be swamped and assimilated by large herds, and fidelity to traditional calving areas can be lost.

  5. Population dynamics of caribou herds in southwestern Alaska

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    Valkenburg, Patrick; Sellers, Richard A.; Squibb, Ronald C.; Woolington, James D.; Aderman, Andrew R.; Dale, Bruce W.

    2003-01-01

    The five naturally occurring and one transplanted caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) herd in southwestern Alaska composed about 20% of Alaska's caribou population in 2001. All five of the naturally occurring herds fluctuated considerably in size between the late 1800s and 2001 and for some herds the data provide an indication of long-term periodic (40-50 year) fluctuations. At the present time, the Unimak (UCH) and Southern Alaska Peninsula (SAP) are recovering from population declines, the N...

  6. Phylogeographical analysis of mtDNA data indicates postglacial expansion from multiple glacial refugia in woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou.

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    Cornelya F C Klütsch

    Full Text Available Glacial refugia considerably shaped the phylogeographical structure of species and may influence intra-specific morphological, genetic, and adaptive differentiation. However, the impact of the Quaternary ice ages on the phylogeographical structure of North American temperate mammalian species is not well-studied. Here, we surveyed ~1600 individuals of the widely distributed woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou using mtDNA control region sequences to investigate if glacial refugia contributed to the phylogeographical structure in this subspecies. Phylogenetic tree reconstruction, a median-joining network, and mismatch distributions supported postglacial expansions of woodland caribou from three glacial refugia dating back to 13544-22005 years. These three lineages consisted almost exclusively of woodland caribou mtDNA haplotypes, indicating that phylogeographical structure was mainly shaped by postglacial expansions. The putative centres of these lineages are geographically separated; indicating disconnected glacial refugia in the Rocky Mountains, east of the Mississippi, and the Appalachian Mountains. This is in congruence with the fossil record that caribou were distributed in these areas during the Pleistocene. Our results suggest that the last glacial maximum substantially shaped the phylogeographical structure of this large mammalian North American species that will be affected by climatic change. Therefore, the presented results will be essential for future conservation planning in woodland caribou.

  7. The relationship between food intake and predation risk in migratory caribou and implications to caribou and wolf population dynamics

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    Douglas C. Heard

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available We examined the hypothesis that spring migration in barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus enhances access to high quality food, reduces predation risks or both. We related our findings to the hypothesis that one of the consequences of migration is that prey populations cannot be regulated by predation because predators are unable to respond numerically to changes in abundance of migratory prey. In the Northwest Territories, migration to calving grounds by pregnant cows reduced the risk of predation on neonates. Wolf (Canis lupus densities on calving grounds averaged only 22% of winter range densities because most wolves denned near tree line. The quality and quantity of food that was available to cows that migrated to calving grounds was lower than for bulls and other caribou that lagged far behind the pregnant cows during spring migration. Fecal nitrogen levels were higher in bulls than in cows in late May and early June but there were no differences in mid or late June. Areas occupied by bulls in late May had a greater biomass of live sedges than on the calving ground in early June. It appears that although food in July is abundant and nutritious, insect harassment prevents efficient feeding. Body fat reserves in both sexes declined to almost zero by mid-July, the lowest level of the year. Insect numbers declined in August and body fat levels increased to the highest level of the year by early September. Because the timing of caribou's return to the hunting ranges of tree line denning wolves was related to caribou density, our data were inconsistent with the suggested consequence of migration. Tree line denning by wolves and density-dependent changes in caribou migration suggests a mechanism for population regulation in caribou and wolves. We suggest that the process is as follows; when caribou numbers increase, some density-dependent factor causes range expansion in August (e.g., competition for food causing caribou to return earlier to

  8. Towards a Manitoba Hydro boreal woodland caribou strategy: Outcomes from Manitoba Hydro boreal woodland caribou workshop

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    Fiona E. Scurrah

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Manitoba Hydro is responsible for the continued supply of energy to meet the needs of the province and is committed to protecting the environment when planning the construction and operation of its facilities. Corporate policy dictates ongoing improvement of Environmental Management Systems (EMS in order to meet or surpass regulatory requirements. Environmental objectives are reviewed annually and programs are modified when necessary to address improvements in environmental performance. Manitoba Hydro plans and constructs major transmission projects throughout northern Manitoba which includes areas occupied by boreal woodland caribou. In recognition of the potential issues associated with hydro transmission construction in boreal caribou range, Manitoba Hydro hosted an expert workshop on May 8, 2007 to provide objective advice in the development of a draft corporate strategy that effectively directs targeted monitoring and research for environmental assessment and mitigation. The workshop focused on assessing the potential threats to boreal woodland caribou from a transmission line construction and operation perspective, and identifying appropriate approaches in site selection and environmental assessment (SSEA and long-term monitoring and research. A total of nine threat categories were reviewed to determine the degree and magnitude of potential effects that may result from transmission construction and operation; and of the original nine, five final threat categories were delineated. The main elements of the workshop provided strategic approaches for proactive pre-construction monitoring, research on recruitment and mortality for local populations impacted by ROWs and control areas, and various habitat monitoring, management, and mitigation techniques. Research and monitoring priorities have been identified and continued collaboration with Manitoba Conservation and other land users were also identified.

  9. Defining the Pen Islands Caribou Herd of southern Hudson Bay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth F. Abraham

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we describe the Pen Islands Herd of caribou, the largest aggregation of caribou in Ontario (it also occupies a portion of northeastern Manitoba. Photographic counts showed the herd had a minimum population of 2300 in 1979, 4660 in 1986, 7424 in 1987 and 10 798 in 1994. Throughout the 1980s, the Pen Islands caribou exhibited population behaviour similar to migratory barren-ground caribou herds, although morphology suggests they are woodland caribou or possibly a mixture of subspecies. The herd had well-defined traditional tundra calving grounds, formed nursery groups and large mobile post-calving aggregations, and migrated over 400 km between tundra summer habitats and boreal forest winter habitats. Its migration took it into three Canadian jurisdictions (Ontario, Manitoba, Northwest Territories and it was important to residents of both Manitoba and Ontario. It is clear that the herd should be managed as a migratory herd and the critical importance of both the coastal and variable large winter ranges should be noted in ensuring the herd's habitat needs are secure.

  10. Modeling growth of mandibles in the Western Arctic caribou herd

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay M. Ver Hoef

    2001-03-01

    Full Text Available We compared growth curves for ramus length and diastema length from two autumn collections of mandibles of male Western Arctic Herd caribou in Alaska. We were primarily interested in determining if growth curves of caribou mandibles differed between caribou born during 1959-1967, after the herd had been high for several years and was probably declining in size, and those born during 1976-1988, when the herd was increasing in size. To compare these growth curves, we used a nonlinear model and used maximum likelihood estimates and likelihood ratio tests. We found that growth rates were similar between periods, but intercepts and variances of growth curves differed. From this we infer that calves were smaller in autumn during the 1960s and that significant compensatory growth did not occur later in life.

  11. Ice and mineral licks used by caribou in winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas C. Heard

    1990-09-01

    Full Text Available In winter, barren-ground caribou obtain minerals from ice and soil licks. Between December and April we have seen caribou cratering on the surface of frozen lakes and licking the ice. Ice samples from eight licks on four lakes contained concentrations of calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, chloride and sulphate many times higher than in the surrounding unlicked ice or than would be expected in lake water. Soil licks being used in March and June had high concentrations of calcium, magnesium, sodium phosphorus and potassium. In winter caribou may be seeking supplements of all of the major mineral elements (calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium at ice and soil licks because lichens, their staple winter diet, are low in minerals and may also reduce the absorption of some minerals.

  12. Genetic variation in transferrin as a predictor for differentiation and evolution of caribou from eastern Canada

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    Knut H. Røed

    1991-10-01

    Full Text Available Polycrylamide gel electrophoresis was used to analyse tranferrrin variation in caribou populations from Manitoba, Ontario, Québec/Labrador, and from Baffin Island, Northwest Territories in eastern Canada. The transferrin allele frequencies in these populations were compared with those previously reported for Canadian barren-ground caribou, Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus, Alaska caribou, R.t. grand, Peary caribou, R.t. pearyi, Svalbard reindeer, R.t. pla-tyrhynchus, and Eurasian tundra reindeer, R.t. tarandus. A total of twenty different alleles was detected in the analysed material, considerable genetic heterogeneity being detected among regions. Three alleles that were relatively common in caribou from Ontario, Manitoba and Québec/Labrador, were not present in R.t. grand, R.t. pearyi, R.t. tarandus or R.t. platyrhynchus, and present only at very low frequencies 'm R.t. groenlandicus. These findings, together with genetic identity analyses, suggest that the caribou in Manitoba, Ontario, and Québec/Labrador are mainly of the R.t. caribou type, and that little interbreeding has occurred with other subspecies. The large genetic distance in the transferrin locus between R.t. caribou and other subspecies of reindeer/caribou suggests that, during the Wisconsin glaciation the ancestral populations of R.t. caribou survived in a refugium different from that of the ancestral populations of the other subspecies. Significant genetic differences between Baffin Island caribou and all other populations were mainly due to the presence of one allele that was in high frequency in Baffin Island caribou, but that was absent, or present in very low frequencies, in all other reindeer/caribou populations. The genetic differences between Baffin Island caribou and the other subspecies were greater than the differences between several of the currently recognized subspecies.

  13. Integration of woodland caribou habitat management and forest management in northern Ontario - current status and issues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ted (E.R Armstrong

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Woodland caribou {Rangifer tarandus caribou range across northern Ontario, occurring in both the Hudson Bay Lowlands and the Boreal Forest. Woodland caribou extend south well into the merchantable forest, occurring in licensed and/or actively managed Forest Management Units (FMU's across the province. Caribou range has gradually but continuously receded northward over the past century. Since the early 1990's, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR has been developing and implementing a woodland caribou habitat management strategy in northwestern Ontario. The purpose of the caribou habitat strategy is to maintain woodland caribou occupancy of currently occupied range in northwestern Ontario. Long-term caribou habitat needs and predator-prey dynamics form the basis of this strategy, which requires the development of a landscape-level caribou habitat mosaic across the region within caribou range. This represents a significant change from traditional forest management approaches, which were based partially upon moose (Alces alces habitat management principles. A number of issues and concerns regarding implications of caribou management to the forest industry are being addressed, including short-term and long-term reductions in wood supply and wood quality, and increased access costs. Other related concerns include the ability to regenerate forests to pre-harvest stand conditions, remote tourism concerns, implications for moose populations, and required information on caribou biology and habitat. The forest industry and other stakeholders have been actively involved with the OMNR in attempting to address these concerns, so that caribou habitat requirements are met while ensuring the maintenance of a viable timber industry, other forest uses and the forest ecosystem.

  14. Fire in the range of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyle Joly; T. Scott Rupp; Randi R. Jandt; F. Stuart Chapin

    2009-01-01

    Wildfire is the dominant ecological driver in boreal forest ecosystems. Although much less is known, it also affects tundra ecosystems. Fires effectively consume fruticose lichens, the primary winter forage for caribou, in both boreal and tundra ecosystems. We summarize 1950-2007 fire regime data for northwestern Alaska and subregions. We also identified meteorological...

  15. Dene traditional knowledge about caribou cycles in the Northwest Territories

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    Danny Beaulieu

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper is about what I have learned about the caribou cycle over the past one hundred and ten years or so, talking to Denesųłıné elders in Fort Resolution, Łutselk’e, and Yellowknife. Mostly I’ve learned from my grandmother, my grandparents, and my parents.

  16. A fire suppression model for forested range of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq herds of caribou

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald C. Thomas

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available A fire suppression model was developed for forested winter range of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq (formerly Kaminuriak herds of barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus in north-central Canada. The model is a balance between total protection, as voiced by some aboriginal people, and a let-burn policy for natural fires advocated by some ecologists. Elements in the model were caribou ecology, lichen recovery after fire, burn history, community priorities for caribou hunting, and fire cycle lengths. The percent ratio of current productive caribou habitat to the goal for that habitat determines whether fire should be suppressed in a specific area. The goals for productive caribou habitat, defined as forests older than 50 years, were scaled by fire cycle length and community priority ranking. Thus, the model is an example of co-management: traditional knowledge combined with science in a joint forum, the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board.

  17. Energy-expending behaviour in frightened caribou when dispersed singly or in small bands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otto Blehr

    1997-04-01

    Full Text Available The behaviour of single, and small bands of caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus when confronted by humans was compared with the energy—saving behaviour zoologists have ascribed to caribou in encounters with non-hunting wolves (Canis lupus. When confronted by me, or upon getting my scent, caribou ran away on all occasions. Their flight was occasionally interrupted by short stops to look back in my direction, but would continue on all occasions until they were out of sight. This behaviour is inconsistent with the one ascribed to caribou by zoologists when the intruder is a wolf instead of a human. In their view, the caribou stop their flight soon after the wolf gives up the chase, and accordingly save energy owing to their ability to distinguish between hunting and non-hunting wolves. However, small bands of caribou, as well as single animals, have never been observed to behave in this manner. On the contrary, the behaviour of caribou in such encounters is known to follow the same pattern as in their encounters with humans. Energy—saving behaviour is, however, sometimes observed when caribou become inquisitive about something in their surroundings. They will then readily approach as well as try to get down-wind of the object. When the object does not induce fear, it may simply be ignored, or charged before the caribou calm down. The effect of this "confirming behaviour" is that energy which would otherwise have been spent in needless flights from non-predators is saved.

  18. Successful and unsuccessful attempts to resolve caribou management and timber harvesting issues in west central Alberta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Hervieux

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Research studies of woodland caribou in west central Alberta began in 1979 in response to proposed timber harvesting on their winter ranges. Using results from initial studies, timber harvest guidelines were developed. A recent review of these guidelines, and the assumptions on which they were based, has resulted in a renegotiation by government and industry of timber harvesting on caribou range in west central Alberta. Caribou range in west central Alberta overlaps many jurisdictional boundaries: federal and provincial lands, four Forest Management Agreement Areas, three Alberta Land and Forest Service Regions and two Alberta Fish and Wildlife Service Regions. This jurisdictional complexity in combination with other factors such as total allocation of the timber resources, high levels of petroleum, natural gas and coal extraction activities, a high level of concern by public groups for caribou conservation and recent understanding of woodland caribou needs for abundant space has made resolution of caribou/timber harvest conflicts exceedingly slow and often relatively unproductive. This paper reviews 10 years of trying to resolve conflicts between timber harvesting and caribou conservation through meetings, committees, integrated resource planning, policy papers and public consultation. We describe what might be learned by other jurisdictions that are trying to resolve similar caribou/timber harvesting issues. We conclude with an overview of recent timber harvest planning initiatives on caribou range in west central Alberta.

  19. Annual and monthly range fidelity of female boreal woodland caribou in respons to petroleum development

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    Boyan V. Tracz

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Petroleum-sector development in northern Alberta, Canada has been implicated as one factor influencing the decline of boreal woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou. Previous research showed that caribou are farther from petroleum-sector disturbances within their home range than expected. As petroleum development increases, the distance caribou can selectively place themselves relative to industrial disturbance must decrease, because distances between disturbances decrease. Conceptually, the number of local disturbances becomes so large that caribou either abandon their local avoidance behaviour or leave their traditional home range. We evaluated whether an intense petroleum- development event in northern Alberta was sufficient to result in home range abandonment by female woodland caribou. Using well locations as an index of petroleum development, we found that caribou studied from 1992 to 2000 did not change their annual or monthly range fidelity as a function of development intensity. Caribou remained in peatland complexes containing a large number of petroleum-sector disturbances rather than move to new areas, presumably because the risks of dispersing across upland habitat to reach other suitable habitat are high. Such range fidelity may have fitness consequences for woodland caribou if they suffer greater predation in areas where petroleum development is occurring.

  20. Ecosystem management and the conservation of caribou habitat in British Columbia

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    Dale R. Seip

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in British Columbia inhabit a wide variety of forest ecosystems. Numerous research projects have provided information that has been used to develop caribou habitat management recommendations for different areas. Recently, the province has implemented guidelines to protect biodiversity that are based on an ecosystem management strategy of mimicking natural forest conditions. There is a great deal of similarity between caribou management recommendations and biodiversity recommendations within different forest types. In mountain caribou habitat, both approaches recommend maintaining a landscape dominated by old and mature forests, uneven-aged management, small cutblocks, and maintaining mature forest connectivity. In northern caribou habitat, both approaches recommend maintaining some older stands on the landscape (but less than for mountain caribou, even-aged management, and a mosaic of large harvest units and leave areas. The ecosystem management recommendations provide a useful foundation for caribou habitat conservation. More detailed information on caribou and other management objectives can then be used to fine-tune those recommendations.

  1. The effect of temporal sampling regime on the characterization of home range for female boreal woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in Labrador, Canada

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    Alexandre L. Vignault Rasiulis

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Our objective was to determine the influence of temporal sampling regime on the characteristics of individual female caribou home ranges and to explore implications of these findings to the conservation of caribou. The study population was 24 adult female caribou monitored for between 4 and 11 consecutive years between 1986 and 2009 from the Red Wine Mountain (RWM and Lac Joseph (LJ herds of boreal caribou in Labrador. We evaluated the influence of length of the monitoring period on the size of home ranges and fidelity of caribou to their ranges by measuring the percent overlap of multi-annual ranges on the total time period a caribou was collared and by calculating displacement between centroids of annual and multi-annual ranges for a given caribou. We found that the size of the range increased with each additional year of monitoring—initially at a rate greater than 20% per year, and then more slowly until an asymptote was reached after 7 years. The distance ratio declined with an increase in the monitoring interval until after approximately 6 years of monitoring. Finally, we evaluated trade-offs between monitoring interval and sample size by measuring the proportion of the total herd range captured by multi-annual ranges for given monitoring interval and sample size combinations. Caribou with the longest monitoring interval inevitably captured the greatest portion of the range at each given sample size. Only monitoring intervals of 4 years or greater captured more than 65% of the herd range even when sample size was doubled for shorter monitoring intervals. Our results suggest that long term monitoring is important when defining the extent of caribou ranges.

  2. Movements of boreal caribou in the James Bay lowlands

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    Megan E. Hazell

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about the movements and home range of boreal woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus in the James Bay lowlands, northern Ontario. Our preliminary study involves the use of GPS collars with Argos satellite system uplink to monitor movements of caribou and 10 animals were collared in December 2004. Animals appeared to have reduced rates of daily movement starting approximately in mid to late December and stretching until late February. Similarly, most animals appeared to have very reduced rates of movement from the beginning of May to the end of June indicating that this is their calving period (includes both parturition as well as the period immediately after parturition. Thus the over-wintering range was assumed to be where the animals were from mid-December to late February and the calving range was defined as the area they were in from the beginning of May to the end of June. Individual home-ranges were typically large, the mean 90% kernel home range for 2004 - 2007 was 41 579 km2. Over wintering areas and calving areas were small when compared to annual home-range size and reflect the reduced rates of movement during these time periods. Female caribou show site fidelity to calving grounds, using the same core areas year after year. However, the same level of site fidelity was not observed in over-wintering areas. The caribou in the James Bay lowlands display behaviours that are characteristic of both the forest-tundra and forest-forest ecotypes which may warrant the reconsideration of the validity of proposed ecotypes with respect to protection under species-at-risk legislation.

  3. Little Smoky Woodland Caribou Calf Survival Enhancement Project

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Kirkby G.; Pittaway, Lois

    2011-01-01

    The Little Smoky woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus) herd is a boreal ecotype located in west central Alberta, Canada. This herd has declined steadily over the past decade and is currently thought to number approximately 80 animals. Factors contributing to the herds' decline appear related to elevated predator-caused mortality rates resulting from industrial caused landscape change. At current rates of decline, the herd is at risk of extirpation. A calf survival enhancement project was initi...

  4. An isotopic approach to measuring nitrogen balance in caribou

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry S.; Adams, Layne G.; Farnell, Richard G.; Parker, Katherine L.

    2011-01-01

    Nutritional restrictions in winter may reduce the availability of protein for reproduction and survival in northern ungulates. We refined a technique that uses recently voided excreta on snow to assess protein status in wild caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in late winter. Our study was the first application of this non‐invasive, isotopic approach to assess protein status of wild caribou by determining dietary and endogenous contributions of nitrogen (N) to urinary urea. We used isotopic ratios of N (δ15N) in urine and fecal samples to estimate the proportion of urea N derived from body N (p‐UN) in pregnant, adult females of the Chisana Herd, a small population that ranged across the Alaska‐Yukon border. We took advantage of a predator‐exclosure project to examine N status of penned caribou in April 2006. Lichens were the primary forage (>40%) consumed by caribou in the pen and δ15N of fiber tracked the major forages in their diets. The δ15N of urinary urea for females in the pen was depleted relative (−1.3 ± 1.0 parts per thousand [‰], ${\\bar {x}}\\pm {\\rm SD}$) to the δ15N of body N (2.7 ± 0.7‰). A similar proportion of animals in the exclosure lost core body mass (excluding estimates of fetal and uterine tissues; 55%) and body protein (estimated by isotope ratios; 54%). This non‐invasive technique could be applied at various spatial and temporal scales to assess trends in protein status of free‐ranging populations of northern ungulates. Intra‐ and inter‐annual estimates of protein status could help managers monitor effects of foraging conditions on nutritional constraints in ungulates, increase the efficiency and efficacy of management actions, and help prepare stakeholders for potential changes in population trends.

  5. Insights for caribou/reindeer management using optimal foraging theory

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    Gary E. Belovsky

    1991-10-01

    Full Text Available Optimal foraging theory is useful to wildlife managers, because it helps explain the nutritional value of different habitats for wildlife species. Based upon nutritional value, the use of different habitats can be predicted, including how factors such as insect harassment, predation and migration might modify habitat selection. If habitat value and use can be understood, then changes in habitat availability which are of concern to wildlife managers can be assessed. The theory is used to address diet choice and habitat use of caribou/reindeer. Diet choice is examined in terms of lichen composition of the diet and is demonstrated to be a function of daily feeding time, food abundance and digestive capacity. The diet choice model is then used to assess the nutritional profitability of different habitats and which habitat should be preferred based upon nutritional profitability. Caribou/reindeer use of habitats is demonstrated to be easily modified by insect harassment and predation which change the nutritional profitability of habitats differentially. The same type of approach could be used to explain migratory behaviour; however, the needed parameter values are unavailable. The results of this analysis lead one to question some common conceptions about caribou/reindeer ecology.

  6. Structures for caribou management and their status in the circumpolar north

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    D.R. Klein

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Large herds of caribou (Rangifer tarandus in Canada, Alaska, and Russia that winter in northern coniferous forests and summer in tundra of the Arctic have provided a sustainable source of meat and other products for indigenous peoples for thousands of years. Several different administrative structures for management of large caribou herds have emerged throughout the circumpolar North. In Russia under the previous Soviet government, the herd of the Taimyr Region, numbering around 500 000 caribou, was managed under a harvest quota system for both subsistence use by indigenous people and commercial sale of meat and skins. In North America, as indigenous peoples have gained increasing political empowerment, systems for caribou management have been undergoing change. Establishment of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board in Canada, with majority representation from users of the resource, provides a model and a test of the effectiveness of a comanagement system. The Western Arctic Herd in northwestern Alaska, numbering close to 500 000 caribou, has been managed under the traditional American system of game management, with user advisory groups, but with management decisions resting with a statewide Board of Game, whose major representation is from sport-hunting interests. The Porcupine Caribou Herd, which is shared by the United States and Canada, is the focus of an international agreement, in principle designed to assure its continued productivity and well-being. The diversity of systems for caribou management in the circumpolar North provides an opportunity for comparing their effectiveness.

  7. Linkages between large-scale climate patterns and the dynamics of Alaskan caribou populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyle Joly; David R. Klein; David L. Verbyla; T. Scott Rupp; F. Stuart Chapin

    2011-01-01

    Recent research has linked climate warming to global declines in caribou and reindeer (both Rangifer tarandus) populations. We hypothesize large-scale climate patterns are a contributing factor explaining why these declines are not universal. To test our hypothesis for such relationships among Alaska caribou herds, we calculated the population growth...

  8. Multi-scale habitat selection by mountain caribou in West Central Alberta

    OpenAIRE

    Tara Szkorupa; Fiona Schmiegelow

    2003-01-01

    This research suggests that mountain caribou select a suite of winter habitats, at multiple spatial scales, and under a range of snow conditions. Our findings lead to several management recommendations. In general, habitat selection by caribou necessitates management over large spatial and temporal scales.

  9. 8000 years of caribou and human seasonal migration in the Canadian Barrenlands

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    Bryan C. Gordon

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Caribou (Rangifer tarandus are the common thread running through thousands of years of cultural evolution in northern mainland Canada. From the earliest Indian traditions, through the Pre-Dorset and Dene cultural evolution, up to historic times, the vast herds of migratory Barrenland caribou provided food, clothing and shelter. They determined the human cycle -- seasonal migrations, seasonal levels of fitness, and season of procreation. Caribou even permeated Dene mythology and supernatural beliefs. Within the Beverly caribou (R. t. groenlandicus range in the Canadian Barrenlands, investigation of 1002 archaeological sites points to long-term stability of human band and caribou herd interaction. Caribou bone and hunting tools occur in multiple levels, the earliest to 8000 years, based on 131 radiocarbon dates. Through time, specific hunting bands aligned with specific migratory barren-ground caribou herds. This relationship helps to explain observed archaeological and ethnological differences within different caribou ranges for these hunting bands. In general, biological evidence concurs with ethnographic and archaeological evidence. But short-term variations in migration routes between northern boreal forest, taiga and tundra may have followed changes in herd size and environment, e.g., unfavorable snow and ice conditions or forest fires. However, such influences were not discernible archaeologically.

  10. Refugial origin and postglacial colonization of holarctic reindeer and caribou

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    Knut H. Røed

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available The classification and colonization of reindeer and caribou (Rangifer tarandus was assessed from analysis of both proteins, nuclear DNA and mitochondrial DNA. I demonstrate that the current subspecies designations are not compatible with the differentiation at these markers, suggesting that the morphological differences among extant subspecies did not evolve in separate glacial refugia. Thus, morphological differences among extant subspecies probably evolved as adaptive responses to post-glacial environmental changes. An exception to this is the North American woodland caribou, where all three marker systems support a subspecies-specific refugium as the ancestral origin of these animals. Three major mtDNA haplogroups reported, represent three separate origins of the species during the last glaciation. The most influential origin has contributed to the gene pool of all extant subspecies, suggesting the existence of a large and continuous glacial population ranging across extensive areas of tundra in Eurasia and Beringia. The North American tundra forms (R.t. granti and groenlandicus and the arctic forms (R.t platyrhynchus, R.t pearyi and R.t eogroenlandicus almost exclusively comprise haplotypes of such an origin. Another small and isolated refugium seems to have arisen in western Eurasia in close connection to the extensive ice sheet that covered Fennoscandia. The two Eurasian subspecies R.t. tarandus and R.t. fennicus appear to have a diphyletic origin as both the putatively small and isolated Eurasian refugium and the large Beringia refugium have contributed to their gene pools. A third distinct and geographically well-defined refugial area was probably located south to the extensive North American continental ice sheet from where the ancestors of the present North American woodland caribou (R.t. caribou likely originated.Abstract in Norwegian / Sammendrag: Systematisk inndeling og kolonisering av rein (Rangifer tarandus ble bestemt ved

  11. Caribou, individual-based modeling and mega-industry in central West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raundrup, Katrine; Nymand, Josephine; Nabe-Nielsen, Jacob

    in 2008. The collars provided GPS-positions with 1-3-hours intervals hence giving detailed information on the spatial distribution of the animals. The detailed information prompt opportunities to introduce statistical models to enhance the understanding of causal effects on the distribution of the caribou......Spatial distribution of caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) in West Greenland is a result of both short and long term changes in the Arctic landscape. To understand present distribution 40 satellite collars were deployed on 40 female caribou in the Akia-Maniitsoq herd, central West Greenland...... distribution and caribou in a realistic but manipulable “virtual world” of an IBM it is possible to examine the plausible effects of different environmental impacts on the population dynamics of caribou in West Greenland. The simulations will include introduction of mega-industry, roads, and transmission lines...

  12. Population ecology of two woodland caribou herds in the southern Yukon

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    Richard Farnell

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Since the mid 1980's, the Aishihik herd of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou declined from approximately 1500 to 583 animals. During the same period a nearby herd, the Wolf Lake Herd increased from approximately 664 to 1249 animals. This paper compares aspects of the ecology of these two herds to determine how these relationships conform to a general model of caribou population ecology described by Seip (1992. Comparisons include caribou demographic characteristics and distribution patterns, predator densities, abundance of alternate prey, human hunting and snow depth on caribou winter range. Ecological differences between herds were apparent in the ratio of prime bulls to cows, the abundance of moose (Alces alces, the occurrence of coyotes (Canis latrans, late winter snow conditions, and access to hunting. We hypothesize that the Wolf Lake herd was able to grow because wolves {Canis lupus preyed mainly on the relatively abundant moose population. A highly clumped winter caribou distribution may have further reduced the impact of wolf predation on the Wolf Lake herd. In contrast, the decline of the Aishihik herd was accompanied by a relative scarcity of moose, few prime aged caribou bulls probably due to a more liberal trophy harvest, and wider late-winter dispersion that offered wolves greater access to caribou. The decline may have been exaggerated by the peak in the snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus cycle which may have temporarily improved wolf pup survival. We suspect that moose are normally the primary prey of wolves in the Yukon and that a decline in moose eventually results in their being too scarce to offer an economical prey choice, prompting a prey switch to caribou. Results of our analyses conform incompletely to Seip's (1992 model for woodland caribou population ecology, particularly because the Wolf Lake herd prospered where moose were relatively abundant.

  13. Mountain pine beetles and emerging issues in the management of woodland caribou in Westcentral British Columbia

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    Deborah Cichowski

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available The Tweedsmuir—Entiako caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou herd summers in mountainous terrain in the North Tweedsmuir Park area and winters mainly in low elevation forests in the Entiako area of Westcentral British Columbia. During winter, caribou select mature lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta forests on poor sites and forage primarily by cratering through snow to obtain terrestrial lichens. These forests are subject to frequent large-scale natural disturbance by fire and forest insects. Fire suppression has been effective in reducing large-scale fires in the Entiako area for the last 40—50 years, resulting in a landscape consisting primarily of older lodgepole pine forests, which are susceptible to mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae attack. In 1994, mountain pine beetles were detected in northern Tweedsmuir Park and adjacent managed forests. To date, mountain pine beetles have attacked several hundred thousand hectares of caribou summer and winter range in the vicinity of Tweedsmuir Park, and Entiako Park and Protected Area. Because an attack of this scale is unprecedented on woodland caribou ranges, there is no information available on the effects of mountain pine beetles on caribou movements, habitat use or terrestrial forage lichen abundance. Implications of the mountain pine beetle epidemic to the Tweedsmuir—Entiako woodland caribou population include effects on terrestrial lichen abundance, effects on caribou movement (reduced snow interception, blowdown, and increased forest harvesting outside protected areas for mountain pine beetle salvage. In 2001 we initiated a study to investigate the effects of mountain pine beetles and forest harvesting on terrestrial caribou forage lichens. Preliminary results suggest that the abundance of Cladina spp. has decreased with a corresponding increase in kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi and other herbaceous plants. Additional studies are required to determine caribou movement and

  14. Effects of industrial development on the predator-prey relationship between wolves and caribou in northeastern Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    James, A. R. C. [Alberta Univ., Dept. of Biological Sciences, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    1999-09-30

    The influence of timber harvesting, combined with development of the oil and natural gas industry and the resulting environmental changes on predator-prey relationship between wolves and caribou in northeastern Alberta are investigated. To establish the level of influence, two ways of predator-prey relationship were studied: (1) spatial distribution of caribou in relation to alternative prey, commonly moose, which is assumed to reduce the level of wolf predation experienced by caribou populations, and (2) the development of linear corridors which has been hypothesized to increase predation pressure on caribou. With respect to spatial separation it was found that the selection of fen/bog complexes by caribou and the selection of well-drained habitats by moose and wolves resulted in spatial separation, reducing, but not totally eliminating predation pressure on caribou from wolves. Regarding the effect of linear corridors, radio monitoring established that caribou mortalities attribued to wolf predation were higher among caribou that were closer to linear corridors than among caribou that were farther from corridors than random points. These and other related observations led to the conclusion that timber harvesting and increased industrial activity in and near caribou ranges could have significant effect on caribou population dynamics by increasing predation. Managaement implications of these results and various remedial options are discussed. refs. figs.

  15. Habitat partitioning between woodland caribou and moose in Ontario: the potential role of shared prédation risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.G. Cumming

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores mechanisms of coexistence for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou and moose (Akes alces preyed upon by gray wolves (Canis lupus in northern Ontario. Autocorrelation analysis of winter track locations showed habitat partitioning by caribou and moose. Numbers of Delaunay link edges for moose-wolves did not differ significantly from what would be expected by random process, but those for caribou-wolves were significantly fewer. Thus, habitat partitioning provided implicit refuges that put greater distances between caribou and wolves, presumably decreasing predation on the caribou. Yet, direct competition cannot be ruled out; both apparent and direct competition may be involved in real-life situations. A synthesis including both explanations fits ecological theory, as well as current understanding about caribou ecology.

  16. Impacts of human activity on reindeer and caribou: The matter

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    Ingunn Vistnes

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available The impacts of human activity and infrastructure development on reindeer and caribou (Rangifer tarandus have been studied for decades and have resulted in numerous debates among scientists, developers and indigenous people affected. Herein, we discuss the development within this field of research in the context of choice of spatial and temporal scale and concurrent trends in wildlife disturbance studies. Before the 1980s, the vast majority of Rangifer disturbance studies were behavioural studies of individual animals exposed directly to potential disturbance sources. Most of these local studies reported few and short-term impacts on Rangifer. Around the mid 1980s focus shifted to regional scale landscape ecology studies, reporting that reindeer and caribou reduced the use of areas within 5 km from infrastructure and human activity by 50-95%, depending on type of disturbance, landscape, season, sensitivity of herds, and sex and age distribution of animals. In most cases where avoidance was documented a smaller fraction of the animals, typically bulls, were still observed closer to infrastructure or human activity. Local-scale behavioural studies of individual animals may provide complementary information, but will alone seriously underestimate potential regional impacts. Of 85 studies reviewed, 83% of the regional studies concluded that the impacts of human activity were significant, while only 13% of the local studies did the same. Traditional ecological knowledge may further increase our understanding of disturbance effects.Effekter av menneskelig aktivitet på rein og caribou: Betydningen av valg av skalaAbstract in Norwegian / Sammendrag: Effektene av menneskelig aktivitet og utbygging på rein og caribou (Rangifer tarandus har vært studert i flere tiår og har resultert i utallige debatter mellom forskere, utbyggere og berørt urbefolkning. I denne artikkelen diskuterer vi utviklingen innenfor dette forskningsfeltet i forhold til valg av

  17. Wildlife Co-management defined: The Beverly and Kaminuriak Caribou Management Board

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    Donald C. Thomas

    1991-10-01

    Full Text Available A comparison of indigenous and scientific forms of wildlife data gathering and conservation/management reveals similarities and differences. The two systems are needed to effectively manage wildlife in northern Canada, particularly migratory, trans-boundary species. The Beverly and Kaminuriak Caribou Management Board brought multi-jurisdictional caribou users and managers together to co-manage two large herds of caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlan-dicus. The advisory Board's principal duties and responsibilities are communication and to maintain the two herds at population levels that will meet user needs. Goals, objectives, and principles are set out in a management plan. Board activities are structured in 15 action plans under major categories of communication, supply of caribou, use of caribou, and habitat. Board successes are attributed to use of the plan to guide actions; to the Chairmen and vice-Chairmen; to the quality of founding members and their continuity; to effective vehicles of communication such as a newspaper, radio, video, and community meetings; to a spirit of cooperation; and to high caribou numbers because of high productivity combined with poor accessibility. Problem areas include technical limitations, members' decreasing powers and increasing turnover, inadequate communication of Board objectives and activities within the communities, and accountability. Future challenges include the management of caribou shortages, obtaining better herd data, and the need for more intensive management as user populations grow.

  18. Use of satellite telemetry to evaluate movements of caribou within subsistence hunting areas in northern Alaska

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    Alexander K. Prichard

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available Caribou from the Teshekpuk Herd (TH are an important subsistence resource for residents of Inupiaq villages in northern Alaska. In recent years the use of satellite telemetry has increased the understanding of the herd's annual movements and interactions with other herds. Most caribou of the TH are within the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska (NPRA throughout the year. The northeastern portion of NPRA has undergone two lease sales for oil and gas exploration, and lease sales are tentatively scheduled for the central/northwest portion of the NPRA in 2004. During 1990—1999, the movements of 27 caribou from the TH were tracked using satellite collars. We evaluated the proportion of time caribou were available to Inupiaq hunters by incorporating maps depicting subsistence-use areas for each of seven Inupiaq villages, and then examining seasonal and annual movements of caribou relative to those areas. By combining caribou locations with subsistence hunting areas, we were able to explore spatial and temporal patterns in caribou availability to subsistence hunters. This information is useful for managers to set appropriate hunting regulations and for devising sensible alternatives and mitigation of likely petroleum development in NPRA.

  19. Fire, grazing history, lichen abundance, and winter distribution of caribou in Alaska's taiga

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, William B.; Dale, Bruce W.; Adams, Layne G.; McElwain, Darien E.; Joly, Kyle

    2011-01-01

    In the early 1990s the Nelchina Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) Herd (NCH) began a dramatic shift to its current winter range, migrating at least an additional 100 km beyond its historic range. We evaluated the impacts of fire and grazing history on lichen abundance and subsequent use and distribution by the NCH. Historic (prior to 1990) and current (2002) winter ranges of the NCH had similar vascular vegetation, lichen cover (P = 0.491), and fire histories (P = 0.535), but the former range had significantly less forage lichen biomass as a result of grazing by caribou. Biomass of forage lichens was twice as great overall (P = 0.031) and 4 times greater in caribou selected sites on the current range than in the historic range, greatly increasing availability to caribou. Caribou on the current range selected for stands with >20% lichen cover (P lichen biomass and stands older than 80 yr postfire (P lichen cover and biomass seldom recovered sufficiently to attract caribou grazing until after ≥60 yr, and, as a group, primary forage lichen species did not reach maximum abundance until 180 yr postfire. Recovery following overgrazing can occur much more quickly because lichen cover, albeit mostly fragments, and organic substrates remain present. Our results provide benchmarks for wildlife managers assessing condition of caribou winter range and predicting effects of fires on lichen abundance and caribou distribution. Of our measurements of cover and biomass by species, densities and heights of trees, elevation, slope and aspect, only percentage cover by Cladonia amaurocraea, Cladina rangiferina, Flavocetraria cuculata, and lowbush cranberry (Vaccinium vitis‐idaea) were necessary for predicting caribou use of winter range.

  20. Influence of In-Situ Oil Sands Development on Caribou (Rangifer tarandus Movement.

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    Tyler Muhly

    Full Text Available In-situ oil sands development (ISD involves a network of facilities, wells, roads and pipelines to extract and transport subsurface bitumen. This technology is rapidly expanding and there is uncertainty whether ISDs restrict animal movement, leading to increased extinction probabilities for some wide-ranging species. Here we test for effects of simulated future (i.e., 50 years from now and current ISDs on simulated movements of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus, a threatened species across North America. In simulations of future scenarios, we varied the spacing and permeability of ISDs and the presence/absence of protected areas. Permeability was measured as the number of times simulated caribou crossed ISDs with different levels of modelled permeability. We estimated the effects of these factors on caribou step length and annual home range size, key metrics of small and large spatiotemporal scales of movement, respectively. Current caribou crossings of above-ground pipeline features of ISDs were measured using camera traps and compared to expected caribou crossing rates based on present-day caribou movement simulations. Current crossing rates were evaluated within the context of predicted future crossing success rates necessary to maintain caribou step lengths and home ranges. With few exceptions, permeability across ISDs was the main factor affecting caribou movement, more so than spacing between developments or the presence of protected areas. However, minimal permeability (crossing rates of c. 15% to 60%, relative to an undisturbed site was needed to maintain existing home range size and step lengths. The effect of permeability on home range size and step length was non-linear, suggesting that small increases in permeability would provide a disproportionately greater benefit to caribou movement. Our predictions demonstrate that maintaining permeability across ISDs is more important than spacing between leases or including protected areas

  1. Where the wild things are: Seasonal variation in caribou distribution in relation to climate change

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    Philippa McNeil

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we develop a method to analyse the relationships between seasonal caribou distribution and climate, to estimate how climatic conditions affect interactions between humans and caribou, and ultimately to predict patterns of distribution relative to climate change. Satellite locations for the Porcupine (Rangifer tarandus granti and Bathurst (R. t. groenlandicus caribou herds were analysed for eight ecologically-defined seasons. For each season, two levels of a key environmental factor influencing caribou distribution were identified, as well as the best climate data available to indicate the factor's annual state. Satellite locations were grouped according to the relevant combination of season and environmental factor. Caribou distributions were compared for opposing environmental factors; this comparison was undertaken relative to hunting access for the Porcupine Herd and relative to exposure to mining activity for the Bathurst Herd. Expected climate trends suggest an overall increase in access to Porcupine caribou for Aklavik (NWT hunters during the winter and rut seasons, for Venetie (Alaska hunters during midsummer and fall migration and for Arctic Village (Alaska during midsummer. Arctic Village may experience reduced availability with early snowfalls in the fall, but we expect there to be little directional shift in the spring migration patterns. For the Bathurst Herd, we expect that fewer caribou would be exposed to the mines during the winter, while more caribou would be exposed to the combined Ekati and Diavik mining zone in the early summer and to the Lupin-Jericho mining zone during the fall migration. If changes in climate cause an increased presence of caribou in the mining sites, monitoring and mitigation measures may need to be intensified.

  2. Effects of environmental features and sport hunting on caribou migration in northwestern Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fullman, Timothy J; Joly, Kyle; Ackerman, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    Ungulate movements are influenced by a variety of biotic and abiotic factors, which may affect connectivity between key resource areas and seasonal ranges. In northwestern Alaska, one important question regarding human impacts on ungulate movement involves caribou ( Rangifer tarandus ) response to autumn hunting and related aircraft activity. While concerns have been voiced by local hunters about the influence of transporter aircraft and non-local sport hunters, there has been little quantitative analysis of the effects of hunter activity on caribou movement. We utilized a novel spatial dataset of commercial aircraft landing locations and sport hunter camps in and around Noatak National Preserve to analyze resource selection of caribou in autumn for non-local hunting activity and environmental features. We combined step selection functions with randomized shortest paths to investigate whether terrain ruggedness, river width, land cover, and hunting activity (in the form of aircraft landings and sport hunter camps) facilitated or impeded caribou movement. By varying a parameter in the randomized shortest path models, we also explored the tradeoff between exploration and exploitation in movement behavior exhibited by traveling caribou. We found that caribou avoided rugged terrain and areas with more river, forest, and tall shrubs while selecting for areas dominated by tussock tundra and dwarf shrubs. Migration of caribou through Noatak does not appear to be inhibited by sport hunting activity, though this does not preclude the possibility of temporary effects altering availability of caribou for individual hunters. Caribou exhibited exploratory movement, following predictions of a random walk model. This behavior may facilitate the location of remaining patches of high-quality forage prior to the onset of winter, especially during mild autumns. Understanding animal movement behavior is fundamental to protecting critical areas of connectivity and to informing

  3. Little Smoky Woodland Caribou Calf Survival Enhancement Project

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    Kirkby G. Smith

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The Little Smoky woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus herd is a boreal ecotype located in west central Alberta, Canada. This herd has declined steadily over the past decade and is currently thought to number approximately 80 animals. Factors contributing to the herds' decline appear related to elevated predator-caused mortality rates resulting from industrial caused landscape change. At current rates of decline, the herd is at risk of extirpation. A calf survival enhancement project was initiated in the first half of 2006 as a means of enhancing recruitment while other longer-term approaches were implemented. A total of 10 pregnant females were captured in early March and held in captivity until all calves were at least 3 weeks old. Before release, calves were radiocollared with expandable drop-off collars. Following release, survival of mother and offspring were tracked at intervals until the fall rut. Survival of penned calves was compared to "wild-born" calves at heel of non captive radiocollared females. This approach is compared to other techniques designed to increase recruitment in caribou.

  4. Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi and muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus on northwest Victoria Island, Northwest Territories

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    Tracy Davison

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 21 false false false SV X-NONE X-NONE An aerial population survey of Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi and muskoxen (Ovibus moschatus on Victoria Island, Northwest Territories, was conducted in July 2010. The population estimate of adult Peary caribou was 150 ± 104 (95% Confidence Interval [CI] was not significantly different than the 2005 estimate of 66 ± 61 (P < 0.05. There was also an estimate of 430 ± 214 (95% CI adult Dolphin-Union caribou (R. t. groenlandicus x pearyi in the study area. However, these caribou represent only a small portion of the Dolphin-Union herd.  The population estimate of 11 442 ± 1637 (95% CI adult muskoxen is not significantly different than the 2005 estimate of 12 062 ± 2156 (P < 0.05.

  5. Lichen forage ingestion rates of free-roaming caribou estimated with fallout cesium-137

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, W.C.; Whicker, F.W.; Lipscomb, J.F.

    1975-01-01

    Lichen forage ingestion rates of free-roaming caribou herds in northern Alaska during 1963 to 1970 were estimated by applying a two-compartment, eight parameter cesium-137 kinetics model to measured fallout 137 Cs concentrations in lichen and caribou. Estimates for winter equilibrium periods (January to April) for each year ranged from 3.7 to 6.9 kg dry weight lichens per day for adult female caribou. Further refinement of these estimations were obtained by calculating probabilistic distributions of intake rates by stochastic processes based upon the mean and standard error intervals of the eight parameters during 1965 and 1968. A computer program generated 1,000 randomly sampled values within each of the eight parameter distributions. Results substantiate the contention that lichen forage ingestion rates by free-roaming caribou are significantly greater than previously held

  6. Preliminary analysis of habitat utilization by woodland caribou in northwestern Ontario using satellite telemetry

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    T.L. Hillis

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Locational data collected over a one year period from 10 female woodland caribou, Rangifer tarandus caribou, collared with Argos satellite collars in northwestern Ontario, Canada were superimposed on supervised Landsat images using Geographical Information System (GIS technology. Landscape parameters, land cover classifications, and drainage were utilized to create the basemap. Using ARCVIEW software, all digital fixes from collared caribou with information of date, time, and activity status were overlain on the basemap to facilitate a preliminary analysis of habitat use in this species. Results supported the conclusions (1 that woodland caribou in northwestern Ontario select habitats containing high to moderate conifer cover and avoided disturbed areas and shrub-rich habitats, (2 that seasonal changes in habitat utilization occurs in females of this species, and (3 that satellite telemetry technology can be employed in the boreal forest ecosystem to assess habitat utilization by large ungulate species.

  7. Aerial survey of barren-ground caribou at Adak and Kagalaska Islands, Alaska in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — Uncertainty surrounded the caribou population trend since the 2005 survey for several reasons. First, reported hunter harvest rates returned to or exceeded pre‐naval...

  8. Seasonal habitat use and movements of woodland caribou in the Omineca Mountains, north central British Columbia, 1991-1993

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    Mari D. Wood

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available From 1991 to 1993, 30 woodland caribou were captured and fitted with radio-collars west of the Williston Reservoir in north central B.C. Monthly radio-telemetry location flights revealed that caribou in the Northern Area, characterized by a complex of mountain ranges, moved greater distances to calving areas than did those in the South, where only one major mountain range exists. In the year of record heavy snowfall for the area, all collared caribou wintered on windswept alpine slopes, while during the below average snowfall year, many caribou remained in forested habitats. In winter, caribou were found to forage on terrestrial lichens in both lowland lodgepole pine flats and on windswept alpine slopes, and on arboreal lichens in upper elevation Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir forests. There are at least 600-700 caribou in the Omineca Mountains.

  9. Modeling energy and reproductive costs in caribou exposed to low flying military jet aircraft

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    B.R. Luick

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available We used simulation modeling to estimate the effect of low-flying military jet aircraft on the productivity of caribou. The base model (CARIBOU, CWS Whitehorse, Yukon Territory uses daily intake and expenditure of energy to assess the condition of female caribou throughout the annual cycle. The activity budget of the model caribou was adjusted based on field observations of responses to noise disturbance. A subroutine was added that predicted the likelihood of conception based on fall body fat weight. Caribou responses to overflights were evaluated by equipping free-ranging caribou with radio collars and activity sensors that could distinguish between resting and active periods. Collared animals were exposed to 110 overflights by A-10, F-15 and F- 16 jet aircraft during late-winter, post-calving and the insect season. Noise exposure levels for individual animals either were measured directly with collar-mounted dosimeters or were estimated based on the proximity of the caribou to the aircraft during the overflight. A Time-averaged Sound Level (LT was calculated from the total daily noise exposure for each animal and linear regression was used to evaluate the influence of daily noise exposure on daily hours spent resting. Results of these analyses then were used to modify the time budgets in the CARIBOU model. That is, if time spent resting declined, then time spent in the two rest classes (lying and standing were proportionately redistributed into the three active classes (foraging, walking and running. Model simulations indicated that caribou increased forage intake in response to increased noise exposure, but it also predicted that increased noise exposure would cause a reduced accumulation of body fat. Because body fat in fall has successfully been used to predict the probability of pregnancy (see Gerhart et al, 1993, this relationship was used in the model. Preliminary model simulations indicate that increased noise exposure decreases the

  10. Experimental moose reduction lowers wolf density and stops decline of endangered caribou

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    Robert Serrouya

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The expansion of moose into southern British Columbia caused the decline and extirpation of woodland caribou due to their shared predators, a process commonly referred to as apparent competition. Using an adaptive management experiment, we tested the hypothesis that reducing moose to historic levels would reduce apparent competition and therefor recover caribou populations. Nested within this broad hypothesis were three specific hypotheses: (1 sport hunting could be used to substantially reduce moose numbers to an ecological target; (2 wolves in this ecosystem were primarily limited by moose abundance; and (3 caribou were limited by wolf predation. These hypotheses were evaluated with a before-after control-impact (BACI design that included response metrics such as population trends and vital rates of caribou, moose, and wolves. Three caribou subpopulations were subject to the moose reduction treatment and two were in a reference area where moose were not reduced. When the moose harvest was increased, the moose population declined substantially in the treatment area (by 70% but not the reference area, suggesting that the policy had the desired effect and was not caused by a broader climatic process. Wolf numbers subsequently declined in the treatment area, with wolf dispersal rates 2.5× greater, meaning that dispersal was the likely mechanism behind the wolf numerical response, though reduced recruitment and starvation was also documented in the treatment area. Caribou adult survival increased from 0.78 to 0.88 in the treatment area, but declined in the reference. Caribou recruitment was unaffected by the treatment. The largest caribou subpopulation stabilized in the treatment area, but declined in the reference area. The observed population stability is comparable to other studies that used intensive wolf control, but is insufficient to achieve recovery, suggesting that multiple limiting factors and corresponding management tools must be

  11. The influence of variable snowpacks on habitat use by mountain caribou

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    Trevor A. Kinley

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Mountain caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in southeastern British Columbia subsist for most of the winter on arboreal hair lichen, mostly Bryoria spp. Foraging occurs mainly in old subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa forests near treeline. Here, the lower limit of Bryoria in the canopy is dictated by snowpack depth because hair lichens die when buried in snow. Bryoria is often beyond the reach of caribou in early winter, prompting caribou to move downslope to where lichen occurs lower in the canopy and other foraging modes are possible. Snowpacks are normally deep enough by late winter that caribou can reach Bryoria where it is most abundant, at high elevations. Extending this to inter-annual comparisons, Bryoria should be less accessible during late winter of low-snow years following normal winters, or of normal to low-snow years after deep-snow winters. We hypothesized that when maximum snowpack in late winter is low relative to the deepest of the previous 5 years, mountain caribou will use lower elevations to facilitate foraging (“lichen-snow-caribou” or LSC hypothesis. We tested this with late-winter data from 13 subpopulations. In the dry climatic region generally and for minor snowfall differences in wet and very wet regions, caribou did not shift downslope or in fact were at higher elevations during relatively low-snow years, possibly reflecting the ease of locomotion. The LSC hypothesis was supported within wet and very wet regions when snowpacks were about 1 m or more lower than in recent years. Elevation declined by 300 m (median to 600 m (25th percentile for snowpack differences of at least 1.5 m. Greater use of lodgepole pine and western hemlock stands sometimes also occurred. Management strategies emphasizing subalpine fir stands near treeline should be re-examined to ensure protection of a broader range of winter habitats used by caribou under variable snowpack conditions.

  12. Mineral constraints on arctic caribou (Rangifer tarandus): a spatial and phenological perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oster, K. W.; Barboza, P.S.; Gustine, David D.; Joly, Kyle; Shively, R. D.

    2018-01-01

    Arctic caribou (Rangifer tarandus) have the longest terrestrial migration of any ungulate but little is known about the spatial and seasonal variation of minerals in summer forages and the potential impacts of mineral nutrition on the foraging behavior and nutritional condition of arctic caribou. We investigated the phenology, availability, and mechanistic relationships of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, and zinc in three species of woody browse, three species of graminoids, and one forb preferred by caribou over two transects bisecting the ranges of the Central Arctic (CAH) and Western Arctic (WAH) caribou herds in Alaska. Transects traversed three ecoregions (Coastal Plain, Arctic Foothills and Brooks Range) along known migration paths in the summer ranges of both herds. Concentrations of mineral in forages were compared to estimated dietary requirements of lactating female caribou. Spatial distribution of the abundance of minerals in caribou forage was associated with interactions of soil pH and mineral content, while temporal variation was related to plant maturity, and thus nitrogen and fiber content of forages. Concentrations of sodium were below caribou requirements in all forage species for most of the summer and adequate only on the Coastal Plain during the second half of summer. Phosphorus declined in plants from emergence to senescence and was below requirements in all forages by mid‐summer, while concentrations of copper declined to marginal concentrations at plant senescence. Interactions of sodium with potassium, calcium with phosphorus, and copper with zinc in forages likely exacerbate the constraints of low concentrations sodium, phosphorus, and copper. Forages on the WAH contained significantly more phosphorus and copper than forages collected on the CAH transect. We suspect that migrations of caribou to the Arctic Coastal Plain may allow parturient females to replenish sodium stores depleted by

  13. A Comparison of digestive Tract Morphology in muskoxen and caribou from Victoria Island, Northwest Territories, Canada

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    Hans Staaland

    1997-04-01

    Full Text Available Although caribou and muskoxen coexist in close proximity on southeastern Victoria Island, they appear primarily adapted to different diets and foraging strategies. Visual inspection and analysis of rumen contents for fiber and lignin from the study (unpubl. also indicate a predominantly graminoid diet in the muskoxen and a more varied diet with a substantial browse component in the caribou.This should reduce the likelihood of competition for limited food resources in winter.

  14. Subpopulation structure of caribou (Rangifer tarandus L.) in arctic and subarctic Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, John A; Johnson, Deborah L; Larter, Nicholas C; Campbell, Mitch W; Derocher, Andrew E; Kelly, Allicia; Dumond, Mathieu; Allaire, Danny; Croft, Bruno

    2011-09-01

    Effective management and conservation of species, subspecies, or ecotypes require an understanding of how populations are structured in space. We used satellite-tracking locations and hierarchical and fuzzy clustering to quantify subpopulations within the behaviorally different barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus), Dolphin and Union island caribou (R. t. groenlandicus x pearyi), and boreal (R. t. caribou) caribou ecotypes in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Canada. Using a novel approach, we verified that the previously recognized Cape Bathurst, Bluenose-West, Bluenose-East, Bathurst, Beverly, Qamanirjuaq, and Lorillard barren-ground subpopulations were robust and that the Queen Maude Gulf and Wager Bay barren-ground subpopulations were organized as individuals. Dolphin and Union island and boreal caribou formed one and two distinct subpopulation, respectively, and were organized as individuals. Robust subpopulations were structured by strong annual spatial affiliation among females; subpopulations organized as individuals were structured by migratory connectivity, barriers to movement, and/or habitat discontinuity. One barren-ground subpopulation used two calving grounds, and one calving ground was used by two barren-ground subpopulations, indicating that these caribou cannot be reliably assigned to subpopulations solely by calving-ground use. They should be classified by annual spatial affiliation among females. Annual-range size and path lengths varied significantly among ecotypes, including mountain woodland caribou (R. t. caribou), and reflected behavioral differences. An east-west cline in annual-range sizes and path lengths among migratory barren-ground subpopulations likely reflected differences in subpopulation size and habitat conditions and further supported the subpopulation structure identified.

  15. Single-island home range use by four female Peary caribou, Bathurst Island, Canadian High Arctic, 1993-94

    OpenAIRE

    Miller, Frank L.; Barry, Samuel J.

    2003-01-01

    Spatial and temporal use of seasonal, and collectively, annual ranges by four female Peary caribou (Rangifer taran-dus pearyi) was investigated using satellite telemetry. Knowledge of how caribou use space allows a better understanding of their demands on those ranges and enhances evaluation of associated environmental stressors. The study took place during an environmentally favorable caribou-year with high reproduction and calf survival and low (none detected) 1+ yr-old mortality, 1 August ...

  16. Vigilance and foraging behaviour of female caribou in relation to predation risk

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    Pernille S. Bøving

    1997-02-01

    Full Text Available Behaviour of female caribou (Rangifer tarandus was investigated during the calving season on ranges in Alaska and West Greenland with the purpose of determining whether investment in vigilance behaviour differed between areas with and without natural predators of caribou. Female caribou in Alaska foraged in larger groups, displayed a higher rate of vigilance during feeding, spent less time feeding and, when lying, more often adopted a vigilant posture (with head up than did female caribou in West Greenland. Moreover, a predation-vulnerable posture of lying down flat was observed in West Greenland but not in Alaska. Within Alaska, females with calves spent more time searching the environment than did those without calves. Finally, the amount of time individuals spent searching declined more gradually with group size in Alaska than in West Greenland, suggesting that what caribou perceive as a predator-safe threshold differs in the two areas. These results indicate that caribou, like several other species of ungulates, show behavioural adaptations to the risk of prédation which are relaxed when this risk is reduced.

  17. Climate change and woodland caribou in Northwestern Ontario: a risk analysis

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    Gerald D. Racey

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou range occupancy and populations have declined in northwestern (NW Ontario over the last 100 years primarily due to human-induced factors. Recovery efforts are underway to halt this decline by reducing risk factors. Climate forecasts suggest a 4—5 oC increase in May—August mean temperature over the next century with little change in precipitation. Resulting increases in extreme weather events and increased fire weather severity will likely increase the amount of forest burned, reduce the area of older forest, alter distribution and abundance of forest tree species and plant communities, and increase abundance of alternate prey. The reduced amount of older forest preferred by caribou will be in greater demand by the forest industry leading to more conflict over ecological and economic values. Most of these factors will increase risk to caribou survival. Although forests may experience enhanced productivity, forest management practices will try to adapt harvest, regeneration, silviculture and fire management practices to both maintain economic benefits and increase the ability of forests to sequester carbon. The interaction of climate-induced forest change and forest management practices adds uncertainty to caribou conservation efforts at the southern edge of its current range. This uncertainty reinforces the need for a precautionary approach to forest management, increased research and monitoring effort, sustained emphasis on caribou recovery, and careful rationalization of restoration efforts where greatest opportunities for success may be realized.

  18. Population dynamics of the Kaminuriak caribou herd, 1968 - 1985

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    Douglas C. Heard

    1986-06-01

    Full Text Available The Kaminuraik caribou herd apparently declined from about 120 000 animals in 1950 to 63 000 in 1968. Beginning in 1968 documentation of herd trend was based on the estimate of the number of breeding (pregnant and post-partum females on the calving ground during the birth peak. It appeared as if we understood the basic population processes responsible for the decline when we correctly predicted a drop from 14 800 breeding females in 1977 to 13 000 in 1980. However a three-fold increase, to 41 000 breeding females in 1982, and continued growth thereafter, was unanticipated. Most of that increase must have resulted from an immigration of cows to the herd's traditional calving ground around Kaminuriak Lake, although increased birth rates, and increased survival rates also contributed to herd growth. Immigrant cows probably came from the northeastern mainland of the NWT

  19. Progress towards the experimental reintroduction of woodland caribou to Minnesota and adjacent Ontario

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    Peter A. Jordan

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou are native to Minnesota but started to decline in the mid 1800s and disappeared from the state by 1940. Their demise had been attributed to extensive timber harvest and ovethunting; but more recently mortality from the meningeal worm, Parelaphostrongylus tenuis, carried by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus, and increased prédation by timber wolves (Canis lupus and black bears (Ursus americanus have been suggested as additional causes. We describe a current initiative to explore feasibility of restoring caribou to the boundary waters region of Minnesota and Ontario. Feasibility studies have been conducted under the guidance of the North Central Catibou Corporation (NCCC, a non-governmental organization with representation from relevant state, federal, Native American, and Canadian agencies. Results indicate a Within Minnesota the most suitable site for woodland caribou lies within the eastern sector of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW, and this is contiguous with a similarly suitable sector of Ontario's Quetico Provincial Park: Together these comprise the recommended 1300-km2 Boundary Waters Caribou Region (BWCR; b Vegetation in the BWCR has changed little since the 1920s when caribou were last present other than effects of fire suppression; c Level of white-tailed deer, hence the meningeal worm, is so low in the BWCR that this factor is unlikely to impede survival of re-introduced caribou; d While wolf numbers within the wider region are relatively high, their impacts may be minimized if caribou are released in small, widely scattered groups; in addition, an abundance of lakes with islands affords good summer-time prédation security; e Threat to calves from black bears, probably more numerous than in earlier times, appears lessened by the security of lakeshores and islands; and f A simulation model, combining knowledge from elsewhere with the BWCR assessment, suggests that

  20. Status, population fluctuations and ecological relationships of Peary caribou on the Queen Elizabeth Islands: Implications for their survival

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    Frank L. Miller

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available The Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi was recognized as 'Threatened' by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada in 1979 and 'Endangered' in 1991. It is the only member of the deer family (Cervidae found on the Queen Elizabeth Islands (QEI of the Canadian High Arctic. The Peary caribou is a significant part of the region's biodiversity and a socially important and economically valuable part of Arctic Canada's natural heritage. Recent microsatellite DNA findings indicate that Peary caribou on the QEI are distinct from caribou on the other Arctic Islands beyond the QEI, including Banks Island. This fact must be kept in mind if any translocation of caribou to the QEI is proposed. The subspecies is too gross a level at which to recognize the considerable diversity that exists between Peary caribou on the QEI and divergent caribou on other Canadian Arctic Islands. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada should take this considerable diversity among these caribou at below the subspecies classification to mind when assigning conservation divisions (units to caribou on the Canadian Arctic Islands. In summer 1961, the first and only nearly range-wide aerial survey of Peary caribou yielded a population estimate on the QEI of 25 845, including about 20% calves. There was a strong preference for range on the western QEI (WEQI, where 94% (24 363 of the estimated caribou occurred on only 24% (ca. 97 000 km2 of the collective island-landmass. By summer 1973, the overall number of Peary caribou on the QEI had decreased markedly and was estimated at about 7000 animals. The following winter and spring (1973-74, the Peary caribou population declined 49% on the WQEI. The estimated number dropping to <3000, with no calves seen by us in summer 1974. Based on estimates from several aerial surveys conducted on the WQEI from 1985 to 1987, the number of Peary caribou on the QEI as a whole was judged to be 3300-3600 or only

  1. Does connectivity exist for remnant boreal caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou along the Lake Superior Coastal Range? Options for landscape restoration

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    Christine C. Drake

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Genetic analysis can provide important information on the dynamic and spatial structure of groups of animals or populations. Little is known of the genetic population structure of caribou that inhabit the Lake Superior Coastal Range (LSCR and the level of gene flow between individuals within the range and beyond. From a landscape perspective, this range is spatially isolated and genetic connectivity within the range is presumed limited due to large water crossings on Lake Superior. This study aims to answer if animal movement can be discerned, using genetic population and relatedness analyses, within and beyond the LSCR. Faecal and hair samples collected between 2005 and 2015 in Pukaskwa National Park were analyzed for genetic markers and compared to 131 unique genotypes previously obtained from both within the LSCR and in the two next closest ranges. Animals from one nearshore island (i.e. Otter were more closely associated with offshore islands than other mainland caribou, likely a result of past movement and translocation rather than ongoing movement. Conversely, on another nearshore island (i.e. Pic, individuals assigned to a different genetic cluster and were related to animals further north outside the range, demonstrating some connectivity through the discontinuous distribution to the coast. Long-term population declines have been observed in the LSCR range despite genetic connectivity within the range and relatively low total habitat disturbance. Restoring connectivity of the LSCR so that it is not isolated from populations to the north is required for the recovery of the mainland portion of the coastal range. These genetic analyses provide some insights on where movements may occur and where landscape restoration efforts may best be directed to enhance connectivity.

  2. Understanding predation risk and individual variation in risk avoidance for threatened boreal caribou.

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    Mumma, Matthew A; Gillingham, Michael P; Johnson, Chris J; Parker, Katherine L

    2017-12-01

    Predation risk is a driver of species' distributions. Animals can increase risk avoidance in response to fluctuations in predation risk, but questions remain regarding individual variability and the capacity to respond to changes in spatial risk across human-altered landscapes. In northeast British Columbia, Canada, boreal caribou populations declined as roads and seismic lines have increased, which are theorized to increase gray wolf predation. Our goal was to model risk and to evaluate individual variability and the development of risk perception by examining individual risk avoidance in response to reproductive status and age. We used locations from collared caribou and wolves to identify landscape features associated with the risk of a potential wolf-caribou encounter and risk of being killed given an encounter. We built resource selection functions to estimate individual responses to risk. We used general linear regressions to evaluate individual risk and linear feature avoidance as a function of age and reproductive status (calf or no calf). Linear features increased the risk of encounter. Older caribou and caribou with calves demonstrated stronger avoidance of the risk of encounter and roads, but weaker avoidance in late summer to the risk of being killed relative to younger and calf-less individuals. Mechanisms explaining the inverse relationships between the risk of encounter and risk of being killed are uncertain, but it is conceivable that caribou learn to avoid the risk of encounter and roads. Responses by females with vulnerable calves to the risk of encounter and risk of being killed might be explained by a trade-off between these two risk types and a prioritization on the risk of encounter. Despite the capacity to alter their responses to risk, the global decline in Rangifer populations (caribou and wild reindeer) suggests these behaviors are insufficient to mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances.

  3. Morphological keys to advance the understanding of protostrongylid biodiversity in caribou (Rangifer spp. at high latitudes

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    Pratap Kafle

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Protostrongylidae is a diverse family of nematodes capable of causing significant respiratory and neuromuscular disease in their ungulate and lagomorph hosts. Establishing the species diversity and abundance of the protostrongylid fauna has been hindered because the first stage larvae, commonly referred as dorsal spined larvae (DSL, that are shed in the feces are morphologically very similar among several genera. We aimed to determine the protostrongylid diversity and distribution in caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus and R. t. pearyi in the central and high Canadian Arctic. We first developed, tested and validated a morphological diagnostic guide for the DSL of two important protostrongylids, Parelaphostrongylus andersoni and Varestrongylus eleguneniensis, and then applied this guide to determine the prevalence and intensity of infection of these parasites in fecal samples from 242 caribou. We found that DSL of V. eleguneniensis and P. andersoni can be differentiated morphologically based on the structural differences at the caudal extremity. The presentation and morphology of the dorsal spine, and caudoventral bulging at the start of the tail extension were identified as the key identifying features. The two species were found in caribou on the arctic mainland and southern Victoria Island in single and co-infections, but the prevalence and intensity of infection was low. No protostrongylids were detected in caribou from the high arctic islands. Through this study, we provide a simple, efficient, and robust method to distinguish the DSL of the two protostrongylids, and present the current status of infection in different herds of caribou of the central Canadian Arctic. We report new geographic and host records for P. andersoni infection in Dolphin and Union caribou herd. Keywords: Parelaphostrongylus andersoni, Varestrongylus eleguneniensis, Diagnostic parasitology, Morphological diagnosis, Dorsal spined larvae, Canadian Arctic

  4. Collection and analysis of traditional ecological knowledge about a population of arctic tundra caribou

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    Ferguson, Michael A.D.; Messier, François

    1997-01-01

    Aboriginal peoples want their ecological knowledge used in the management of wildlife populations. To accomplish this, management agencies will need regional summaries of aboriginal knowledge about long-term changes in the distribution and abundance of wildlife populations and ecological factors that influence those changes. Between 1983 and 1994, we developed a method for collecting Inuit knowledge about historical changes in a caribou (Rangifer tarandus) population on southern Baffin Island from c. 1900 to 1994. Advice from Inuit allowed us to collect and interpret their oral knowledge in culturally appropriate ways. Local Hunters and Trappers Associations (HTAs) and other Inuit identified potential informants to maximize the spatial and temporal scope of the study. In the final interview protocol, each informant (i) established his biographical map and time line, (ii) described changes in caribou distribution and density during his life, and (iii) discussed ecological factors that may have caused changes in caribou populations. Personal and parental observations of caribou distribution and abundance were reliable and precise. Inuit who had hunted caribou during periods of scarcity provided more extensive information than those hunters who had hunted mainly ringed seals (Phoca hispida); nevertheless, seal hunters provided information about coastal areas where caribou densities were insufficient for the needs of caribou hunters. The wording of our questions influenced the reliability of informants' answers; leading questions were especially problematic. We used only information that we considered reliable after analyzing the wording of both questions and answers from translated transcripts. This analysis may have excluded some reliable information because informants tended to understate certainty in their recollections. We tried to retain the accuracy and precision inherent in Inuit oral traditions; comparisons of information from several informants and

  5. George’s Island, Labrador - A high-density predator-free refuge for a woodland caribou subpopulation?

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    Rebecca A. Jeffery

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available The movement patterns and demographic parameters were measured for caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou on George’s Island (Labrador, Canada to determine if the population is separate from the Mealy Mountain Caribou Herd. Movements between George’s Island caribou and nearby Mealy Mountain caribou were examined through satellite telemetry (April 2005 to April 2006. Demographic information was collected through aerial classification surveys. The predator-free island is currently maintaining a density of 22.5-26.5 caribou/km2. Female survival appears high and the recruitment rate in late fall-early spring was 19.0-29.2% calves. Mainland caribou moved very little throughout the year, travelling no more than 53.7 km on average from their initial collaring locations. Also, satellite data indicated no mixing between animals on George’s Island and the mainland. The elevated caribou density and high proportion of calves suggest that George’s Island could at times be acting as a predator-free recruitment area and that George’s Island may be a subpopulation from which animals disperse to the mainland.

  6. A Cooperative Industry - Government Woodland Caribou Research Program in Northeastern Alberta

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    Blair Rippin

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Rapid development of large scale logging and increasingly intensive petroleum exploration and development in northeastern Alberta prompted the establishment of a cooperative research program to investigate various aspects of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou biology. The ultimate goal of the program is to develop an effective plan that will ensure the long term survival of caribou while allowing for renewable and non-renewable resource development. There are three parts to the program. Part I began early in 1991 and makes use of conventional radio telemetry as a means of recording various parameters of general caribou biology. The study area encompasses approximately 4000 km2 of low relief, boreal mixedwood forest. Preliminary results from 2500 radio locations (involving 50 individuals indicate that woodland caribou inhabiting the study area are non-migratory and are strongly associated with some of the more scarce peatland forest types present in the area. Investigations to document the basic biology and ecology will continue for another two years. Part II began in early 1993 as a part of a two-year investigation into the disturbance effects of petroleum exploration and development on caribou movements and behaviour. One objective of this study is to develop a predictive model useful in determining the cumulative effects of varying intensities of disturbance on caribou. Part III began in early 1994 with a proposed three-year investigation to determine the mechanism of spatial and temporal separation of caribou and moose in the study area. These relationships may indicate the means by which caribou minimize the impact of wolf predation on their populations in northeastern Alberta. Results will be applied to industrial land use and specifically to large scale forest harvesting planned for the area. The research program is supported through cooperative funding contributed by 24 petroleum companies, 1 forest company, 2 peat companies and

  7. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) from the Canadian Arctic.

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    Kutz, S J; Elkin, B T; Panayi, D; Dubey, J P

    2001-04-01

    Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii was determined in 147 barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) from 5 herds in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, northern Canada, by the modified agglutination test (MAT). In the mainland herds (Bluenose, Bathurst, and Beverly), antibodies were found in 43 (37%) of 117 caribou, and MAT titers were 1:25 in 10, 1:50 in 24, and 1:500 in 9. In the island herds, only 1 (4.3%) of 23 animals sampled from the North Baffin Island herd was positive (titer = 1:25) and no antibodies were detected in 7 caribou from the Dolphin and Union herd. The high prevalence of antibodies to T. gondii in the mainland caribou herds indicates that caribou meat may contain viable T. gondii.

  8. Habitat Restoration as a Key Conservation Lever for Woodland Caribou: A review of restoration programs and key learnings from Alberta

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    Paula Bentham

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The Recovery Strategy for the Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou, Boreal Population in Canada (EC, 2012, identifies coordinated actions to reclaim woodland caribou habitat as a key step to meeting current and future caribou population objectives. Actions include restoring industrial landscape features such as roads, seismic lines, pipelines, cut-lines, and cleared areas in an effort to reduce landscape fragmentation and the changes in caribou population dynamics associated with changing predator-prey dynamics in highly fragmented landscapes. Reliance on habitat restoration as a recovery action within the federal recovery strategy is high, considering all Alberta populations have less than 65% undisturbed habitat, which is identified in the recovery strategy as a threshold providing a 60% chance that a local population will be self-sustaining. Alberta’s Provincial Woodland Caribou Policy also identifies habitat restoration as a critical component of long-term caribou habitat management. We review and discuss the history of caribou habitat restoration programs in Alberta and present outcomes and highlights of a caribou habitat restoration workshop attended by over 80 representatives from oil and gas, forestry, provincial and federal regulators, academia and consulting who have worked on restoration programs. Restoration initiatives in Alberta began in 2001 and have generally focused on construction methods, revegetation treatments, access control programs, and limiting plant species favourable to alternate prey. Specific treatments include tree planting initiatives, coarse woody debris management along linear features, and efforts for multi-company and multi-stakeholder coordinated habitat restoration on caribou range. Lessons learned from these programs have been incorporated into large scale habitat restoration projects near Grande Prairie, Cold Lake, and Fort McMurray. A key outcome of our review is the opportunity to provide a

  9. Conservation of Peary caribou based on a recalculation of the 1961 aerial survey on the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Arctic Canada

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    Frank L. Miller

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available The estimate of 25 845 Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi on the Queen Elizabeth Islands (QEI in the Canadian High Arctic in summer 1961 is the only nearly range-wide 'benchmark' for the past number of caribou. No variances or confidence intervals were calculated for this estimate and no estimates were calculated for Peary caribou on the three major islands of Ellesmere, Devon, and Axel Heiberg. We reexamined the 1961 raw data by grouping the QEI into five island-complexes ('eco-units' and calculating, for each unit, the estimated number of caribou and the standard error, and the 95% confidence interval of the estimate, using a 'bootstrap' technique with 100 000 replications. Our goal was to provide an ecological basis for evaluating subsequent changes in numbers rather than relying on single-island evaluations. Our bootstrap reanalysis produced an estimate of 28 288 ± 2205 SE with a 95% CI of 20 436—37 031 Peary caribou on the QEI in summer 1961. Substantial differences in density were apparent among the five eco-units, with about a 50-fold difference from 0.01 caribou • km-2 in the Eastern eco-unit to 0.5 caribou • km-2 in the Northwestern eco-unit. The 1961 findings, with our subsequent reexamination, are crucial to any evaluation of trends for the number of Peary caribou on the QEI and the relative importance of individual eco-units for these animals. These findings also allow a more accurate evaluation of the magnitude of the subsequent decline of Peary caribou on the QEI during the last four decades and may help predict future potential levels for caribou in each of the five eco-units.

  10. The role of seasonal migration in the near-total loss of caribou on south-central Canadian Arctic Islands

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    Frank L. Miller

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Extended: In 1980 the caribou (Rangifer tarandus on Prince of Wales, Russell, and Somerset islands represented a healthy geographic population of an Arctic-island caribou ecotype on the southern tier of Canadian Arctic Islands. Those caribou exhibited complex patterns of seasonal range occupancy, involving annual seasonal migrations between and among the three islands and Boothia Peninsula (Miller et al., 1982, 2005; Miller, 1990. A large segment of the population migrated annually from the islands to Boothia Peninsula in early winter, wintered there, and then returned to the islands in the following late winter and spring. There is no evidence for large-scale emigration of caribou anywhere in the study area (Gunn et al., 2006. Caribou on Boothia Peninsula occur as two distinct ecotypes that are genetically different from the Arctic-island ecotype that occurred on Prince of Wales, Russell, and Somerset islands (e.g., Zittlau, 2004. Both the Boothia Peninsula ecotype and the Mainland ecotype calve mostly on northern Boothia Peninsula, northwest and northeast sections respectively (Gunn et al., 2000. After summering on the peninsula, most individuals of both ecotypes migrate south of the Boothia Isthmus onto adjacent mainland areas (Gunn et al., 2000. As a result, there were about the same number of caribou wintering on Boothia Peninsula when migrant caribou from Prince of Wales, Russell, and Somerset islands wintered there, as in summer when the migrant Arctic-island caribou had returned to Prince of Wales, Russell, and Somerset islands and the migrant Boothia Peninsula and Mainland caribou ecotypes had returned from their winter ranges farther south on the mainland to their calving areas and summer ranges on Boothia Peninsula. We treat both caribou ecotypes on Boothia Peninsula as just one geographic population for our assessment. The Arctic-island caribou ecotype on Prince of Wales, Russell, and Somerset islands declined about 98% from the

  11. Distribution and habitat use of the Bluenose caribou herd in mid-winter

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    D. R. Carruthers

    1986-06-01

    Full Text Available The mid-winter distribution and densities of the Bluenose caribou herd were compared with previous surveys over six years and were similar in all years except 1981 when exceptionally mild weather prevailed. Differences in group size, distribution and habitat use between sexes were noted in 1983. Caribou were distributed disproportionately to availability of vegetation types and used lakes significantly more than expected based on their occurrence. Male groups used conifer cover more than did female-calf groups which used open areas (lakes, fens, bogs more than males. Cow-calf groups chose areas with a higher small lake density compared to lake density generally available. Generally caribou preferred habitat between 200 and 300 m in elevation with high densities of lakes less than 1 km2 in size. Snow depths and hardness were greater in most unoccupied habitats than in occupied habitats. Wolves were associated with high densities of cow/calf groups.

  12. Using movement behaviour to define biological seasons for woodland caribou

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    Tyler D. Rudolph

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial mammals are strongly influenced by seasonal changes in environmental conditions. Studies of animal space use behaviour are therefore inherently seasonal in nature. We propose an individual-based quantitative method for identifying seasonal shifts in caribou movement behaviour and we demonstrate its use in determining the onset of the winter, spring dispersal, and calving seasons. Using pooled data for the population we demonstrate an alternate approach using polynomial regression with mixed effects. We then compare individual onset dates with population-based estimates and those adopted by expert consensus for our study area. Distributions of individual-based onset dates were normally distributed with prominent modes; however, there was considerable variation in individual onset times. Population-based estimates were closer to the peaks of individual estimates than were expert-based estimates, which fell outside the onetailed 90% and 95% sample quantiles of individually-fitted distributions for spring and winter, respectively. Both expertand population-based estimates were later for winter and earlier for both spring and calving than were individual-based estimates. We discuss the potential consequences of neglecting to corroborate conventionally used dates with observed seasonal trends in movement behaviour. In closing, we recommend researchers adopt an individual-based quantitative approach and a variable temporal window for data set extraction.

  13. Temporally dynamic habitat suitability predicts genetic relatedness among caribou.

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    Yannic, Glenn; Pellissier, Loïc; Le Corre, Maël; Dussault, Christian; Bernatchez, Louis; Côté, Steeve D

    2014-10-07

    Landscape heterogeneity plays a central role in shaping ecological and evolutionary processes. While species utilization of the landscape is usually viewed as constant within a year, the spatial distribution of individuals is likely to vary in time in relation to particular seasonal needs. Understanding temporal variation in landscape use and genetic connectivity has direct conservation implications. Here, we modelled the daily use of the landscape by caribou in Quebec and Labrador, Canada and tested its ability to explain the genetic relatedness among individuals. We assessed habitat selection using locations of collared individuals in migratory herds and static occurrences from sedentary groups. Connectivity models based on habitat use outperformed a baseline isolation-by-distance model in explaining genetic relatedness, suggesting that variations in landscape features such as snow, vegetation productivity and land use modulate connectivity among populations. Connectivity surfaces derived from habitat use were the best predictors of genetic relatedness. The relationship between connectivity surface and genetic relatedness varied in time and peaked during the rutting period. Landscape permeability in the period of mate searching is especially important to allow gene flow among populations. Our study highlights the importance of considering temporal variations in habitat selection for optimizing connectivity across heterogeneous landscape and counter habitat fragmentation. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  14. Trade-offs between wood supply and caribou habitat in northwestern Ontario

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    Daniel McKenney

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Woodland caribou habitat management in northwestern Ontario is a complex spatial problem. The Strategic Forest Management Model (SFMM, a linear programming PC-based planning tool being developed in Ontario, was used to examine the impacts of alternative management strategies on caribou habitat. The management alternatives investigated included the cessation of timber management and maximising the present value of wood production without any explicit concern (in the model for caribou. Three major findings are worth noting: 1 trying to maintain prime caribou habitat within active Forest Management Units will come at a cost to wood supply but the cost will depend on the absolute amount of area affected and the spatial configuration of that land in relation to mills. The cost of maintaining caribou habitat in one management unit at a level about 25 000 hectares is roughly $324 000 per year (about 3 cents for each Ontario resident. The imposition of an even-flow constraint on wood production is in fact potentially more costly; 2 Given the region is heavily dominated by spruce aged 90 years and over, forest succession and fire disturbance will likely cause large declines in prime caribou habitat in the near to medium term (20 to 40 years even if no timber harvesting occurs; 3 The complexities of the trade-offs in this resource management problem highlight the limitations of any single modelling tool to satisfactorily address all issues. Planners need to take advantage of a wide range of analytical techniques to quantify the issues and formulate integrated policies.

  15. Reindeer introgression and the population genetics of caribou in southwestern Alaska.

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    Colson, Kevin E; Mager, Karen H; Hundertmark, Kris J

    2014-01-01

    Alaska caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) in southwestern Alaska are a poorly understood system, with differing descriptions of their regional population structure, population abundance that has varied greatly through time and instances of the release of domestic reindeer (R. t. tarandus) into their range. Here, we use 21 microsatellites and 297 individuals to investigate the genetic population structure of herds and examine for population bottlenecks. Then, using genetic characteristics of existing reindeer populations, we examine introgression into the wild caribou populations. Caribou of the area are genetically diverse (H E between 0.69 and 0.84), with diversity decreasing along the Alaska Peninsula (AP). Using G ST and Jost's D, we find extensive structuring among all herds; Migrate-n finds that AP herds share few effective migrants with other herds, with Southern AP and Unimak Island herds having the least. Bayesian clustering techniques are able to resolve all but Denali and Mulchatna caribou herds. Using a conservative assignment threshold of q reindeer ≥ 0.2, 3% of caribou show signs of domestic introgression. Denali herd has the most introgressed individuals (6.9%); those caribou herds that were historically adjacent to smaller reindeer herds, or were historically without adjacent herding, show no admixture. This domestic introgression persists despite the lack of managed reindeer in the region since the 1940s. Our results suggest that despite previous movement data indicating metapopulation-like dispersal in this region, there may be unknown barriers to reproduction by dispersing individuals. Finally, our results support findings that wild and domestic Rangifer can hybridize and show this introgression may persist dozens of generations after domestics are no longer present. © The American Genetic Association 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Population Ecology of Caribou Populations without Predators: Southampton and Coats Island Herds

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    Jean-Pierre Quellet

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper is a review of the ecology of two caribou populations inhabiting predator-free northern islands, Coats and Southampton Island. Findings are analyzed in light of the hypothesis that in absence of prédation or high human harvest, food competition results in delayed puberty, reduced calf production, increased winter starvation of caribou and regulates populations at high densities (>2 km-2. Caribou were hunted to extinction on Southampton Island (Northwest Territories, Canada by mid-century. In 1967, 48 caribou were captured on neighbouring Coats Island and released on Southampton Island. Southampton Island is characterized by a high per capita winter food availability in summer and in winter. The population on Southampton Island has been increasing at a rapid rate of growth since re-introduction (Lamba=1.27. Fast population growth was possible because females invested early in reproduction and over winter survival rate was high. The population on Coats Island is also characterized by high per capita food availability in summer but low food availability in winter. The population size has undergone some marked fluctuations, abrupt declines followed by relatively rapid recovery and, contrary to predictions, densities were always less than 1 km-2. Low population densities on Coats Island result primarily from low food availability. This review suggests that in the absence of prédation or high human harvest competition for food regulates caribou population abundance. However, caribou numbers can fluctuate markedly among years because inter-annual variation of weather conditions affects forage accessibility in winter. This review also emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between factors that determine absolute population density and variation in density among years (in our case probably plant production and winter weather conditions which influence forage accessibility from the regulatory factors, processes that stop population

  17. Moose, caribou, and grizzly bear distribution in relation to road traffic in Denali National Park, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yost, A.C.; Wright, R.G.

    2001-01-01

    Park managers are concerned that moose (Alces alces), caribou (Rangifer tarandus), and grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) may be avoiding areas along the 130 km road through Denali National Park as a result of high traffic volume, thus decreasing opportunities for visitors to view wildlife. A wildlife monitoring system was developed in 1996 that used 19 landscape level viewsheds, stratified into four sections based on decreasing traffic along the road corridor. Data were collected from 22 samplings of all viewsheds during May-August in 1996 and 1997. In 1997, nine backcountry viewsheds were established in three different areas to determine whether density estimates for each species in the backcountry were higher than those for the same animals in similar road-corridor areas. Densities higher than those in the road corridor were found in one backcountry area for moose and in two backcountry areas for grizzly bears. None of the backcountry areas showed a higher density of caribou. We tested hypotheses that moose, caribou, and grizzly bear distributions were unrelated to the road and traffic. Moose sightings were lower than expected within 300 m of the road. More caribou and grizzly bears than expected occurred between 601 and 900 m from the road, while more moose and fewer caribou than expected occurred between 900 and 1200 m from the road. Bull moose in stratum 1 were distributed farther from the road than bulls and cows in stratum 4; cows in stratum 1 and bulls in stratum 2 were distributed farther from the road than cows in stratum 4. Grizzly bears in stratum 2 were distributed farther from the road than bears in stratum 3. The distribution of moose sightings suggests traffic avoidance, but the spatial pattern of preferred forage may have had more of an influence. Caribou and grizzly bear distributions indicated no pattern of traffic avoidance.

  18. Seasonal Climate Variation and Caribou Availability: Modeling Sequential Movement Using Satellite-Relocation Data

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    Craig Nicolson

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Livelihood systems that depend on mobile resources must constantly adapt to change. For people living in permanent settlements, environmental changes that affect the distribution of a migratory species may reduce the availability of a primary food source, with the potential to destabilize the regional social-ecological system. Food security for Arctic indigenous peoples harvesting barren ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti depends on movement patterns of migratory herds. Quantitative assessments of physical, ecological, and social effects on caribou distribution have proven difficult because of the significant interannual variability in seasonal caribou movement patterns. We developed and evaluated a modeling approach for simulating the distribution of a migratory herd throughout its annual cycle over a multiyear period. Beginning with spatial and temporal scales developed in previous studies of the Porcupine Caribou Herd of Canada and Alaska, we used satellite collar locations to compute and analyze season-by-season probabilities of movement of animals between habitat zones under two alternative weather conditions for each season. We then built a set of transition matrices from these movement probabilities, and simulated the sequence of movements across the landscape as a Markov process driven by externally imposed seasonal weather states. Statistical tests showed that the predicted distributions of caribou were consistent with observed distributions, and significantly correlated with subsistence harvest levels for three user communities. Our approach could be applied to other caribou herds and could be adapted for simulating the distribution of other ungulates and species with similarly large interannual variability in the use of their range.

  19. A comparison of heavy metal levels in the kidneys of High Arctic and mainland caribou populations in the Northwest Territories of Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larter, N C; Nagy, J A

    2000-02-10

    Aluminum, nickel, cadmium, mercury and lead levels were measured in the kidney tissue of Banks Island Peary caribou and barren-ground caribou, from the Bluenose herd, of the western Northwest Territories of Canada. Cadmium concentrations of Bluenose caribou were similar to those reported elsewhere for barren-ground caribou and showed a positive correlation with age. Cadmium concentrations of Peary caribou were significantly lower than those of Bluenose caribou regardless of age, were the lowest reported for caribou during winter, and did not show a positive correlation with age. Mercury levels, expressed on a wet weight basis, were similar to those reported for other barren-ground caribou. Mercury levels were significantly higher in Bluenose [mean 10.45 microg g(-1) (dry wt.); S.E.= 0.85; n = 20] than Peary [mean 5.43 microg g(-1) (dry wt.); S.E. = 0.31; n = 20] caribou. Aluminum concentrations for Bluenose and Peary caribou were similar [mean 1.48 microg g(-1) (dry wt.); S.E. = 0.17; n = 20 and mean 1.56 microg g(-1) (dry wt.); S.E.= 0.15; n = 20, respectively), but were considerably lower than those reported for barren-ground caribou elsewhere. Lead and nickel concentrations were low and similar between Bluenose, Peary and other reported barren-ground caribou populations. Higher cadmium and mercury concentrations in Bluenose caribou are consistent with the hypothesis that caribou with a high dietary lichen component have higher contaminant levels. It is unlikely that subsistence harvesters would consume enough kidney during a year to exceed the tolerable intake of cadmium recommended by the WHO.

  20. Radiocesium in Canadian Arctic Beluga and Caribou Before and After the Fukushima Accident of 2011

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stocki, Trevor J.; Pellerin, Eric; Bergman, Lauren; Mercier, Jean-Francois; Genovesi, Linda; Cooke, Michael; Todd, Bonnie; Sandles, Diane; Whyte, Jeff [Radiation Protection Bureau, Health Canada, AL6302D, 775 Brookfield Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0K9 (Canada); Gamberg, Mary [Gamberg Consulting, Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada); Loseto, Lisa [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada); Wang, X. [Environment Canada, Burlington Ontario (Canada)

    2014-07-01

    Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in March 2011, northern Canadians expressed concerns about the levels of radioactive contaminants in important traditional foods. Therefore, a study has been conducted to measure the levels of radionuclides in Arctic caribou and beluga whales. The main radionuclide of concern is cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years and is chemically similar to potassium, thereby easily accumulating in plants and animals. Cesium-137 was released into the atmosphere during nuclear weapons tests in the 1950's-60's and during nuclear accidents, such as Chernobyl. Previous studies have been made on the cesium-137 levels in Canadian caribou herds from 1958 to 2000, allowing researchers to determine the amount of cesium-137 in caribou specifically attributable to atmospheric weapons testing and the Chernobyl accident. Samples of lichens, mushrooms, caribou and beluga whales taken before and after the Fukushima accident were freeze dried, homogenized, and measured using gamma ray spectroscopy to identify the radionuclides present and determine the radioactivity concentration in the samples. To determine the efficiency of the detectors for the different sized samples, physical calibration standards were used and virtual simulations were also performed. A comparison of the caribou samples from before and after the accident has indicated no increase in radioactivity as a result of the Fukushima accident. Results are consistent with pre-Fukushima levels for these caribou. No Cs-137 was found in the pre-Fukushima beluga whale samples, even if all the measurements were combined into one spectrum. In the individual post-Fukushima beluga whale samples, Cs-137 was also not found. However, when the post-Fukushima beluga whale measurements were combined, an insignificant amount of radioactive Cs-137 was found. The amount of this Cs-137 was about 200 times smaller than the natural radioactive potassium in the samples. Most likely the

  1. A synthesis of scale-dependent ecology of the endangered mountain caribou in British Columbia, Canada

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    Robert Serrouya

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Mountain caribou are an endangered ecotype of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou that live in highprecipitation, mountainous ecosystems of southeastern British Columbia and northern Idaho. The distribution and abundance of these caribou have declined dramatically from historical figures. Results from many studies have indicated that mountain caribou rely on old conifer forests for several life-history requirements including an abundance of their primary winter food, arboreal lichen, and a scarcity of other ungulates and their predators. These old forests often have high timber value, and understanding mountain caribou ecology at a variety of spatial scales is thus required to develop effective conservation strategies. Here we summarize results of studies conducted at three different spatial scales ranging from broad limiting factors at the population level to studies describing the selection of feeding sites within seasonal home ranges of individuals. The goal of this multi-scale review is to provide a more complete picture of caribou ecology and to determine possible shifts in limiting factors across scales. Our review produced two important results. First, mountain caribou select old forests and old trees at all spatial scales, signifying their importance for foraging opportunities as well as conditions required to avoid alternate ungulates and their predators. Second, relationships differ across scales. For example, landscapes dominated by roads and edges negatively affect caribou survival, but appear to attract caribou during certain times of the year. This juxtaposition of fine-scale behaviour with broad-scale vulnerability to predation could only be identified through integrated multi-scale analyses of resource selection. Consequently we suggest that effective management strategies for endangered species require an integrative approach across multiple spatial scales to avoid a focus that may be too narrow to maintain viable

  2. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D.; Brinkman, Todd J.; Lindgren, Michael A.; Schmidt, Jennifer I.; Rupp, T. Scott; Adams, Layne G.

    2014-01-01

    Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs), and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old) across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (−21%) than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (−11%). Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  3. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D; Brinkman, Todd J; Lindgren, Michael A; Schmidt, Jennifer I; Rupp, T Scott; Adams, Layne G

    2014-01-01

    Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs), and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old) across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (-21%) than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (-11%). Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  4. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David D Gustine

    Full Text Available Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs, and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (-21% than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (-11%. Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  5. Bathymetry and capacity of Blackfoot Reservoir, Caribou County, Idaho, 2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Molly S.; Skinner, Kenneth D.; Fosness, Ryan L.

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, surveyed the bathymetry and selected above-water sections of Blackfoot Reservoir, Caribou County, Idaho, in 2011. Reservoir operators manage releases from Government Dam on Blackfoot Reservoir based on a stage-capacity relation developed about the time of dam construction in the early 1900s. Reservoir operation directly affects the amount of water that is available for irrigation of agricultural land on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation and surrounding areas. The USGS surveyed the below-water sections of the reservoir using a multibeam echosounder and real-time kinematic global positioning system (RTK-GPS) equipment at full reservoir pool in June 2011, covering elevations from 6,090 to 6,119 feet (ft) above the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88). The USGS used data from a light detection and ranging (LiDAR) survey performed in 2000 to map reservoir bathymetry from 6,116 to 6,124 ft NAVD 88, which were mostly in depths too shallow to measure with the multibeam echosounder, and most of the above-water section of the reservoir (above 6,124 ft NAVD 88). Selected points and bank erosional features were surveyed by the USGS using RTK-GPS and a total station at low reservoir pool in September 2011 to supplement and verify the LiDAR data. The stage-capacity relation was revised and presented in a tabular format. The datasets show a 2.0-percent decrease in capacity from the original survey, due to sedimentation or differences in accuracy between surveys. A 1.3-percent error also was detected in the previously used capacity table and measured water-level elevation because of questionable reference elevation at monitoring stations near Government Dam. Reservoir capacity in 2011 at design maximum pool of 6,124 ft above NAVD 88 was 333,500 acre-ft.

  6. Increases in body weight and nutritional status of transplanted Alaskan caribou

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Valkenburg

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available Body weight and natality rate in ungulates can be useful indices to nutririon, bur they may also be influenced by genetic and climatic factors. Because caribou {Rangifer tarandus granti are distributed as discrete populations of metapopulations (i.e., herds that are usually reproductively isolated from each other for unknown periods, it is difficult to separate the influence of genetics and nutrition on body weight, especially where historical data are lacking. To help elucidate the influence of nutrition on potential variation in body weight and natality of caribou in Alaska, we reviewed data for body weight and natality in 5 populations which resulted from Transplants to previously ungrazed ranges, or to areas where reindeer and caribou had been absent for many decades. In 2 of 5 populations body weight increased significantly, and likely increased in the other 3 populations, but data were insufficient. Natality rate increased in all 5 populations, proportion of fecund yearlings was high and 3 of the 5 newly established herds increased at about the maximum biological potential for the species (lambda=1.35. In the Adak transplant, a lactating yearling was documented. These 5 transplanted populations provide additional evidence that body weight and natality rate in Alaskan caribou are sensitive to changes in population density and relatively short-term (i.e., 10 years increases in grazing pressure independenr of climate and genetics.

  7. Undermining subsistence: Barren-ground caribou in a “tragedy of open access”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parlee, Brenda L.; Sandlos, John; Natcher, David C.

    2018-01-01

    Sustaining arctic/subarctic ecosystems and the livelihoods of northern Indigenous peoples is an immense challenge amid increasing resource development. The paper describes a “tragedy of open access” occurring in Canada’s north as governments open up new areas of sensitive barren-ground caribou habitat to mineral resource development. Once numbering in the millions, barren-ground caribou populations (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus/Rangifer tarandus granti) have declined over 70% in northern Canada over the last two decades in a cycle well understood by northern Indigenous peoples and scientists. However, as some herds reach critically low population levels, the impacts of human disturbance have become a major focus of debate in the north and elsewhere. A growing body of science and traditional knowledge research points to the adverse impacts of resource development; however, management efforts have been almost exclusively focused on controlling the subsistence harvest of northern Indigenous peoples. These efforts to control Indigenous harvesting parallel management practices during previous periods of caribou population decline (for example, 1950s) during which time governments also lacked evidence and appeared motivated by other values and interests in northern lands and resources. As mineral resource development advances in northern Canada and elsewhere, addressing this “science-policy gap” problem is critical to the sustainability of both caribou and people. PMID:29503864

  8. Modeling influences on winter distribution of caribou in northwestern Alaska through use of satellite telemetry

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    Kyle Joly

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available I hypothesize that the distribution of barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti is affected by multiple, interrelated factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, terrain and snow characteristics as well as predation pressure and habitat. To test this hypothesis, I attributed caribou locations derived from satellite telemetry over a 6 year period with terrain (elevation, slope, aspect, and ruggedness, habitat characteristics, and moose density - potentially an index of wolf predation pressure. These locations were compared to random locations, attributed using the same data layers, using logistic regression techniques to develop resource selection functions (RSFs. I found that caribou moved significantly less during mid-winter than early- or late-winter and that cows moved significantly more in April than bulls due to their earlier departure on their spring migration. Distribution was different between cows and bulls. Terrain variables were important factors but were scale-dependent. Cows avoided forested areas, highlighting the importance of tundra habitats, and selected for dwarf shrub, with relatively high lichen cover, and sedge habitat types. Bulls selected for dryas, coniferous forest and dwarf shrub habitats but against lowland sedge, upland shrub and burned tundra. Cow distribution was negatively correlated with moose density at the scale of the Seward Peninsula. My results support the hypothesis that caribou distribution during winter in northwest Alaska is affected by multiple, interrelated factors. These results may be useful for researchers to track and/or model changes in future patterns of range use over winter.

  9. Measurements of cesium in Arctic beluga and caribou before and after the Fukushima accident of 2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocki, T J; Gamberg, M; Loseto, L; Pellerin, E; Bergman, L; Mercier, J-F; Genovesi, L; Cooke, M; Todd, B; Sandles, D; Whyte, J; Wang, X

    2016-10-01

    Concern from northern communities following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident of March 2011 has prompted a reassessment of the safety of their traditional foods with respect to radioactivity levels. To this end, a study was conducted to measure the levels of radionuclides in Arctic caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and beluga (Delphinapterus leucas). The main radionuclide of concern is cesium-137, which is easily transferred through the lichen-caribou food chain. Previous studies have been conducted on the cesium-137 levels in Canadian caribou herds from 1958 to 2000, allowing researchers to determine the amount of cesium-137 in caribou specifically attributable to atmospheric weapons testing and the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986. In this study, samples of lichens, mushrooms, caribou, beluga and beluga prey collected before and after the Fukushima accident were analyzed for radioactivity levels. Samples were processed and measured using gamma ray spectroscopy to identify the radionuclides present and determine the radioactivity concentration. Both calibration standards and Monte Carlo simulations were used to determine the efficiency of the detectors for the samples, taking into account differences in individual sample sizes as well as matrices. In particular, a careful analysis of the atomic composition of lichens and mushrooms was performed to ensure the efficiencies for these sample types were correct. A comparison of the concentrations from before and after the accident indicated that there was no increase in radioactivity as a result of the atmospheric plume from the Fukushima accident. Some cesium-137, likely attributable to fallout from atmospheric weapons testing of the 1950s and 1960s (since there was no cesium-134 measured in the samples), was measured in the post Fukushima caribou and beluga whale samples; however, this amount was determined to be insignificant for any radiological concern (9.1 ± 1.8 and 0.63 ± 0.23 Bq kg -1  ww respectively

  10. Simulating antler growth and energy, nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus metabolism in caribou

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    Ron Moen

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available We added antler growth and mineral metabolism modules to a previously developed energetics model for ruminants to simulate energy and mineral balance of male and female caribou throughout an annual cycle. Body watet, fat, protein, and ash are monitored on a daily time step, and energy costs associated with reproduction and body mass changes are simulated. In order to simulate antler growth, we had to predict calcium and phosphorus metabolism as it is affected by antler growth, gestation, and lactation. We used data on dietary digestibility, protein, calcium and phosphorus content, and seasonal patterns in body mass to predict the energy, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus balances of a "generic" male and female caribou. Antler growth in males increased energy requirements during antler growth by 8 to 16%, depending on the efficiency with which energy was used for antler growth. Female energy requirements for antler growth were proportionately much smaller because of the smaller size of female antlers. Protein requirements for antler growth in both males and females were met by forage intake. Calcium and phosphorus must be resorbed from bone during peak antler growth in males, when > 25 g/day of calcium and > 12 g/day of phosphorus are being deposited in antlers. Females are capable of meeting calcium needs during antler growth without bone resorption, but phosphorus was resorbed from bone during the final stages of antler mineralization. After energy, phosphorus was most likely to limit growth of antlers for both males and females in our simulations. Input parameters can be easily changed to represent caribou from specific geographic regions in which dietary nutrient content or body mass patterns differ from those in our "generic" caribou. The model can be used to quantitatively analyze the evolutionary basis for development of antlers in female caribou, and the relationship between body mass and antler size in the Cervidae.

  11. The reintroduction of boreal caribou as a conservation strategy: A long-term assessment at the southern range limit

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    Martin-Hugues St-Laurent

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Boreal caribou were extirpated from the Charlevoix region (Québec in the 1920s because of hunting and poaching. In 1965, the Québec government initiated a caribou reintroduction program in Charlevoix. During the winters of 1966 and 1967, a total of 48 boreal caribou were captured, translocated by plane, and released within enclosures; only their offspring (82 individuals were released in the wild. Between 1967 and 1980, a wolf control program was applied to support caribou population growth. The caribou population, however, remained relatively stable at 45–55 individuals during this period. During the 1980s, the population grew slowly at a rate of approximately 5% each year to reach a peak of 126 individuals in 1992. At that time, Bergerud & Mercer (1989 reported that the Charlevoix experiment was the only successful attempt at caribou reintroduction in the presence of predators (in North America. Afterwards, the population declined and since then it has been relatively stable at about 80 individuals. Here we reviewed the literature regarding the ecology and population dynamics of the Charlevoix caribou herd since its reintroduction, in an attempt to critically assess the value of reintroduction as a conservation tool for this species. Indeed, the Charlevoix caribou herd is now considered at very high risk of extinction mostly because of its small size, its isolation from other caribou populations, and low recruitment. The Charlevoix region has been heavily impacted by forestry activities since the early 1980s. Recent studies have indicated that these habitat modifications may have benefited populations of wolves and black bears—two predators of caribou—and that caribou range fidelity may have exposed caribou to higher predation risk via maladaptive habitat selection. As females are ageing, and females and calves suffer high predation pressure from wolves and bears respectively, we suggest that the future of this reintroduced herd is in

  12. Radionuclides in the lichen-caribou-human food chain near uranium mining operations in northern Saskatchewan, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, P A; Gates, T E

    1999-01-01

    The richest uranium ore bodies ever discovered (Cigar Lake and McArthur River) are presently under development in northeastern Saskatchewan. This subarctic region is also home to several operating uranium mines and aboriginal communities, partly dependent upon caribou for subsistence. Because of concerns over mining impacts and the efficient transfer of airborne radionuclides through the lichen-caribou-human food chain, radionuclides were analyzed in tissues from 18 barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus). Radionuclides included uranium (U), radium (226Ra), lead (210Pb), and polonium (210Po) from the uranium decay series; the fission product (137Cs) from fallout; and naturally occurring potassium (40K). Natural background radiation doses average 2-4 mSv/year from cosmic rays, external gamma rays, radon inhalation, and ingestion of food items. The ingestion of 210Po and 137Cs when caribou are consumed adds to these background doses. The dose increment was 0.85 mSv/year for adults who consumed 100 g of caribou meat per day and up to 1.7 mSv/year if one liver and 10 kidneys per year were also consumed. We discuss the cancer risk from these doses. Concentration ratios (CRs), relating caribou tissues to lichens or rumen (stomach) contents, were calculated to estimate food chain transfer. The CRs for caribou muscle ranged from 1 to 16% for U, 6 to 25% for 226Ra, 1 to 2% for 210Pb, 6 to 26% for 210Po, 260 to 370% for 137Cs, and 76 to 130% for 40K, with 137Cs biomagnifying by a factor of 3-4. These CRs are useful in predicting caribou meat concentrations from the lichens, measured in monitoring programs, for the future evaluation of uranium mining impacts on this critical food chain. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 PMID:10378999

  13. Historical changes in caribou distribution and land cover in and around Prince Albert National Park: land management implications

    OpenAIRE

    Arlt, Maria L.; Manseau, Micheline

    2011-01-01

    In central Saskatchewan, boreal woodland caribou population declines have been documented in the 1940s and again in the 1980s. Although both declines led to a ban in sport hunting, a recovery was only seen in the 1950s and was attributed to wolf control and hunting closure. Recent studies suggest that this time, the population may not be increasing. In order to contribute to the conservation efforts, historical changes in caribou distribution and land cover types in the Prince Albert Greater ...

  14. Peary caribou distribution within the Bathurst Island Complex relative to the boundary proposed for Qausuittuq National Park, Nunavut

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim G. Poole

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available How caribou (Rangifer tarandus, including Peary caribou (R. t. pearyi, use their annual ranges varies with changes in abundance. While fidelity to some seasonal ranges is persistent, use of other areas changes. Consequently, understanding changes in seasonal distribution is useful for designing boundaries of protected areas for caribou conservation. A case in point is the proposed Qausuittuq (Northern Bathurst Island National Park for Bathurst Island and its satellite islands in the High Arctic of Canada. Since 1961, Peary caribou have been through three periods of high and low abundance. We examined caribou distribution and composition mapped during nine systematic aerial surveys (1961–2013, unsystematic helicopter surveys (1989–98, and limited radio-collaring from 1994–97 and 2003–06. While migration patterns changed and use of southern Bathurst Island decreased during lows in abundance, use of satellite islands, especially Cameron Island for winter range, persisted during both highs and lows in abundance. The northeast coast of Bathurst Island was used to a greater extent during the rut and during summer at low abundance. We suggest that Park boundaries which include Cameron Island and the northeast coast of Bathurst Island will be more effective in contributing to the persistence of Peary caribou on the Bathurst Island Complex.

  15. The Fortymile caribou herd: novel proposed management and relevant biology, 1992-1997

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    Rodney D. Boertje

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available A diverse, international Fortymile Planning Team wrote a novel Fortymile caribou herd {Rangifer tarandus granti Management Plan in 1995 (Boertje & Gardner, 1996: 56-77. The primary goal of this plan is to begin restoring the Fortymile herd to its former range; >70% of the herd's former range was abandoned as herd size declined. Specific objectives call for increasing the Fortymile herd by at least 5-10% annually from 1998-2002. We describe demographics of the herd, factors limiting the herd, and condition of the herd and range during 1992-1997. These data were useful in proposing management actions for the herd and should be instrumental in future evaluations of the plan's actions. The following points summarize herd biology relevant to management proposed by the Fortymile Planning Team: 1. Herd numbers remained relatively stable during 1990-1995 (about 22 000-23 000 caribou. On 21 June 1996 we counted about 900 additional caribou in the herd, probably a result of increased pregnancy rates in 1996. On 26 June 1997 we counted about 2500 additional caribou in the herd, probably a result of recruitment of the abundant 1996 calves and excellent early survival of the 1997 calves. The Team deemed that implementing management actions during a period of natural growth would be opportune. 2. Wolf (Canis lupus and grizzly bear (Ursus arctos predation were the most important sources of mortality, despite over a decade of the most liberal regulations in the state for harvesting of wolves and grizzly bears. Wolves were the most important predator. Wolves killed between 2000 and 3000 caribou calves annually during this study and between 1000 and 2300 older caribou; 1200-1900 calves were killed from May through September. No significant differences in annual wolf predation rates on calves or adults were observed between 1994 and early winter 1997. Reducing wolf predation was judged by the Team to be the most manageable way to help hasten or stimulate

  16. 15th North American Caribou Workshop, 12-16 May 2014, Whitehorse, Canada

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    Birgitta Åhman (editor in chief

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The 15th North American Caribou Workshop (NACW was held from 12-16 May 2014, in the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. This biennial meeting is the largest technical conference of its kind dealing specifically with caribou biology and management. The first NACW was held in Whitehorse over three decades ago in 1983, and 13 subsequent workshops have been held across North America until now. With nearly 400 delegates from Canada, the United States, Norway, and Greenland attending the 2014 conference, it is evident that this “North American” gathering has truly become an international event. Furthermore, delegates attending this 15th NACW represented federal, provincial, territorial, state and First Nation governments, academia, non-governmental organizations, co-management boards and councils, private consultants, and industry,  creating a relatively unique conference setting bringing together a variety of perspectives and concerns. The breadth of the participants in terms of geography, expertise and affiliation resulted in a rich base of human capacity to discuss issues related to caribou conservation and management. Given that it had been nearly three decades since the inception of this workshop, and with its return to the location of the first NACW, the organizing committee felt it was a fitting opportunity to look back and assess what had been achieved with respect to caribou conservation and management. As such, the theme of the 15th NACW was “Caribou Conservation and Management: What’s Working?”  The opening session of the conference focussed on invited presentations explicitly addressing this question, and included topics on structured decision making, forest management, harvest monitoring, carnivore management, regional land use planning and management, and aboriginal perspectives on a long-term collaborative caribou recovery program in the

  17. 13th North American Caribou Workshop, 25-28 October 2010, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

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    Rolf Egil Haugerud (editor in chief

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The 13th North American Caribou Workshop which was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was a great success with more than 400 participants: people from Canada, the United States, Norway and Greenland, representatives from co-management and resource management boards across North America, First Nations, Inuit and Inuvialuit, governmental and non-governmental organisations, private companies, researchers, students and youth. The theme of the Workshop was Sustaining Caribou and their Landscapes – Knowledge to Action and the intent of the organizers was twofold: first, to provide participants with the opportunity to share scientific and traditional knowledge on different subspecies and ecotypes of Rangifer across the circumpolar North, the particularities of the different landscapes and land use management issues; second, to explore innovative ways to transfer knowledge to action, ensuring the long-term persistence of Rangifer throughout its range through the development of better governance structures, sound policies and effective communication.

  18. Explaining geographic gradients in winter selection of landscapes by boreal caribou with implications under global changes in Eastern Canada.

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    Julien Beguin

    Full Text Available Many animal species exhibit broad-scale latitudinal or longitudinal gradients in their response to biotic and abiotic components of their habitat. Although knowing the underlying mechanism of these patterns can be critical to the development of sound measures for the preservation or recovery of endangered species, few studies have yet identified which processes drive the existence of geographical gradients in habitat selection. Using extensive spatial data of broad latitudinal and longitudinal extent, we tested three hypotheses that could explain the presence of geographical gradients in landscape selection of the endangered boreal woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou during winter in Eastern Canadian boreal forests: 1 climate-driven selection, which postulates that geographic gradients are surrogates for climatic gradients; 2 road-driven selection, which proposes that boreal caribou adjust their selection for certain habitat classes as a function of proximity to roads; and 3 an additive effect of both roads and climate. Our data strongly supported road-driven selection over climate influences. Thus, direct human alteration of landscapes drives boreal caribou distribution and should likely remain so until the climate changes sufficiently from present conditions. Boreal caribou avoided logged areas two-fold more strongly than burnt areas. Limiting the spread of road networks and accounting for the uneven impact of logging compared to wildfire should therefore be integral parts of any habitat management plan and conservation measures within the range of the endangered boreal caribou. The use of hierarchical spatial models allowed us to explore the distribution of spatially-structured errors in our models, which in turn provided valuable insights for generating alternative hypotheses about processes responsible for boreal caribou distribution.

  19. Climatic changes and caribou abundance in northern Québec over the last century

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    Michel Crête

    1990-09-01

    Full Text Available The temperature increase observed in the Northern hemisphere during the first half of this century was also detectable in Québec; it affected both summer and winter. In northern Québec, warmer summers stimulated growth and favored range expansion of trees and shurbs. Based on black spruce krummholz height and water level in lakes, the warmer period was also characterized by greater snowfall and deeper snow cover. This period of deep snow coincided with apparent caribou scarcity. Three hypotheses were explored to relate increased temperature with caribou decline: 1 destruction of winter habitat due to high frequency of forest fires, 2 increased energy cost to obtain forage in deep snow and 3 delayed melting of snow on calving grounds that shortened the time to raise calves. The combined effect of the 3 mechanism could explain caribou scarcity, particularly for the Rivière George herd whose calving ground becomes snow free in late June. Ways to test the third hypothesis are proposed.

  20. The spatial structure of habitat selection: A caribou's-eye-view

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayor, Stephen J.; Schaefer, James A.; Schneider, David C.; Mahoney, Shane P.

    2009-03-01

    Greater understanding of habitat selection requires investigation at the scales at which organisms perceive and respond to their environment. Such knowledge could reveal the relative importance of factors limiting populations and the extent of response to habitat changes, and so guide conservation initiatives. We conducted a novel, spatially explicit analysis of winter habitat selection by caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) in Newfoundland, Canada, to elucidate the spatial scales of habitat selection. We combined conventional hierarchical habitat analysis with a newly developed geospatial approach that quantifies selection across scales as the difference in variance between available and used sites. We used both ordination and univariate analyses of lichen and plant cover, snow hardness and depth. This represents the first use of ordination with geostatistics for the assessment of habitat selection. Caribou habitat selection was driven by shallow, soft snow and high cover of Cladina lichens and was strongest at feeding microsites (craters) and broader feeding areas. Habitat selection was most evident at distance lags of up to 15 km, perhaps an indication of the perceptual abilities of caribou.

  1. Population decline in the Delta caribou herd with reference to other Alaskan herds

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    Patrick Valkenburg et al.

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available After growing continuously for nearly 15 years, the Delta caribou herd began to decline in 1989. Most other Interior Alaskan herds also began declining. In the Delta herd, and in other herds, the declines were caused primarily by high summer mortality of calves and increased natural mortality of adult females. Other minor causes included increased winter mortality of calves, and reduced parturition rates of 3-year-old and older females. The decline in the Delta herd also coincided with increased wolf (Canis lupus numbers, winters with deeper than normal snow, and warm summers. Mean body weight of annual samples of 10-month-old female calves was consistently low during the decline. Except in some of the smallest Interior Alaskan herds, we conclude that evidence for population regulation in Alaskan caribou is weak, and that herds are likely to fluctuate within a wide range of densities due to complex interactions of predation and weather. Unless wolf numbers are influenced by man, the size of a caribou herd in a given year is likely to be largely a function of its size during the previous population low and the number of years of favorable weather in the interim.

  2. Decision-support model to explore the feasibility of using translocation to restore a woodland caribou population in Pukaskwa National Park, Canada

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    Emily K. Gonzales

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The distribution and abundance of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou have declined dramatically in the past century. Without intervention the most southern population of caribou in eastern North America is expected to disappear within 20 years. Although translocations have reintroduced and reinforced some populations, approximately half of caribou translocation efforts fail. Translocations are resource intensive and risky, and multiple interrelated factors must be considered to assess their potential for success. Structured decision-making tools, such as Bayesian belief networks, provide objective methods to assess different wildlife management scenarios by identifying the key components and relationships in an ecosystem. They can also catalyze dialogue with stakeholders and provide a record of the complex thought processes used in reaching a decision. We developed a Bayesian belief network for a proposed translocation of woodland caribou into a national park on the northeastern coast of Lake Superior, Ontario, Canada. We tested scenarios with favourable (e.g., good physical condition of adult caribou and unfavourable (e.g., high predator densities conditions with low, medium, and high numbers of translocated caribou. Under the current conditions at Pukaskwa National Park, augmenting the caribou population is unlikely to recover the species unless wolf densities remain low (<5.5/1000 km2 or if more than 300 animals could be translocated.

  3. Slow recovery of lichen on burned caribou winter range in Alaska tundra: potential influences of climate warming and other disturbance factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randi Jandt; Kyle Joly; C. Randy Meyers; Charles. Racine

    2008-01-01

    Lichen regeneration timelines are needed to establish sound fire management guidelines for caribou (Rangifer tarandus) winter range. Paired burned and unburned permanent vegetative cover transects were established after 1981, 1977, and 1972 tundra fires in northwestern Alaska to document regrowth of tundra vegetation including caribou forage...

  4. Evolving perspectives on caribou population dynamics, have we got it right yet?

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    A.T. Bergerud

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available The roles of food, weather and predation are compared between sedentary and migratory caribou herds. Sedentary herds disperse (space out at calving time while the cows of migratory herds move in masse (space away to calving grounds to reduce predation risk. The sedentary ecotype calves on ranges near open water if tree cover is present or in rugged topography in the absence of tree cover. The migratory ecotype aggregates on calving grounds located on alpine mountain plateaus or on the tundra north of the Arctic tree line. The two herds with the greatest densities in North America, the sedentary Slate Islands Herd and the migratory George River Herd both had changes in abundance that followed summer food problems. The hypothesis that winter lichen supplies determine abundance and set the carrying capacity is rejected. Lichens are not a necessary food for caribou. A review of the mortality of young calves documented in the past 30 years provides no support for the hypothesis that hypothermia is a common mortality problem. Young calves documented can be born inviable at birth if their dams are severely malnourished. The migratory caribou in North America reached peak numbers in the 1980s after wolf populations were heavily harvested in the 1970s. The sedentary ecotype is frequently regulated by wolf predation that affects both recruitment (R and the mortality of adults (M. The balance between R/M schedules commonly occurs when R (calves represents, about 15% of the herd and when numbers (prorated to the area of the dispersed annual range approximate 0.06 caribou/km2. Population limitation of migratory herds by predation has occurred in the NWT and in several herds in Alaska but only when wolf densities were > 6.5/1000 km2. Wolf predation halted the growth of the George River Herd in 1980 but then wolves contracted rabies and the herd again increased and degraded spring/summer ranges. The reduced summer phytomass resulted in lower birth rates and

  5. Implementing a novel movement-based approach to inferring parturition and neonate caribou calf survival.

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    Maegwin Bonar

    Full Text Available In ungulates, parturition is correlated with a reduction in movement rate. With advances in movement-based technologies comes an opportunity to develop new techniques to assess reproduction in wild ungulates that are less invasive and reduce biases. DeMars et al. (2013, Ecology and Evolution 3:4149-4160 proposed two promising new methods (individual- and population-based; the DeMars model that use GPS inter-fix step length of adult female caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou to infer parturition and neonate survival. Our objective was to apply the DeMars model to caribou populations that may violate model assumptions for retrospective analysis of parturition and calf survival. We extended the use of the DeMars model after assigning parturition and calf mortality status by examining herd-wide distributions of parturition date, calf mortality date, and survival. We used the DeMars model to estimate parturition and calf mortality events and compared them with the known parturition and calf mortality events from collared adult females (n = 19. We also used the DeMars model to estimate parturition and calf mortality events for collared female caribou with unknown parturition and calf mortality events (n = 43 and instead derived herd-wide estimates of calf survival as well as distributions of parturition and calf mortality dates and compared them to herd-wide estimates generated from calves fitted with VHF collars (n = 134. For our data, the individual-based method was effective at predicting calf mortality, but was not effective at predicting parturition. The population-based method was more effective at predicting parturition but was not effective at predicting calf mortality. At the herd-level, the predicted distributions of parturition date from both methods differed from each other and from the distribution derived from the parturition dates of VHF-collared calves (log-ranked test: χ2 = 40.5, df = 2, p < 0.01. The predicted distributions of calf

  6. The nitrogen window for arctic herbivores: plant phenology and protein gain of migratory caribou (Rangifer tarandus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barboza, Perry S.; Van Someren, Lindsay L.; Gustine, David D.; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia

    2018-01-01

    Terrestrial plants are often limited by nitrogen (N) in arctic systems, but constraints of N supply on herbivores are typically considered secondary to those of energy. We tested the hypothesis that forage N is more limiting than energy for arctic caribou by collecting key forages (three species of graminoids, three species of woody browse, and one genus of forb) over three summers in the migratory range of the Central Arctic Herd in Alaska from the Brooks Range to the Coastal Plain on the Arctic Ocean. We combined in vitro digestion and detergent extraction to measure fiber, digestible energy, and usable fractions of N in forages (n = 771). Digestible energy content fell below the minimum threshold value of 9 kJ/g for one single forage group: graminoids, and only beyond 64–75 d from parturition (6 June), whereas all forages fell below the minimum threshold value for digestible N (1% of dry matter) before female caribou would have weaned their calves at 100 d from parturition. The window for digestible N was shortest for browse, which fell below 1% at 30–41 d from parturition, whereas digestible N contents of graminoids were adequate until 46–57 d from parturition. The low quality of browse as a source of N was also apparent from concentrations of available N (i.e., the N not bound to fiber) that were <1% at 72–80 d from parturition. The Coastal Plain may be favored by female caribou because available and digestible concentrations of N are not only greater than those on the Brooks Range, the window of usable N on the Coastal Plain extends the period of protein gain for females and their calves by 17 d. Conversely, inland areas with greater biomass and densities of digestible N than the Coastal Plain may be more favorable for large male caribou that begin gaining protein from spring to breed in autumn. Our study provides evidence that phenological windows for protein gain in caribou are both spatially and temporally dynamic and likely to affect the

  7. Vegetation characteristics of forest stands used by woodland caribou and those disturbed by fire or logging in Manitoba

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    Juha M. Metsaranta

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available This study examined woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in an area known as the Kississing-Naosap caribou range in west central Manitoba. The vegetation characteristics of areas used by caribou and areas disturbed by fire or logging were measured in order to develop a model to estimate habitat quality from parameters collected during stan¬dard resource inventories. There was evidence that habitat index values calculated using a visual score-sheet index could be used as the basis to relate parameters commonly collected during resource inventories to habitat suitability. Use of this model to select long and short-term leave areas during forest management planning could potentially mitigate some of the negative impacts of forest harvesting. Abundance of arboreal lichen and wind-fallen trees were important predictor variables in the suitability model, but their inclusion did not explain more variance in habitat suitability than models that did not include them. Extreme post-fire deadfall abundance may play a role in predator-prey dynamics by creating habitat that is equally unsuitable for all ungulates, and thus keeping both moose and caribou densities low.

  8. Woodland caribou persistence and extirpation in relic populations on Lake Superior

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    Arthur T. Bergerud

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Extended: The hypothesis was proposed that woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in North America had declined due to wolf predation and over-hunting rather than from a shortage of winter lichens (Bergerud, 1974. In 1974, two study areas were selected for testing: for the lichen hypothesis, we selected the Slate Islands in Lake Superior (36 km2, a closed canopy forest without terrestrial lichens, wolves, bears, or moose; for the predation hypothesis, we selected the nearby Pukaskwa National Park (PNP where terrestrial lichens, wolves, bears, and moose were present. Both areas were monitored from 1974 to 2003 (30 years. The living and dead caribou on the Slates were estimated by the ‘King census’ strip transect (mean length 108±9.3 km, extremes 22-190, total 3026 km and the Lincoln Index (mean tagged 45±3.6, extremes 15-78. The mean annual population on the Slate Islands based on the strip transects was 262±22 animals (extremes 104-606, or 7.3/km2 (29 years and from the Lincoln Index 303±64 (extremes 181-482, or 8.4/km2 (23 years. These are the highest densities in North America and have persisted at least since 1949 (56 years. Mountain maple (Acer spicatum interacted with caribou density creating a record in its age structure which corroborates persistence at relatively high density from c. 1930. The mean percentage of calves was 14.8±0.34% (20 years in the fall and 14.1±1.95% (19 years in late winter. The Slate Islands herd was regulated by the density dependent abundance of summer green foods and fall physical condition rather than density independent arboreal lichen availability and snow depths. Two wolves (1 wolf/150 caribou crossed to the islands in 1993-94 and reduced two calf cohorts (3 and 4.9 per cent calves while female adult survival declined from a mean of 82% to 71% and the population declined ≈100 animals. In PNP, caribou/moose/wolf populations were estimated by aerial surveys (in some years assisted by telemetry

  9. Historical changes in caribou distribution and land cover in and around Prince Albert National Park: land management implications

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    Maria L. Arlt

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available In central Saskatchewan, boreal woodland caribou population declines have been documented in the 1940s and again in the 1980s. Although both declines led to a ban in sport hunting, a recovery was only seen in the 1950s and was attributed to wolf control and hunting closure. Recent studies suggest that this time, the population may not be increasing. In order to contribute to the conservation efforts, historical changes in caribou distribution and land cover types in the Prince Albert Greater Ecosystem (PAGE, Saskatchewan, were documented for the period of 1960s to the present. To examine changes in caribou distribution, survey observations, incidental sightings and telemetry data were collated. To quantify landscape changes, land cover maps were created for 1966 and 2006 using current and historic forest resources inventories, fire, logging, and roads data. Results indicate that woodland caribou are still found throughout the study area although their distribution has changed and their use of the National Park is greatly limited. Results of transition prob¬abilities and landscape composition analyses on the 1966 and 2006 land cover maps revealed an aging landscape for both the National Park and provincial crown land portions of the PAGE. In addition, increased logging and the development of extensive road and trail networks on provincial crown land produced significant landscape fragmentation for woodland caribou and reduced functional attributes of habitat patches. Understanding historical landscape changes will assist with ongoing provincial and federal recovery efforts for boreal caribou, forest management planning activities, and landscape restoration efforts within and beyond the Park boundaries.

  10. Estimating changes in lichen mat volume through time and related effects on barren ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rickbeil, Gregory J M; Hermosilla, Txomin; Coops, Nicholas C; White, Joanne C; Wulder, Michael A

    2017-01-01

    Lichens form a critical portion of barren ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) diets, especially during winter months. Here, we assess lichen mat volume across five herd ranges in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Canada, using newly developed composite Landsat imagery. The lichen volume estimator (LVE) was adapted for use across 700 000 km2 of barren ground caribou habitat annually from 1984-2012. We subsequently assessed how LVE changed temporally throughout the time series for each pixel using Theil-Sen's slopes, and spatially by assessing whether slope values were centered in local clusters of similar values. Additionally, we assessed how LVE estimates resulted in changes in barren ground caribou movement rates using an extensive telemetry data set from 2006-2011. The Ahiak/Beverly herd had the largest overall increase in LVE (median = 0.033), while the more western herds had the least (median slopes below zero in all cases). LVE slope pixels were arranged in significant clusters across the study area, with the Cape Bathurst, Bathurst, and Bluenose East herds having the most significant clusters of negative slopes (more than 20% of vegetated land in each case). The Ahiak/Beverly and Bluenose West had the most significant positive clusters (16.3% and 18.5% of vegetated land respectively). Barren ground caribou displayed complex reactions to changing lichen conditions depending on season; the majority of detected associations with movement data agreed with current understanding of barren ground caribou foraging behavior (the exception was an increase in movement velocity at high lichen volume estimates in Fall). The temporal assessment of LVE identified areas where shifts in ecological conditions may have resulted in changing lichen mat conditions, while assessing the slope estimates for clustering identified zones beyond the pixel scale where forage conditions may be changing. Lichen volume estimates associated with barren ground caribou

  11. Estimating changes in lichen mat volume through time and related effects on barren ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) movement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermosilla, Txomin; Coops, Nicholas C.; White, Joanne C.; Wulder, Michael A.

    2017-01-01

    Lichens form a critical portion of barren ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) diets, especially during winter months. Here, we assess lichen mat volume across five herd ranges in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Canada, using newly developed composite Landsat imagery. The lichen volume estimator (LVE) was adapted for use across 700 000 km2 of barren ground caribou habitat annually from 1984–2012. We subsequently assessed how LVE changed temporally throughout the time series for each pixel using Theil-Sen’s slopes, and spatially by assessing whether slope values were centered in local clusters of similar values. Additionally, we assessed how LVE estimates resulted in changes in barren ground caribou movement rates using an extensive telemetry data set from 2006–2011. The Ahiak/Beverly herd had the largest overall increase in LVE (median = 0.033), while the more western herds had the least (median slopes below zero in all cases). LVE slope pixels were arranged in significant clusters across the study area, with the Cape Bathurst, Bathurst, and Bluenose East herds having the most significant clusters of negative slopes (more than 20% of vegetated land in each case). The Ahiak/Beverly and Bluenose West had the most significant positive clusters (16.3% and 18.5% of vegetated land respectively). Barren ground caribou displayed complex reactions to changing lichen conditions depending on season; the majority of detected associations with movement data agreed with current understanding of barren ground caribou foraging behavior (the exception was an increase in movement velocity at high lichen volume estimates in Fall). The temporal assessment of LVE identified areas where shifts in ecological conditions may have resulted in changing lichen mat conditions, while assessing the slope estimates for clustering identified zones beyond the pixel scale where forage conditions may be changing. Lichen volume estimates associated with barren ground caribou

  12. Mapping caribou habitat north of the 51st parallel in Québec using Landsat imagery

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    Stéphanie Chalifoux

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available A methodology using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM images and vegetation typology, based on lichens as the principal component of caribou winter diet, was developed to map caribou habitat over a large and diversified area of Northern Québec. This approach includes field validation by aerial surveys (helicopter, classification of vegetation types, image enhancement, visual interpretation and computer assisted mapping. Measurements from more than 1500 field sites collected over six field campaigns from 1989 to 1996 represented the data analysed in this study. As the study progressed, 14 vegetation classes were defined and retained for analyses. Vegetation classes denoting important caribou habitat included six classes of upland lichen communities (Lichen, Lichen-Shrub, Shrub-Lichen, Lichen-Graminoid-Shrub, Lichen-Woodland, Lichen-Shrub-Woodland. Two classes (Burnt-over area, Regenerating burnt-over area are related to forest fire, and as they develop towards lichen communities, will become important for caribou. The last six classes are retained to depict remaining vegetation cover types. A total of 37 Landsat TM scenes were geocoded and enhanced using two methods: the Taylor method and the false colour composite method (bands combination and stretching. Visual inter¬pretation was chosen as the most efficient and reliable method to map vegetation types related to caribou habitat. The 43 maps produced at the scale of 1:250 000 and the synthesis map (1:2 000 000 provide a regional perspective of caribou habitat over 1200 000 km2 covering the entire range of the George river herd. The numerical nature of the data allows rapid spatial analysis and map updating.

  13. Behavioural strategies towards human disturbances explain individual performance in woodland caribou.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leclerc, Martin; Dussault, Christian; St-Laurent, Martin-Hugues

    2014-09-01

    Behavioural strategies may have important fitness, ecological and evolutionary consequences. In woodland caribou, human disturbances are associated with higher predation risk. Between 2004 and 2011, we investigated if habitat selection strategies of female caribou towards disturbances influenced their calf's survival in managed boreal forest with varying intensities of human disturbances. Calf survival was 53% and 43% after 30 and 90 days following birth, respectively, and 52% of calves that died were killed by black bear. The probability that a female lose its calf to predation was not influenced by habitat composition of her annual home range, but decreased with an increase in proportion of open lichen woodland within her calving home range. At the local scale, females that did not lose their calf displayed stronger avoidance of high road density areas than females that lost their calf to predation. Further, females that lost their calf to predation and that had a low proportion of ≤5-year-old cutovers within their calving home range were mostly observed in areas where these young cutovers were locally absent. Also, females that lost their calf to predation and that had a high proportion of ≤5-year-old cutovers within their calving home range were mostly observed in areas with a high local density of ≤5-year-old cutovers. Our study demonstrates that we have to account for human-induced disturbances at both local and regional scales in order to further enhance effective caribou management plans. We demonstrate that disturbances not only impact spatial distribution of individuals, but also their reproductive success.

  14. The nitrogen window for arctic herbivores: plant phenology and protein gain of migratory caribou (Rangifer tarandus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barboza, Perry S.; Van Someren, Lindsay L.; Gustine, David D.; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia

    2018-01-01

    Terrestrial plants are often limited by nitrogen (N) in arctic systems, but constraints of N supply on herbivores are typically considered secondary to those of energy. We tested the hypothesis that forage N is more limiting than energy for arctic caribou by collecting key forages (three species of graminoids, three species of woody browse, and one genus of forb) over three summers in the migratory range of the Central Arctic Herd in Alaska from the Brooks Range to the Coastal Plain on the Arctic Ocean. We combined in vitro digestion and detergent extraction to measure fiber, digestible energy, and usable fractions of N in forages (n = 771). Digestible energy content fell below the minimum threshold value of 9 kJ/g for one single forage group: graminoids, and only beyond 64–75 d from parturition (6 June), whereas all forages fell below the minimum threshold value for digestible N (1% of dry matter) before female caribou would have weaned their calves at 100 d from parturition. The window for digestible N was shortest for browse, which fell below 1% at 30–41 d from parturition, whereas digestible N contents of graminoids were adequate until 46–57 d from parturition. The low quality of browse as a source of N was also apparent from concentrations of available N (i.e., the N not bound to fiber) that were phenological windows for protein gain in caribou are both spatially and temporally dynamic and likely to affect the distribution and growth of the population.

  15. Characterization and delineation of caribou habitat on Unimak Island using remote sensing techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Brain M.

    The assessment of herbivore habitat quality is traditionally based on quantifying the forages available to the animal across their home range through ground-based techniques. While these methods are highly accurate, they can be time-consuming and highly expensive, especially for herbivores that occupy vast spatial landscapes. The Unimak Island caribou herd has been decreasing in the last decade at rates that have prompted discussion of management intervention. Frequent inclement weather in this region of Alaska has provided for little opportunity to study the caribou forage habitat on Unimak Island. The overall objectives of this study were two-fold 1) to assess the feasibility of using high-resolution color and near-infrared aerial imagery to map the forage distribution of caribou habitat on Unimak Island and 2) to assess the use of a new high-resolution multispectral satellite imagery platform, RapidEye, and use of the "red-edge" spectral band on vegetation classification accuracy. Maximum likelihood classification algorithms were used to create land cover maps in aerial and satellite imagery. Accuracy assessments and transformed divergence values were produced to assess vegetative spectral information and classification accuracy. By using RapidEye and aerial digital imagery in a hierarchical supervised classification technique, we were able to produce a high resolution land cover map of Unimak Island. We obtained overall accuracy rates of 71.4 percent which are comparable to other land cover maps using RapidEye imagery. The "red-edge" spectral band included in the RapidEye imagery provides additional spectral information that allows for a more accurate overall classification, raising overall accuracy 5.2 percent.

  16. Tolerance of an expanding subarctic shrub, Betula glandulosa, to simulated caribou browsing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie Champagne

    Full Text Available Densification of the shrub layer has been reported in many subarctic regions, raising questions about the implication for large herbivores and their resources. Shrubs can tolerate browsing and their level of tolerance could be affected by browsing and soils productivity, eventually modifying resource availability for the caribou. Our objective was to assess the compensatory growth potential of a subarctic shrub, Betula glandulosa Michx., in relation with caribou browsing and nutriment availability for the plants. We used a simulated browsing (0, 25 and 75% of available shoots and nitrogen-fertilisation (0 and 10 g m(-2 experiment to test two main hypotheses linking tolerance to resource availability, the Compensatory Continuum Hypothesis and the Growth Rate Hypothesis as well as the predictions from the Limiting Resource Model. We seek to explicitly integrate the relative browsing pressure in our predictions since the amount of tissues removed could affect the capacity of long-lived plants to compensate. Birches fully compensated for moderate browsing with an overall leaf biomass similar to unbrowsed birches but undercompensated under heavy browsing pressure. The main mechanism explaining compensation appears to be the conversion of short shoots into long shoots. The leaf area increased under heavy browsing pressure but only led to undercompensation. Fertilisation for two consecutive years did not influence the response of birch, thus we conclude that our results support the LRM hypothesis of equal tolerance under both high and low nitrogen availability. Our results highlight that the potential for compensatory growth in dwarf birch is surpassed under heavy browsing pressure independently of the fertilisation regime. In the context of the worldwide decline in caribou herds, the reduction in browsing pressure could act synergistically with global climate change to promote the current shrub expansion reported in subarctic regions.

  17. Disentangling woodland caribou movements in response to clearcuts and roads across temporal scales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Beauchesne

    Full Text Available Although prey species typically respond to the most limiting factors at coarse spatiotemporal scales while addressing biological requirements at finer scales, such behaviour may become challenging for species inhabiting human altered landscapes. We investigated how woodland caribou, a threatened species inhabiting North-American boreal forests, modified their fine-scale movements when confronted with forest management features (i.e. clearcuts and roads. We used GPS telemetry data collected between 2004 and 2010 on 49 female caribou in a managed area in Québec, Canada. Movements were studied using a use--availability design contrasting observed steps (i.e. line connecting two consecutive locations with random steps (i.e. proxy of immediate habitat availability. Although caribou mostly avoided disturbances, individuals nonetheless modulated their fine-scale response to disturbances on a daily and annual basis, potentially compromising between risk avoidance in periods of higher vulnerability (i.e. calving, early and late winter during the day and foraging activities in periods of higher energy requirements (i.e. spring, summer and rut during dusk/dawn and at night. The local context in which females moved was shown to influence their decision to cross clearcut edges and roads. Indeed, although females typically avoided crossing clearcut edges and roads at low densities, crossing rates were found to rapidly increase in greater disturbance densities. In some instance, however, females were less likely to cross edges and roads as densities increased. Females may then be trapped and forced to use disturbed habitats, known to be associated with higher predation risk. We believe that further increases in anthropogenic disturbances could exacerbate such behavioural responses and ultimately lead to population level consequences.

  18. Isotopic nitrogen in fecal fiber as an indicator of winter diet in caribou and muskoxen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry S.; Addison, Jennifer; Shively, Rachel; Oliver, Lola

    2014-01-01

    RATIONALE: The ratios of stable nitrogen isotopes (δ15N values) in excreta have been used to examine aspects of trophic and nutritional ecology across taxa. Nitrogen fractions in feces of herbivores include endogenous (e.g., sloughed intestinal cells, unresorbed digestive secretions, and microbial debris) and dietary sources. For animals such as large herbivores, that have diets and feces with high concentrations of indigestible fiber, endogenous 15N may constrain the use of fecal δ15N values to estimate dietary δ15N values and reconstruct diets. METHODS: We compared two techniques (detergent and detergent-free) to isolate fractions of plant fibers in the forages of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus); estimated the discrimination factors between the δ15N values of fecal fiber residues and of the diets of captive animals; and used the more effective isotopic tracer of dietary δ15N values to examine the relationships between the δ15N values of fecal residues and diet composition in several populations of wild caribou and muskoxen throughout North America in winter. RESULTS: The detergent-based approach contaminated the fractions of plant fibers in forages and feces with 14N, whereas the detergent-free method was a good proxy to estimate δ15N values of plant fibers (r2= 0.92) and provided a better estimate of the fecal-fiber to diet discrimination factor for both species (caribou = 3.6‰; muskoxen = 2.8‰). In wild populations, the δ15N values of fecal fibers reflected diet composition in muskoxen (adjusted R2= 0.43) but not caribou (adjusted R2= 0.06). CONCLUSIONS: Contamination from detergent residues prohibited the use of detergent extraction in isolating forage 15N from endogenous 15N in the feces of herbivores. Although δ15N values in fecal fibers can be used to track dietary δ15N values in wild herbivores, discrimination between fecal extracts and diet may vary with the contribution of endogenous nitrogen (N), and

  19. Transfer of the uranium decay products, polonium-210 and lead-210, through the lichen-caribou-wolf food chain in northern Canada (manuscript report)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, P.A.

    1991-05-01

    The main purpose of this study is to investigate the accumulation and transfer of polonium-210 and lead-210 in the arctic food chain, lichen-caribou-wolf, in the Northwest Territories. Polonium-210 arises from lead-210 decay and is a widespread alpha-emitting radionuclide. It seeks soft tissue and has the potential to accumulate in the food chain. Caribou, wolves and other wildlife may become exposed to enhanced levels of these two uranium-series radionuclides if the proposed uranium mine near Baker Lake, Northwest Territories, proceeds. Baker Lake lies at the crossroads of the ranges of the Beverly, the Kaminuriak and the Wager Bay caribou herds. Therefore, it is important to establish baseline concentrations and natural food chain transfer of uranium series radionuclides, in this study. This information can be used for baseline data before any further mining development takes place. This study will also provide data regarding the statistical uncertainty attached to transfer coefficients. This can help ensure reliable and appropriate future monitoring of environmental change. With the participation of the hunters of Baker Lake, caribou and wolf samples were collected and analyzed for polonium. Results indicate that polonium-210 activity in caribou tissues were somewhat higher than previous data reported from Alaska. Transfer coefficients for polonium-210 from caribou to wolf were near unity for many tissues. However, polonium-210 does not appear to cross the placenta in caribou. Further study includes lichen collections and collection of further caribou samples from the beverly herd in order to determine transfer from lichens to caribou in both the Baker Lake and Snowdrift areas in the Northwest Territories. (author). 26 refs., 3 tabs

  20. Winter habitat selection by caribou in relation to lichen abundance, wildfires, grazing, and landscape characteristics in northwest Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyle Joly; F. Stuart III Chapin; David R. Klein

    2010-01-01

    Lichens are an important winter forage for large, migratory herds of caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) that can influence population dynamics through effects on body condition and in turn calf recruitment and survival. We investigated the vegetative and physiographic characteristics of winter range of the Western Arctic Herd in northwest Alaska, one...

  1. Uranium series radionuclides, polonium-210 and lead-210, in the lichen-caribou-wolf food chain of the Northwest Territories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, P.A.; Sheard, J.W.; Swanson, S.

    1994-01-01

    This report examines baseline concentrations and transfer of the uranium decay products polonium-210 and lead-210 in the lichen-caribou-wolf food chain at two locations in the Northwest Territories, Baker Lake and Snowdrift. At each location, concentrations of the two radionuclides were determined in the lichen species Cetraria nivalis and Cladina mitis, and several tissues from caribou and wolves. Baseline concentrations and transfer coefficients within the food chain were compared between the two locations. Lichen samples were also collected from Kasba Lake, a third hunting ground used by northern Saskatchewan hunters. The lichen species chosen were common forage for caribou. Both the predominant lichen species at each location and rumen contents were used to estimate the winter diet of caribou in the calculation of transfer coefficients. The results are relevant to environmental monitoring in areas of potential future uranium mining development and the transfer coefficients determined in the study may be used to estimate radionuclide concentrations and radiation doses in future environmental assessments

  2. Factors affecting the value of a wilderness visit: a contingent valuation study of Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness users

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery A. Michael; Stephen Reiling; Hsiang-Tai Cheng

    1995-01-01

    A dichotomous choice contingent valuation model is estimated using an on-site survey of Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness visitors. The results indicate that pre-trip expectations of various trip attributes such as congestion have a greater impact on a trip?s value than the actual conditions of the visit. This research also shows that future economic studies of an...

  3. Dosimetry of 210Po in humans, caribou, and wolves in northern Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, P.A.

    1994-01-01

    Effective doses from 210 Po intake with caribou meat were determined for human residents in Baker Lake and Snowdrift in the Northwest Territories of Canada and compared to doses calculated from reported 210 Po tissue activities in Alaskan and British residents. Effective doses were calculated to separate body tissues, using ICRP 60 human weighting factors and the ICRP 30 metabolic model for 210 Po. Baker Lake and Alaskan effective doses were similar at 0.4 mSv y -1 and slightly higher than Snowdrift doses (0.3 mSv y -1 ). Alaskan tissue activities indicated higher effective doses to liver, bone surfaces and red marrow and lower doses to spleen than the 210 Po metabolic model (ICRP 1979a) predicts. Effective doses to Baker Lake and Snowdrift caribou and wolves, calculated from tissue activities, ranged from 7-20 mSv y -1 using human weighting factors for comparison to human doses only. Effective doses to northern Canadians and wildlife were, respectively, 7-11% and 1.8-5 times an estimated human background of 4 mSv y - from all sources. 51 refs., 2 figs., 9 tabs

  4. What does it mean to put caribou knowledge into an ecosystem context?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fred H. Harrington

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystems are envisioned as integrated, complex systems with both living and non-living components, that are linked through processes of energy flow and nutrient cycling (Bowen, 1971; Ricklefs, 1979. The ecosystem approach seeks to describe the components of this system, the pathways through which energy and nutrients move, and the processes that govern that movement. The goal is a better understanding of the role or effect of each component (abiotic or biotic within the system. Theorerically, the more we know, the better we can predict the future behaviour of the ecosystem and therefore manage the system on whatever sustainable basis we deem appropriate. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus presently inhabit two ecosystems, tundra (arctic and alpine and taiga (or boreal forest, both characterized by relatively low productivity and diversity (Bowen, 1971; Bliss, 1981; Bonan, 1992a. As increased anthropogenic impacts are expected in these ecosystems through the next century, our ability to ensure the continued survival of caribou requires that we pay increasing attention to the processes that drive these systems. In this endeavour, an awareness of the effects of both spatial and temporal scale, in both ecosystem processes and our research programs to understand those processes, is critical.

  5. Utility of stable isotope analysis in studying foraging ecology of herbivores: Examples from moose and caribou

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-David, M.; Shochat, E.; Adams, L.

    2001-01-01

    Recently, researchers emphasized that patterns of stable isotope ratios observed at the individual level are a result of an interaction between ecological, physiological, and biochemical processes. Isotopic models for herbivores provide additional complications because those mammals consume foods that have high variability in nitrogen concentrations. In addition, distribution of amino acids in plants may differ greatly from that required by a herbivore. At northern latitudes, where the growing season of vegetation is short, isotope ratios in herbivore tissues are expected to differ between seasons. Summer ratios likely reflect diet composition, whereas winter ratios would reflect diet and nutrient recycling by the animals. We tested this hypothesis using data collected from blood samples of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and moose (Alces alces) in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, USA. Stable isotope ratios of moose and caribou were significantly different from each other in late summer-autumn and winter. Also, late summer-autumn and winter ratios differed significantly between seasons in both species. Nonetheless, we were unable to evaluate whether differences in seasonal isotopic ratios were a result of diet selection or a response to nutrient recycling. We believe that additional studies on plant isotopic ratios as related to ecological factors in conjunction with investigations of diet selection by the herbivores will enhance our understanding of those interactions. Also, controlled studies investigating the relation between diet and physiological responses in herbivores will increase the utility of isotopic analysis in studying foraging ecology of herbivores.

  6. Variations in plant forage quality in the range of the Porcupine caribou herd

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jill Johnstone

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available Understanding potential impacts of vegetation change on caribou energetics requires information on variations in forage quality among different plant types and over time. We synthesized data on forage quality (nitrogen, neutral detergent fiber and dry matter digestibility for 10 plant growth forms from existing scientific literature and from field research in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. These data describe forage quality of plant species in habitats found within the summer and winter range of the Porcupine caribou herd in northwestern Canada and northern Alaska, U.S.A. We compared mean levels of summer forage quality among growth forms and, where possible, estimated seasonal changes in forage quality. Preferred forage groups (deciduous shrubs, forbs, and cottongrass flowers had higher nitrogen and digestibility, and lower fiber content, than other growth forms. Nitrogen concentration in green biomass peaked at the onset of the growing season in forbs and deciduous shrubs, whereas graminoids reached peak nitrogen concentrations approximately 15-30 days after growth initiation. In vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD and concentration of neutral detergent fiber (NDF of green biomass differed among growth forms, but did not show strong seasonal changes. IVDMD and NDF concentrations were correlated with nitrogen concentrations in studies that had paired sampling.

  7. Metagenomic survey for viruses in Western Arctic caribou, Alaska, through iterative assembly of taxonomic units.

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    Anita C Schürch

    Full Text Available Pathogen surveillance in animals does not provide a sufficient level of vigilance because it is generally confined to surveillance of pathogens with known economic impact in domestic animals and practically nonexistent in wildlife species. As most (re-emerging viral infections originate from animal sources, it is important to obtain insight into viral pathogens present in the wildlife reservoir from a public health perspective. When monitoring living, free-ranging wildlife for viruses, sample collection can be challenging and availability of nucleic acids isolated from samples is often limited. The development of viral metagenomics platforms allows a more comprehensive inventory of viruses present in wildlife. We report a metagenomic viral survey of the Western Arctic herd of barren ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti in Alaska, USA. The presence of mammalian viruses in eye and nose swabs of 39 free-ranging caribou was investigated by random amplification combined with a metagenomic analysis approach that applied exhaustive iterative assembly of sequencing results to define taxonomic units of each metagenome. Through homology search methods we identified the presence of several mammalian viruses, including different papillomaviruses, a novel parvovirus, polyomavirus, and a virus that potentially represents a member of a novel genus in the family Coronaviridae.

  8. Toward the Restoration of Caribou Habitat: Understanding Factors Associated with Human Motorized Use of Legacy Seismic Lines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigeon, Karine E.; Anderson, Meghan; MacNearney, Doug; Cranston, Jerome; Stenhouse, Gordon; Finnegan, Laura

    2016-11-01

    Populations of boreal and southern mountain caribou in Alberta, Canada, are declining, and the ultimate cause of their decline is believed to be anthropogenic disturbance. Linear features are pervasive across the landscape, and of particular importance, seismic lines established in the 1900s (legacy seismic lines) are slow to regenerate. Off-highway vehicles are widely used on these seismic lines and can hamper vegetative re-growth because of ongoing physical damage, compaction, and active clearing. Restoration of seismic lines within caribou range is therefore a priority for the recovery of threatened populations in Alberta, but a triage-type approach is necessary to prioritize restoration and ensure conservation resources are wisely spent. To target restoration efforts, our objective was to determine factors that best explained levels of off-highway vehicles use on seismic lines intersecting roads. We investigated the relative importance of local topography, vegetation attributes of seismic lines, and broad-scale human factors such as the density of infrastructures and the proximity to recreation campsites and towns to explain the observed levels of off-highway vehicles use. We found that off-highway vehicles use was mainly associated with local topography and vegetation attributes of seismic lines that facilitated ease-of-travel. Broad-scale landscape attributes associated with industrial, recreation access, or hunting activities did not explain levels of off-highway vehicles use. Management actions aimed at promoting natural regeneration and reduce ease-of-travel on legacy seismic lines within caribou ranges can be beneficial to caribou recovery in Alberta, Canada, and we therefore recommend restrictions of off-highway vehicles use on low vegetation, dry seismic lines in caribou ranges.

  9. Compensatory selection for roads over natural linear features by wolves in northern Ontario: Implications for caribou conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Erica J; Patterson, Brent R; Anderson, Morgan L; Rodgers, Arthur R; Vander Vennen, Lucas M; Fryxell, John M

    2017-01-01

    Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Ontario are a threatened species that have experienced a substantial retraction of their historic range. Part of their decline has been attributed to increasing densities of anthropogenic linear features such as trails, roads, railways, and hydro lines. These features have been shown to increase the search efficiency and kill rate of wolves. However, it is unclear whether selection for anthropogenic linear features is additive or compensatory to selection for natural (water) linear features which may also be used for travel. We studied the selection of water and anthropogenic linear features by 52 resident wolves (Canis lupus x lycaon) over four years across three study areas in northern Ontario that varied in degrees of forestry activity and human disturbance. We used Euclidean distance-based resource selection functions (mixed-effects logistic regression) at the seasonal range scale with random coefficients for distance to water linear features, primary/secondary roads/railways, and hydro lines, and tertiary roads to estimate the strength of selection for each linear feature and for several habitat types, while accounting for availability of each feature. Next, we investigated the trade-off between selection for anthropogenic and water linear features. Wolves selected both anthropogenic and water linear features; selection for anthropogenic features was stronger than for water during the rendezvous season. Selection for anthropogenic linear features increased with increasing density of these features on the landscape, while selection for natural linear features declined, indicating compensatory selection of anthropogenic linear features. These results have implications for woodland caribou conservation. Prey encounter rates between wolves and caribou seem to be strongly influenced by increasing linear feature densities. This behavioral mechanism-a compensatory functional response to anthropogenic linear feature

  10. Compensatory selection for roads over natural linear features by wolves in northern Ontario: Implications for caribou conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica J Newton

    Full Text Available Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in Ontario are a threatened species that have experienced a substantial retraction of their historic range. Part of their decline has been attributed to increasing densities of anthropogenic linear features such as trails, roads, railways, and hydro lines. These features have been shown to increase the search efficiency and kill rate of wolves. However, it is unclear whether selection for anthropogenic linear features is additive or compensatory to selection for natural (water linear features which may also be used for travel. We studied the selection of water and anthropogenic linear features by 52 resident wolves (Canis lupus x lycaon over four years across three study areas in northern Ontario that varied in degrees of forestry activity and human disturbance. We used Euclidean distance-based resource selection functions (mixed-effects logistic regression at the seasonal range scale with random coefficients for distance to water linear features, primary/secondary roads/railways, and hydro lines, and tertiary roads to estimate the strength of selection for each linear feature and for several habitat types, while accounting for availability of each feature. Next, we investigated the trade-off between selection for anthropogenic and water linear features. Wolves selected both anthropogenic and water linear features; selection for anthropogenic features was stronger than for water during the rendezvous season. Selection for anthropogenic linear features increased with increasing density of these features on the landscape, while selection for natural linear features declined, indicating compensatory selection of anthropogenic linear features. These results have implications for woodland caribou conservation. Prey encounter rates between wolves and caribou seem to be strongly influenced by increasing linear feature densities. This behavioral mechanism-a compensatory functional response to anthropogenic

  11. Voices of the Caribou People: a participatory videography method to document and share local knowledge from the North American human-Rangifer systems

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    Archana Bali

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available "Voices of the Caribou People" is a participatory videography project for documenting and sharing the local knowledge of caribou-user communities about social-ecological changes. The project was conducted in partnership with indigenous people who share a long and close relationship with caribou and self-identify as the "Caribou People." The Caribou People desired to share their knowledge, experiences, challenges, and coping strategies with other indigenous communities and with scientists and wildlife managers. Six communities in the North American Arctic participated in the project, with 99 people interviewed about the ecological, cultural, spiritual, and nutritional aspects of their relationship with caribou. The Caribou People wished to tell their stories with their own voices, without the filter of a researcher's interpretations of their messages. The communities defined three project goals, i.e., documentation, communication, and sharing of knowledge, and we identified methodological challenges associated with these goals. Through videography, we sought to overcome these challenges and accomplish community goals, which formed the basis for our project's evaluation. Participants reported changes and concerns ranging from impacts of oil and gas exploration, mining activities, nonlocal hunting, and high energy costs to impacts of climate-related conditions. All interviews were made available in the public domain via the Internet for sharing. In the view of the communities, videography preserved their legacy and served as a repository of traditional knowledge in changing times; visual images were seen as a powerful medium to communicate with policy makers and the public at large and were seen as a preferred informal, unstructured approach. We have (1 described the approach of the Voices of the Caribou People project as a collaborative video methodology and (2 discussed the effectiveness of this method in meeting the goals of participatory

  12. Antler possession by west Greenland female caribou in relation to population characteristics

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    Henning Thing

    1986-06-01

    Full Text Available The frequency of antlerless adult female caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus was studied in four separate populations in west Greenland. Between the herds antlerlessness varied from 21% to 79%. An inverse relationship between winter range quality and percentage of unantlered cows is demonstrated. Relationship between calf percentage and maternal antler status was studied in one population and antlerless cows showed higher reproductive rate than antlered ones. In another population antlerless cows were almost absent outside the calving area. Calves of antlerless mothers were more susceptible to diseases and had significantly higher summer mortality than other calves, 42% and 27% respectively. The relative importance of factors influencing antler development under various environmental conditons are assessed and a close relationship between antlerlessness, physical condition, lactation, and length of period between calving and midsummer is discussed.

  13. Social-Ecological Soundscapes: Examining Aircraft-Harvester-Caribou Conflict in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinchcomb, Taylor R.

    As human development expands across the Arctic, it is crucial to carefully assess the impacts to remote natural ecosystems and to indigenous communities that rely on wild resources for nutritional and cultural wellbeing. Because indigenous communities and wildlife populations are interdependent, assessing how human activities impact traditional harvest practices can advance our understanding of the human dimensions of wildlife management. Indigenous communities across Arctic Alaska have expressed concern over the last four decades that low-flying aircraft interfere with their traditional harvest practices. For example, communities often have testified that aircraft disturb caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and thereby reduce harvest opportunities. Despite this longstanding concern, little research exists on the extent of aircraft activity in Arctic Alaska and on how aircraft affect the behavior and perceptions of harvesters. Therefore, the overarching goal of my research was to highlight the importance of aircraft-harvester conflict in Arctic Alaska and begin to address the issue using a scientific and community-driven approach. In Chapter 1, I demonstrated that conflict between aircraft and indigenous harvesters in Arctic Alaska is a widespread, understudied, and complex issue. By conducting a meta-analysis of the available literature, I quantified the deficiency of scientific knowledge about the impacts of aircraft on rural communities and traditional harvest practices in the Arctic. My results indicated that no peer-reviewed literature has addressed the conflict between low-flying aircraft and traditional harvesters in Arctic Alaska. I speculated that the scale over which aircraft, rural communities, and wildlife interact limits scientists' ability to determine causal relationships and therefore detracts from their interest in researching the human dimension of this social-ecological system. Innovative research approaches like soundscape ecology could begin to

  14. Movement patterns and resource selection – insights from West Greenland caribou

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raundrup, Katrine

    2018-01-01

    Caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) in the Akia-Maniitsoq population were found to be partial migrators as ca. 85 % were migrators or mixed-migrators while ca. 10 % were resident. The average distance between summer and winter home ranges depended on individual movement type; migrators and ...... as areas comprising the important winter vegetation types. This may not be an easy task as future warming may increase the shrubification even further, and economic interests may pave the way for the establishment of large-scale infrastructures in current day pristine areas....... winter diet showed that lichens made up more than 60 % of the ingested forage, which stresses the importance of vegetation types rich in lichens as winter habitats. This finding occurred despite the simultaneous expansion of shrubs in the area where the distribution of the vegetation types heath...

  15. Modelling of radiocesium transfer in the lichen-reindeer/caribou-wolf food chain

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    D. F. Holleman

    1990-09-01

    Full Text Available The environmental contaminate radiocesium (cesium-137 has been shown to be of value as a marker in food selection and intake studies. Its greatest potential value as a food marker is in the subarctic/arctic regions, particularly in the lichen to reindeer/caribou to wolf food chain. A kinetic model describing the movement of radiocesium through the food chain has been developed using the SAAM computer program and is presented here. The program has been written so that the various paramenters affecting the transfer of radiocesium in the food chain can be altered more realistically to describe the system being modeled. The values of the parameters as given in this example are realistic for interior Alaska, however caution should be exercised in the application of the present results to regions that may be vastly different from the Alaskan interior without first evaluating the parameters and assumptions of the model.

  16. Parasite prevalence, infection intensity and richness in an endangered population, the Atlantic-Gaspésie caribou

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    Geneviève Turgeon

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The Atlantic-Gaspésie caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou population is a small isolated relict herd considered endangered according to the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA. This population has low recruitment and survival rates but the potential role of parasites on individual fitness is unknown. In this context, we explored the parasite status of this population with the aim of 1 assessing the occurrence and intensity of parasite infections and the spatial, temporal and individual variations, 2 quantifying parasite richness and investigating factors such as sex and host body condition that may be associated with this variable and 3 evaluating the effects of parasite infections on survival in the Atlantic-Gaspésie caribou population. We examined fecal samples from 32 animals captured in 2013–2014 for eggs, oocysts and larvae of parasites and detected 7 parasite species: dorsal-spined larvae protostrongylids, presumably Parelaphostrongylus andersoni based on PCR identification of a subset, Nematodirus odocoilei and other unidentified Strongyles, Trichuris sp., Capillaria sp., Moniezia sp. and Eimeria sp. For each caribou, mean parasite species richness was 1.8 ± 1.1 (SD. Sex, body condition, year and capture location did not explain parasite prevalence, intensity of infection or richness except for intensity of infection of Capillaria sp. that was positively influenced by body condition. Parasites did not influence survival although mortality was higher for males than for females. We suggest that the relatively low and common gastrointestinal and protostrongylid parasite infections will not be a short-term threat leading to extinction. Keywords: Capillaria, Eimeria, Moniezia, Nematodirinae, Parelaphostrongylus andersoni, Rangifer tarandus

  17. The effects of human land use on the winter habitat of the recovering Carcross woodland caribou herd in suburban Yukon Territory, Canada

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    Rob Florkiewicz

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Carcross woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou numbers are increasing as a result of an intensive management and recovery program initiated in 1993. In the last 13 years, three overlapping First Nation land claim agreements were settled resulting in a complicated array of private and public land management authorities on this winter range, situated in the Whitehorse periphery. Twelve years of VHF radio-collar data (1994-2005 and 5 years of GPS radio-collar data (2000-2005 for female caribou were assessed to determine winter concentration areas and important winter habitats. We contrasted locations from 11 GPS radio-collared caribou with land cover classes, derived from classified Landsat 7 imagery, to evaluate the distribution and abundance of preferred habitats within this winter range. We found significant use of Open Needle Leaf lichen vegetation classes and avoidance of the relatively more abundant Closed Needle Leaf class. Our resource selection function model validated the preference for Open Needle Leaf Lichen and determined that caribou were spaced significantly further from an estimate of the human Zone of Influence (ZOI than was expected from random locations. While our assessment determined that 64% of the winter range was located outside of either private lands or land influenced by human activity, key winter vegetation classes were under-represented within this area. If caribou are to successfully recover on this landscape and persist through time it is essential to manage, through meaningful participation among land management authorities, the remaining caribou habitat for environmental rather than human consumptive values.

  18. Single-island home range use by four female Peary caribou, Bathurst Island, Canadian High Arctic, 1993-94

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    Frank L. Miller

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available Spatial and temporal use of seasonal, and collectively, annual ranges by four female Peary caribou (Rangifer taran-dus pearyi was investigated using satellite telemetry. Knowledge of how caribou use space allows a better understanding of their demands on those ranges and enhances evaluation of associated environmental stressors. The study took place during an environmentally favorable caribou-year with high reproduction and calf survival and low (none detected 1+ yr-old mortality, 1 August 1993 to 31 July 1994, Bathurst Island, south-central Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canadian High Arctic. All four females exhibited a pattern of single-island seasonal, and collectively, annual range use. Estimates of the maximum area encompassed by each individual during the course of the annual-cycle varied from 1735 to 2844 km2 (mean±SE = 2284±250 km2. Although, there was 46% spatial overlap among individual ranges, temporal isolation resulted in the four individuals maintaining seasonal ranges distinctly separate from each other. This collective area encompassed 4970 km2 and equaled about 31% and 18% of Bathurst Island and the Bathurst Island complex, respectively. Individual wintering areas formed a relatively small portion of each individual's annual range (mean±SE=71±17 km2: 24 km2, 158 days of occupation, <1% of the annual area; 70 km2, 187 days, 4%; 95 km2, 200 days, 4%; and 94 km2, 172 days, 6%. Seasonal movements were greatest during pre-rut and pre-calving.

  19. Terrestrial lichen response to partial cutting in lodgepole pine forests on caribou winter range in west-central British Columbia

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    Michaela J. Waterhouse

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available In west-central British Columbia, terrestrial lichens located in older, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta forests are important winter forage for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou. Clearcut harvesting effectively removes winter forage habitat for decades, so management approaches based on partial cutting were designed to maintain continuous lichen-bearing habitat for caribou. This study tested a group selection system, based on removal of 33% of the forest every 80 years in small openings (15 m diameter, and two irregular shelterwood treatments (whole-tree and stem-only harvesting methods where 50% of the stand area is cut every 70 years in 20 to 30 m diameter openings. The abundance of common terrestrial lichens among the partial cutting and no-harvest treatments was compared across five replicate blocks, pre-harvest (1995 and post-harvest (1998, 2000 and 2004. The initial loss of preferred forage lichens (Cladonia, Cladina, Cetraria and Stereocaulon was similar among harvesting treatments, but there was greater reduction in these lichens in the openings than in the residual forest. After eight years, forage lichens in the group selection treatment recovered to pre-harvest amounts, while lichen in the shelterwood treatments steadily increased from 49 to 57% in 1998 to about 70% of pre-harvest amounts in 2004. Although not part of the randomized block design, there was substantially less lichen in three adjacent clearcut blocks than in the partial cuts. Regression analysis pre- and post-harvest indicated that increased cover of trees, shrubs, herbs, woody debris and logging slash corresponded with decreased forage lichen abundance. In the short-term, forestry activities that minimize inputs of woody debris, control herb and shrub development, and moderate the changes in light and temperatures associated with canopy removal will lessen the impact on lichen. Implementation of stand level prescriptions is only one aspect of caribou habitat

  20. Use of summer habitat by caribou on the north slope of a mountain near the Macmillan Pass, N.W.T.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James F. Quayle

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Habitat use by woodland caribou was investigated by counting pellet-groups, sampling phytomass, and evaluating topography in nine habitat-types on the north slope of an unnamed mountain near Macmillan Pass, N.W.T. Caribou pellets were most abundant in high elevation habitat-types, and pellet density was greatest in an alpine Lichen-Grass habitat-type with a slope of <1°. The high density of pellets in alpine areas may have resulted from of the use of cool, windy, alpine habitats by caribou seeking relief from insect harassment. There were no apparent relationships between pellet abundance, and phytomass of mosses, lichens, or graminoids, possibly as a result of caribou feeding and defecating in different habitats. The occurrence of pellets with a coalesced morphology in the barren Lichen-Grass habitat-type provided indirect evidence in support of a feeding cycle, whereby caribou visit lush habitats to feed, and return to open, alpine habitats to rest and ruminate.

  1. Distribution and abundance of muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus and Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi on Graham, Buckingham, and southern Ellesmere islands, March 2015

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    Morgan Anderson

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available We flew a survey of southern Ellesmere Island, Graham Island, and Buckingham Island in March 2015 to obtain estimates of abundance for muskoxen and Peary caribou. Generally, muskoxen were abundant north of the Sydkap Ice Cap along Baumann Fiord, north of Goose Fiord, west and north of Muskox Fiord, and on the coastal plains and river valleys east of Vendom Fiord. Although few, they were also present on Bjorne Peninsula and the south coast between the Sydkap Ice Cap and Jakeman Glacier. We observed a total of 1146 muskoxen. Calves (approximately 10-months old made up 22% of the observed animals. The population estimate was 3200 ± 602 SE (standard error muskoxen, the highest muskox population size ever estimated for southern Ellesmere, Graham and Buckingham islands. This could be because previous efforts typically surveyed only a portion of our area or focused elsewhere, or the results were provided only as minimum counts rather than estimates of abundance. Regardless, our results indicate that the muskox population has recovered from low levels in 2005 of 312-670 (95% confidence interval [CI] individuals. Peary caribou abundance appears to be low.  We only saw 38 Peary caribou during our 2015 survey. This confounds appraisal of possible abundance change since 2005, when 109-442 caribou (95% CI were estimated to inhabit the same surveyed area. We estimated 183 ± 128 SE Peary caribou, and suggest that their numbers are likely stable at low density on southern Ellesmere Island.

  2. Differences in radionuclide and heavy metal concentrations found in the kidneys of barren-ground caribou from the western Northwest Territories 1994/95 to 2000/01

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    Nicholas C. Larter

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Aluminum, nickel, cadmium, mercury, and lead concentrations were measured in the kidney tissue of known aged barren-ground caribou wintering in the western Northwest Territories harvested during winter 1994/1995 and during winters 2000/2001 and 2001/2002. 40K, 137Cs, and 210Pb concentrations were measured in the kidney tissue of known aged barren-ground caribou during winter 2000/2001 and compared to concentrations in winter 1993/1994 reported in Macdonald et al. (1996. Renal concentrations of aluminum were higher (P<0.001in winter 2000/2001 than winter 1994/1995. Contrastingly renal concentrations of mercury were lower (P<0.001 in winter 2000/2001 than 1994/1995. 137Cs (P<0.02, 40K (P=0.01, 210Pb (P<0.01 had lower renal concentrations in winter 2000/2001 than 1993/1994. Renal concentrations of cadmium (P<0.001 and 137Cs (P<0.04 had a positive relationship with caribou age. We also document renal concentrations of arsenic, copper, selenium, zinc, 232Th, 226Ra, and 235U in the kidneys of caribou harvested in winters 2000/2001 and 2001/2002. Renal zinc concentrations were positively correlated with the age of caribou.

  3. Growth, condition, and mortality of caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus in the Sisimiut Population, West Greenland

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    Vidar Holthe

    1984-05-01

    Full Text Available Growth and condition of the Sisimiut caribou was anlysed by means of mandible length, carcass weight, and back fat indices. Mandible lenght showed unchanged growth conditions since the late 1960s, and growth stops at 4 years of age. The Sisimiut caribou seems to be smaller than North American caribous, Greenlandic semi-domesticated reindeer and of same size or smaller than Scandinavian reindeer. Carcass weight showed similar results, however cow growth rate seems not to prolong sexual maturation. Back fat deposits were less than what is known from other reindeer and caribou populations. Sex and age distribution of mandibles from various materials and survival curves based on the same material shows — an uneven distribution between bulls and cows and a relatively large proportion of old cows in the bag from the last years, which seems to be caused by a light hunting pressure when the population peaked in the 1960s. Heavy natural mortality for animals born before or after a winter with unfavorable snow conditions was also showed.Vækst, kondition og dødelighed hos vildren (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus i Sisimiut-bestanden, Vestgrønland.Abstract in Danish / Sammendrag: Vækst- og konditionsforhold for Sisimiut-vildrenbestanden i Vestgrønland er beskrevet ved hjæip af underkæbelængde, slagtevægt og rygfedt. Undersøgelsen af kæbelængde viste, at vækstforholdene havde været uforandret siden sidste halvdel af 1960-erne, at væksten standser ved 4-års alderen, samt at Sisimiut-vildrenen er mindre end de nordamerikanske caribou, Itinnera-tamrenen og på størrelse med eller mindre end skandinaviske rensdyr. Dette viste sig også ved sammenligninger af slagtevægt. Vægten af simlerne er dog ikke så ringe, at der kan iagttages nogen forsinkelse i kønsmodningen. Fedtreserverne ved indgangen til vinteren synes at være dårligere end i andre undersøgte rensdyrbestande. Køns- og aldersfordelingen blandt forskellige typer af indsamlet k

  4. Natality and calf mortality of the Northern Alaska Peninsula and Southern Alaska Peninsula caribou herds

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    Richard A. Sellers

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available We studied natality in the Northern Alaska Peninsula (NAP and Southern Alaska Peninsula (SAP caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti herds during 1996-1999, and mortality and weights of calves during 1998 and 1999- Natality was lower in the NAP than the SAP primarily because most 3-year-old females did not produce calves in the NAP Patterns of calf mortality in the NAP and SAP differed from those in Interior Alaska primarily because neonatal (i.e., during the first 2 weeks of life mortality was relatively low, but mortality continued to be significant through August in both herds, and aggregate annual mortality was extreme (86% in the NAP Predators probably killed more neonatal calves in the SAP, primarily because a wolf den (Canis lupus was located on the calving area. Despite the relatively high density of brown bears (Ursus arctos and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, these predators killed surprisingly few calves. Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos were uncommon on the Alaska Peninsula. At least 2 calves apparently died from pneu¬monia in the range of the NAP but none were suspected to have died from disease in the range of the SAP. Heavy scav¬enging by bald eagles complicated determining cause of death of calves in both the NAP and SAP.

  5. Salvage logging following fires can minimize boreal caribou habitat loss while maintaining forest quotas: An example of compensatory cumulative effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beguin, Julien; McIntire, Eliot J B; Raulier, Frédéric

    2015-11-01

    Protected area networks are the dominant conservation approach that is used worldwide for protecting biodiversity. Conservation planning in managed forests, however, presents challenges when endangered species use old-growth forests targeted by the forest industry for timber supply. In many ecosystems, this challenge is further complicated by the occurrence of natural disturbance events that disrupt forest attributes at multiple scales. Using spatially explicit landscape simulation experiments, we gather insights into how these large scale, multifaceted processes (fire risk, timber harvesting and the amount of protected area) influenced both the persistence of the threatened boreal caribou and the level of timber supply in the boreal forest of eastern Canada. Our result showed that failure to account explicitly and a priori for fire risk in the calculation of timber supply led to an overestimation of timber harvest volume, which in turn led to rates of cumulative disturbances that threatened both the long-term persistence of boreal caribou and the sustainability of the timber supply itself. Salvage logging, however, allowed some compensatory cumulative effects. It minimised the reductions of timber supply within a range of ∼10% while reducing the negative impact of cumulative disturbances caused by fire and logging on caribou. With the global increase of the human footprint on forest ecosystems, our approach and results provide useful tools and insights for managers to resolve what often appear as lose-lose situation between the persistence of species at risk and timber harvest in other forest ecosystems. These tools contribute to bridge the gap between conservation and forest management, two disciplines that remain too often disconnected in practice. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Structure and annual increase in a population of West Greenland caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus

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    Henning Thing

    1982-05-01

    Full Text Available During 1977-80 a large scale research program was carried out in West Greenland to study caribou ecology and population dynamics. Papers dealing with feeding ecology, range condition, calf mortality, and behaviour have been published elsewhere (Strandgaard 1980; Holt 1980; Clausen et al. 1980; Thing & Clausen 1980; Thing 1980; Roby 1980; Thing 1981; Roby & Thing 1982; Thing & Thing 1982. The present study deals with some dynamic parameters in the Sisimiut herd (Fig. 1, viz. group size, sex and age composition, calf/cow ratio, calf increment, and annual recruitment. Caribou in the Sisimiut region are mainly found in very small groups of one to five animals in most seasons. Aggregations of more than 50 animals are rarely seen except in the calving and summer seasons (Fig. 2. A distinct annual cycle is apparent in the mean group size with a steady increase from a mid winter minimum of 1.4 caribou/group towards a maximum of almost 25 caribou/group in the post-calving season (Fig. 3. The absence of important predators (especially wolves and the fact that winter food resources in the region have been depleted seem to reduce group size. Consequently, Sisimiut caribou are characterized year round by forming very small groups as compared to most other wild Rangifer populations. Caribou cows (females 2 years + make up approx. 50% of the herd, while bulls (males 2 years + average only 10% (Fig. 4. The number of bulls in the herd shows a significant decline caused by a selective hunting pressure as well as natural winter mortality (Fig. 5. The rut takes place in October during the fall migration from the inland ranges adjacent to the Inland Ice towards the coast line. The cows are apparently served mainly by 1 1/2 and 2 year old bulls. Despite scarcity of adequate food on the winter ranges there is a high calf production. This is probably explained by excellent forage conditions on the inland range prior to and during the calving season (May - June

  7. Are warbles and bots related to reproductive status in West Greenland caribou?

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    Christine Cuyler

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In March-April 2008-09, using CARMA protocols, 81 cows and 16 calves were collected in West Greenland from two caribou populations; Akia-Maniitsoq (AM and Kangerlussuaq-Sisimiut (KS. In both populations, warble larvae numbers were highest in calves and higher in non-pregnant than pregnant cows. Nose bots showed no relationship with pregnancy or lactation; KS calves had higher nose bot loads than cows, a pattern not observed in AM. Pregnant cows had more rump fat than non-pregnant cows. KS cows lacking rump fat entirely had the highest warble burdens. We observed lactating pregnant cows with moderate larval burdens. Projected energy cost of the heaviest observed combined larvae burdens was equivalent to 2-5 days basal metabolic rate (BMR for a cow, and 7-12 days BMR for a calf. Foregone fattening in adult cows with average burdens was 0.2 to 0.5 kg, but almost doubled with the heaviest infestations to 0.4 and 0.8 kg. Average burdens in calves resulted in forgone fattening of about 0.5 kg, with peak costs equivalent to 0.7 and 1.1 kg fat for AM and KS calves respectively. Although modest, these projected energy costs of hosting larvae for cows support the negative relationship between rump fat and larvae burden. For calves, hosting high burdens of warble larvae could affect winter survival, specifically those weaned normally in October or in early winter. Harmful effects of oestrid larvae burdens may remain subtle but clearly cumulative in relation to seasonal forage availability and incidence of other parasites.

  8. A technical framework for implementing aquatic ecosystem loading limits (TMDLs) to reduce selenium pollution from phosphate mining wastes on Caribou National Forest, Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. Dennis Lemly

    2001-01-01

    Beginning in 1996, selenium associated with phosphate mining on Caribou National Forest (CNF) was implicated as the cause of death to horses and sheep grazing on private land adjacent to the national forest. In response to these concerns, the Forest Service began a monitoring study to determine selenium concentrations in and around the mine sites. By 1998, the study...

  9. Temperature profiles from XBT casts from the CARIBOU REEFER II as part of the Marine Resources Monitoring, Assessment and Prediction (MARMAP) project from 1980-07-21 to 1980-09-03 (NODC Accession 8000469)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Temperature profiles were collected from XBT casts from the CARIBOU REEFER II from 21 July 1980 to 03 September 1980. Data were collected by the National Marine...

  10. Anthropogenic and natural radionuclides in caribou and muskoxen in the Western Alaskan Arctic and marine fish in the Aleutian Islands in the first half of 2000s

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong, Gi Hoon [Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute, 1270 Sa 2 dong, Ansan 426-744 (Korea, Republic of); Baskaran, Mark, E-mail: Baskaran@wayne.edu [Department of Geology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202 (United States); Molaroni, Shannon Marie [Department of Geology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202 (United States); Lee, Hyun-Mi [Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute, 1270 Sa 2 dong, Ansan 426-744 (Korea, Republic of); Burger, Joanna [Division of Life Sciences, 604 Allison Road, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8082 (United States)

    2011-09-01

    A number of caribou and muskoxen samples from the western Alaskan Arctic and fish samples from the Aleutian Islands were collected between 1998 and 2006 and analyzed for anthropogenic ({sup 90}Sr and {sup 137}Cs) and natural radionculides ({sup 40} K, {sup 210}Pb and {sup 226}Ra), as part of the radiological assessment for the regional subsistence hunting communities in the first half of 2000s. We examined the relationship between the activities of these nuclides with the size of the fish. In caribou samples, concentration of {sup 90}Sr in muscle was below the detection limit of 0.14 Bq kg{sup -1} and {sup 137}Cs concentration in bones was below the detection limit of 0.15 Bq kg{sup -1}.{sup 137}Cs activity varied over an order of magnitude in caribou muscle samples with an average value of 2.5 Bq/kg wet wt. Average {sup 137}Cs activity in muskoxen muscle was found to be 9.7 Bq/kg wet wt. However, there were a little variation (less than 60%) in {sup 210}Pb, {sup 40} K, and {sup 226}Ra in both muscle and bone of both caribou and muskoxen. The activities of total {sup 210}Pb in caribou and muskox bones were found to be 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than that of parent-supported {sup 210}Pb indicating the potential for dating of bones of terrestrial mammals (time elapsed since the death of the animal) based on the excess {sup 210}Pb method exists. In fish muscle samples, {sup 137}Cs activity varied from below detection limit to 154 mBq/kg wet wt. and its content increased with the size of the fish due to its transfer through the food chain. Among the seven fish species investigated, {sup 210}Pb activities varied almost an order of magnitude; however, {sup 40}K and {sup 226}Ra activities varied less than a factor of two. Total annual effective dose due to {sup 90}Sr and {sup 137}Cs from the ingestion of those terrestrial and marine meats was estimated to be negligible (ca. 9 {mu}SV/a) compared to the natural radionuclides present thus posing negligible radiological

  11. Defining parasite biodiversity at high latitudes of North America: new host and geographic records for Onchocerca cervipedis (Nematoda: Onchocercidae in moose and caribou

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    Verocai Guilherme G

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Onchocerca cervipedis is a filarioid nematode of cervids reported from Central America to boreal regions of North America. It is found primarily in subcutaneous tissues of the legs, and is more commonly known as ‘legworm’. Blackflies are intermediate hosts and transmit larvae to ungulates when they blood-feed. In this article we report the first records of O. cervipedis from high latitudes of North America and its occurrence in previously unrecognized host subspecies including the Yukon-Alaska moose (Alces americanus gigas and the Grant’s caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti. Methods We examined the subcutaneous connective tissues of the metacarpi and/or metatarsi of 34 moose and one caribou for parasitic lesions. Samples were collected from animals killed by subsistence hunters or animals found dead in the Northwest Territories (NT, Canada and Alaska (AK, USA from 2005 to 2012. Genomic DNA lysate was prepared from nematode fragments collected from two moose. The nd5 region of the mitochondrial DNA was amplified by PCR and sequenced. Results Subcutaneous nodules were found in 12 moose from the NT and AK, and one caribou from AK. Nematodes dissected from the lesions were identified as Onchocerca cervipedis based on morphology of female and male specimens. Histopathological findings in moose included cavitating lesions with multifocal granulomatous cellulitis containing intralesional microfilariae and adults, often necrotic and partially mineralized. Lesions in the caribou included periosteitis with chronic cellulitis, eosinophilic and lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate, and abundant granulation associated with intralesional adult nematodes and larvae. Sequences of the nd5 region (471bp, the first generated for this species, were deposited with Genbank (JN580791 and JN580792. Representative voucher specimens were deposited in the archives of the United States National Parasite Collection. Conclusions The geographic range of O

  12. Anthropogenic and natural radionuclides in caribou and muskoxen in the Western Alaskan Arctic and marine fish in the Aleutian Islands in the first half of 2000s

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hong, Gi Hoon; Baskaran, Mark; Molaroni, Shannon Marie; Lee, Hyun-Mi; Burger, Joanna

    2011-01-01

    A number of caribou and muskoxen samples from the western Alaskan Arctic and fish samples from the Aleutian Islands were collected between 1998 and 2006 and analyzed for anthropogenic ( 90 Sr and 137 Cs) and natural radionculides ( 40 K, 210 Pb and 226 Ra), as part of the radiological assessment for the regional subsistence hunting communities in the first half of 2000s. We examined the relationship between the activities of these nuclides with the size of the fish. In caribou samples, concentration of 90 Sr in muscle was below the detection limit of 0.14 Bq kg -1 and 137 Cs concentration in bones was below the detection limit of 0.15 Bq kg -1 . 137 Cs activity varied over an order of magnitude in caribou muscle samples with an average value of 2.5 Bq/kg wet wt. Average 137 Cs activity in muskoxen muscle was found to be 9.7 Bq/kg wet wt. However, there were a little variation (less than 60%) in 210 Pb, 40 K, and 226 Ra in both muscle and bone of both caribou and muskoxen. The activities of total 210 Pb in caribou and muskox bones were found to be 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than that of parent-supported 210 Pb indicating the potential for dating of bones of terrestrial mammals (time elapsed since the death of the animal) based on the excess 210 Pb method exists. In fish muscle samples, 137 Cs activity varied from below detection limit to 154 mBq/kg wet wt. and its content increased with the size of the fish due to its transfer through the food chain. Among the seven fish species investigated, 210 Pb activities varied almost an order of magnitude; however, 40 K and 226 Ra activities varied less than a factor of two. Total annual effective dose due to 90 Sr and 137 Cs from the ingestion of those terrestrial and marine meats was estimated to be negligible (ca. 9 μSV/a) compared to the natural radionuclides present thus posing negligible radiological threat to humans. - Highlights: → Quantification of radiation dose to humans from the ingestion of fish, muskox

  13. Population survey of Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi and muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus on Banks Island, Northwest Territories, July 2010

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    Tracy Davison

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 21 false false false SV X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Normal tabell"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;} We conducted a systematic aerial transect survey of Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi and muskoxen (Ovibus moschatus on Banks Island, Northwest Territories, in July 2010. The population estimate of adult Peary caribou was 1097 ± 343 (95% Confidence Interval: CI, which is not significantly different from the 2005 estimate of 929 ± 289 (95% CI; P < 0.05. The current number, however, is a 4- to 9-fold decrease since the 1980s. The adult muskoxen population estimate was 36 676 ± 4031 (95% CI, which is significantly lower than the 2005 estimate of 47 209 ± 3997 (95% CI; P < 0.05.

  14. Inferring parturition and neonate survival from movement patterns of female ungulates: a case study using woodland caribou.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demars, Craig A; Auger-Méthé, Marie; Schlägel, Ulrike E; Boutin, Stan

    2013-10-01

    Analyses of animal movement data have primarily focused on understanding patterns of space use and the behavioural processes driving them. Here, we analyzed animal movement data to infer components of individual fitness, specifically parturition and neonate survival. We predicted that parturition and neonate loss events could be identified by sudden and marked changes in female movement patterns. Using GPS radio-telemetry data from female woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), we developed and tested two novel movement-based methods for inferring parturition and neonate survival. The first method estimated movement thresholds indicative of parturition and neonate loss from population-level data then applied these thresholds in a moving-window analysis on individual time-series data. The second method used an individual-based approach that discriminated among three a priori models representing the movement patterns of non-parturient females, females with surviving offspring, and females losing offspring. The models assumed that step lengths (the distance between successive GPS locations) were exponentially distributed and that abrupt changes in the scale parameter of the exponential distribution were indicative of parturition and offspring loss. Both methods predicted parturition with near certainty (>97% accuracy) and produced appropriate predictions of parturition dates. Prediction of neonate survival was affected by data quality for both methods; however, when using high quality data (i.e., with few missing GPS locations), the individual-based method performed better, predicting neonate survival status with an accuracy rate of 87%. Understanding ungulate population dynamics often requires estimates of parturition and neonate survival rates. With GPS radio-collars increasingly being used in research and management of ungulates, our movement-based methods represent a viable approach for estimating rates of both parameters.

  15. The recent record of climate on the range of the George River Caribou Herd, Northern Québec and Labrador, Canada

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    J.D. Jacobs

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Records from permanent meteorological stations in and around the range of the George River Caribou Herd have been analyzed for the 1950-1991 period in order to identify climatic factors potentially influencing the numbers, condition, and distribution of caribou. Winter conditions identified include a significant temperature decrease over the period and some years of extreme snowfall. Spatial variations in snow cover may be responsible for shifts in winter range. Indications are that summer climate has not varied significantly, but spring and summer conditions may not have been particularly favourable for plant productivity in the summer range of females and calves. Climatological observations more representative of the summer range are needed for a better understanding of ecological relationships there.

  16. Preliminary assessment of habitat characteristics of woodland caribou calving areas in the Claybelt region of Québec and Ontario, Canada

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    Émilie Lantin

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou require a diversity of forested habitats over large areas and may thus be particularly affected by the large-scale changes in the composition and age-class distribution of forest landscapes induced by the northern expansion of forest management. In this study we examine habitat characteristics associated to the use of calving areas by woodland caribou females and calves at different spatial scales. Thirty females were captured and collared with Argos satellite transmitters that allowed to locate 14 calving areas. Field surveys were conducted at each of these areas to measure the landscape composition of forest cover types and local vegetation characteristics that are used for both forage conditions and protection cover. At the scale of the calving area, univariate comparisons of the amount of forest cover types between sites with and without calves showed that the presence of calves was associated to mature black spruce forest with a high percent cover of terrestrial lichens. Within calving grounds, univariate comparisons showed that vegetation features like ericaceans and terrestrial lichens, that are important food resources for lactating females, were more abundant in calving areas where females were seen with a calf in mid-July than in areas where females were seen alone. The protection of the vegetation cover against predators was however similar between calving areas with or with¬out a calf. Logistic regression results also indicated that vegetation characteristics associated to forage conditions were positively associated to calf presence on calving grounds. Our results suggest that foraging conditions should be given more attention in analyses on habitat requirements of woodland caribou.

  17. Evaluation of satellite collar sample size requirements for mitigation of low-level military jet disturbance of the George River caribou herd

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    Robert D. Otto

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available Wildlife radio-telemetry and tracking projects often determine a priori required sample sizes by statistical means or default to the maximum number that can be maintained within a limited budget. After initiation of such projects, little attention is focussed on effective sample size requirements, resulting in lack of statistical power. The Department of National Defence operates a base in Labrador, Canada for low level jet fighter training activities, and maintain a sample of satellite collars on the George River caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou herd of the region for spatial avoidance mitiga¬tion purposes. We analysed existing location data, in conjunction with knowledge of life history, to develop estimates of satellite collar sample sizes required to ensure adequate mitigation of GRCH. We chose three levels of probability in each of six annual caribou seasons. Estimated number of collars required ranged from 15 to 52, 23 to 68, and 36 to 184 for 50%, 75%, and 90% probability levels, respectively, depending on season. Estimates can be used to make more informed decisions about mitigation of GRCH, and, generally, our approach provides a means to adaptively assess radio collar sam¬ple sizes for ongoing studies.

  18. Observation of Arctic island barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus migratory movement delay due to human induced sea-ice breaking

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    Mathieu Dumond

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 21 false false false SV X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Normal tabell"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;} The seasonal migration of the Dolphin and Union caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus herd between Victoria Island and the mainland (Nunavut/Northwest Territories, Canada relies on the formation of sea-ice that connects the Island to the mainland from late-October to early-June.  During an aerial survey of the Dolphin and Union caribou herd in October 2007 on southern Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada, we documented the short-term effects of the artificial maintenance of an open water channel in the sea-ice on caribou migratory movements during staging along the coast.

  19. Kelp-Fed Beef, Swimming Caribou, Feral Reindeer, and Their Hunters: Island Mammals in a Marine Economy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine Reedy

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula residents have selectively introduced land mammals to their primarily marine based economy over the past two centuries. This paper describes these many introductions, contexts, and the longer term roles of these cattle, sheep, reindeer, and other land mammals in discrete island settings and the regional food economy based upon interviews in ten communities and comprehensive household surveys in eight of these. Caribou are indigenous and traditionally hunted in other parts of the state but are legally “invasive” in island contexts now managed by the federal government. Access to land and natural resources by Alaska Natives and rural peoples is regulated by state and federal agencies, but Aleutian residents have shaped their environment and engineered food sources to support their communities. This paper demonstrates that hardline approaches to removing invasive land mammal species will have human consequences and an integrated management policy emphasizing food security and conservation that includes reducing the density of these introduced species is most appropriate.

  20. Crustal-scale shear zones recording 400 m.y. of tectonic activity in the North Caribou greenstone belt, western Superior Province of Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalbfleisch, Netasha

    A series of crustal-scale shear zones demarcates the northern and eastern margins of the North Caribou greenstone belt (NCGB), proximal to a Mesoarchean terrane boundary in the core of the western Superior Province of Canada. The dominant deformation produced a pervasive steeply dipping fabric that trends broadly parallel to the doubly arcuate shape of the belt and was responsible for tight folding the banded iron formation host to Goldcorp's prolific gold deposit at Musselwhite mine. The shear zones in the North Caribou greenstone belt are of particular interest because of their ability to channel hydrothermal fluids with the potential to bear ore and cause alteration of the middle to shallow crust. Shear zones are commonly reactivated during subsequent tectonism, but exhibit a consistent and dominant dextral shear sense across the belt; fabric-forming micas and chlorite are generally Mg-rich. Although garnets samples from within the shear zones are dominantly almandine, they possess variable geochemical trends (HREEs of >2 orders of magnitude) and can be syn-, intra-, or post-tectonic in origin. In situ geochronological analysis of zircon (U-Pb) and monazite (total-Pb) in high strain rocks in and around the NCGB, interpreted in light of in situ geochemical analysis of garnet and fabric-forming micas and chlorite, reveals four relatively discrete events that span 400 million years. Metamorphism of the mid-crust was coeval with magmatism during docking of the Island Lake domain at c. 2.86 Ga and subsequent terrane accretion at the north and south margins of the North Caribou Superterrane from c. 2.75 to 2.71 Ga. Transpressive shear at c. 2.60 to 2.56 Ga and late re-activation of shear zones at c. 2.44 Ga produced a steeply-dipping pervasive fabric, and channeled fluids for late crystallization of garnet and monazite recorded in the Markop Lake deformation zone. These observations implicate a horizontal tectonic model similar to the modern eastern Pacific plate

  1. Seasonal concentrations of cesium-137 in rumen content, skeletal muscles and feces of caribou from the porcupine herd: lichen ingestion rates and implications for human consumption

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allaye-Chan, A.C.; White, R.G.; Holleman, D.F.; Russell, D.E.

    1990-01-01

    The Porcupine caribou herd was monitored for cesium-137 during 1987 to address human health concerns over potential meat contamination by radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident, and to determine lichen intake rates based on body burdens of radiocesium. A total of 36 caribou were collected from northwestern Alaska and the Yukon Territories in March, June, September, and November. Mean radiocesium concentrations in skeletal muscle peaked in March at 133 Bq/kg fresh weight. This value should not prove hazardous to human health. Radiocesium concentrations in skeletal muscle (wet weight) ranged from approximately 22 to 50% of radiocesium concentrations in rumen contents (dry weight), and from approximately 15 to 37% of radiocesium concentrations in feces (dry weight). Radioactivity in feces was significantly correlated with radioactivity in rumen contents. Computer simulations relating lichen intake rates to radiocesium body burdens are presented for 3 scenarios: (1) when seasonal intakes were adjusted to provide the optimum fit between simulated and observed radiocesium body burdens (2) when seasonal intakes were based on empirical data, and (3) when seasonal intakes were adjusted to yield a ''conventional'' radiocesium curve of a slow fall build-up prior to a late winter plateau

  2. Of reindeer and man, modern and Neanderthal: A creation story founded on a historic perspective on how to conserve wildlife, woodland caribou in particular

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerius Geist

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available A review of successful systems of wildlife conservation, the North American included, suggests that broad public support and determined effort by volunteers is essential for wildlife conservation. Since North American wildlife conservation is the only large-scale system of sustainable natural resource use, and exemplifies the great economic and cultural benefits of a renewable resource held in common, its lessons may be profitably applied to Rangifer conservation. Animals that have value are surrounded by myths that tell of their relationship to humans. In our Anglo-American culture reindeer and caribou are rather deficient in this respect. However, reindeer feature prominently in the rise of modern humans and the demise of Neanderthal man early in the Upper Paleolithic. The colonization by humans of the periglacial environments during the last glaciation depended on the rich periglacial megafauna, Rangifer included. Archeological sites of the European Upper Paleolithic show that reindeer were the most important food source. The Upper Paleolithic, characterized by exceptional physical development and health of people, as well as by the first flowering of art, extended from Spain to Crimea with surprisingly little cultural change for some 25 000 years. While the cave paintings express an infatuation with dangerous game (woolly mammoth, woolly rhino, steppe wisent, giant deer, cave lions, bears etc, the archeological sites indicate that reindeer was the staple food. Reindeer play a minor role in cave art. Neither this art, nor archeological sites, show any evidence of warfare. It is hypothesized that during a mid-glacial interstadial modern people entered Europe having developed a highly successful system of hunting reindeer using interception based on the discovery of chronologic time. This led to a first flowering of culture based on a rich economy, but also to additional hunting mortality of the periglacial mega-herbivores that Neanderthal

  3. Variation in δ15N and δ13C values of forages for Arctic caribou: effects of location, phenology and simulated digestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vansomeren, Lindsay L; Barboza, Perry S; Gustine, David D; Syndonia Bret-Harte, M

    2017-05-15

    The use of stable isotopes for dietary estimates of wildlife assumes that there are consistent differences in isotopic ratios among diet items, and that the differences in these ratios between the diet item and the animal tissues (i.e., fractionation) are predictable. However, variation in isotopic ratios and fractionation of δ 13 C and δ 15 N values among locations, seasons, and forages are poorly described for arctic herbivores especially migratory species such as caribou (Rangifer tarandus). We measured the δ 13 C and δ 15 N values of seven species of forage growing along a 200-km transect through the range of the Central Arctic caribou herd on the North Slope of Alaska over 2 years. We compared forages available at the beginning (May; n = 175) and the end (n = 157) of the growing season (September). Purified enzymes were used to measure N digestibility and to assess isotopic fractionation in response to nutrient digestibility during simulated digestion. Values for δ 13 C declined by 1.38 ‰ with increasing latitude across the transect, and increased by 0.44 ‰ from the beginning to the end of the season. The range of values for δ 15 N was greater than that for δ 13 C (13.29 vs 5.60 ‰). Differences in values for δ 13 C between graminoids (Eriophorum and Carex spp.) and shrubs (Betula and Salix spp.) were small but δ 15 N values distinguished graminoids (1.87 ± 1.02 ‰) from shrubs (-2.87 ± 2.93 ‰) consistently across season and latitude. However, undigested residues of forages were enriched in 15 N when the digestibility of N was less than 0.67. Although δ 15 N values can distinguish plant groups in the diet of arctic herbivores, variation in the digestibility of dietary items may need to be considered in applying fractionation values for 15 N to caribou and other herbivores that select highly digestible items (e.g. forbs) as well as heavily defended plants (e.g. woody browse). Published in 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work

  4. Advancing the match-mismatch framework for large herbivores in the Arctic: Evaluating the evidence for a trophic mismatch in caribou

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry; Adams, Layne G.; Griffith, Brad; Cameron, Raymond D.; Whitten, Kenneth R.

    2017-01-01

    Climate-induced shifts in plant phenology may adversely affect animals that cannot or do not shift the timing of their reproductive cycle. The realized effect of potential trophic “mismatches” between a consumer and its food varies with the degree to which species rely on dietary income and stored capital. Large Arctic herbivores rely heavily on maternal capital to reproduce and give birth near the onset of the growing season but are they vulnerable to trophic mismatch? We evaluated the long-term changes in the temperatures and characteristics of the growing seasons (1970–2013), and compared growing conditions and dynamics of forage quality for caribou at peak parturition, peak lactation, and peak forage biomass, and plant senescence between two distinct time periods over 36 years (1977 and 2011–13). Despite advanced thaw dates (7−12 days earlier), increased growing season lengths (15−21 days longer), and consistent parturition dates, we found no decline in forage quality and therefore no evidence within this dataset for a trophic mismatch at peak parturition or peak lactation from 1977 to 2011–13. In Arctic ungulates that use stored capital for reproduction, reproductive demands are largely met by body stores deposited in the previous summer and autumn, which reduces potential adverse effects of any mismatch between food availability and timing of parturition. Climate-induced effects on forages growing in the summer and autumn ranges, however, do correspond with the demands of female caribou and their offspring to gain mass for the next reproductive cycle and winter. Therefore, we suggest the window of time to examine the match-mismatch framework in Arctic ungulates is not at parturition but in late summer-autumn, where the multiplier effects of small changes in forage quality are amplified by forage abundance, peak forage intake, and resultant mass gains in mother-offspring pairs.

  5. Advancing the match-mismatch framework for large herbivores in the Arctic: Evaluating the evidence for a trophic mismatch in caribou.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Gustine

    Full Text Available Climate-induced shifts in plant phenology may adversely affect animals that cannot or do not shift the timing of their reproductive cycle. The realized effect of potential trophic "mismatches" between a consumer and its food varies with the degree to which species rely on dietary income and stored capital. Large Arctic herbivores rely heavily on maternal capital to reproduce and give birth near the onset of the growing season but are they vulnerable to trophic mismatch? We evaluated the long-term changes in the temperatures and characteristics of the growing seasons (1970-2013, and compared growing conditions and dynamics of forage quality for caribou at peak parturition, peak lactation, and peak forage biomass, and plant senescence between two distinct time periods over 36 years (1977 and 2011-13. Despite advanced thaw dates (7-12 days earlier, increased growing season lengths (15-21 days longer, and consistent parturition dates, we found no decline in forage quality and therefore no evidence within this dataset for a trophic mismatch at peak parturition or peak lactation from 1977 to 2011-13. In Arctic ungulates that use stored capital for reproduction, reproductive demands are largely met by body stores deposited in the previous summer and autumn, which reduces potential adverse effects of any mismatch between food availability and timing of parturition. Climate-induced effects on forages growing in the summer and autumn ranges, however, do correspond with the demands of female caribou and their offspring to gain mass for the next reproductive cycle and winter. Therefore, we suggest the window of time to examine the match-mismatch framework in Arctic ungulates is not at parturition but in late summer-autumn, where the multiplier effects of small changes in forage quality are amplified by forage abundance, peak forage intake, and resultant mass gains in mother-offspring pairs.

  6. Relative contribution of decreased productivity and survival to recent changes in the demographic trend of the Rivière George Caribou Herd

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Crête

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available The Rivière George caribou herd (RGCH was numerically low during the middle part of the century but apparently erupted in the sixties and the seventies. Puberty was early and pregnancy rate was high among RGCH females from 1973 until the mid-eighties when fecundity decreased significantly, in particular among sub-adults; productivity remained low in 1992. Autumn calf:female ratios reflected this trend in pregnancy, exceeding 50 calves: 100 cows between 1973 and 1983, but dropping thereafter progressively to a low of 24 in 1992. In 1993, this ratio rebounded back to 42. Annual adult survival rate of radio-collared females was high (0.95 at the beginning of the monitoring in 1984, but exhibited a variable but declining trend until 1992. Simulations were conducted to estimate the demographic trend of the RGCH between 1984 and 1992, using annual survival rates of radio-collared animals and annual autumn calffemale ratios to estimate calf production. Age structure played a minor role in estimating the finite rate of increase (Lamda. According to the simulations, the RGCH increased in size until 1987, and showed a slight decrease thereafter. The herd should have decreased by 12-15% between 1988 and 1993, according to the simulations. Productivity first caused a decline in Lamda, but in recent years decreased survival contributed slightly more than productivity to the reduction in Lamda. Estimation of the herd size by means of aerial censuses in 1976, 1984, 1988 and 1993 suggested a similar pattern in demographic trend, differences being statistically meaningless. We speculated on the future of the RGCH, that could have erupted after many decades of unfavourable weather. The herd will exhibit a rapid descent to low numbers if wolves show a numerical response to current caribou abundance, or if lichen availability on the winter range decreases due to competition with the adjacent and increasing Rivière aux Feuilles herd; otherwise it will exhibit

  7. AVTA Federal Fleet PEV Readiness Data Logging and Characterization Study for the United States Forest Service: Caribou-Targhee National Forest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephen Schey; Jim Francfort; Ian Nienhueser

    2014-06-01

    Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC, managing and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, is the lead laboratory for U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Vehicle Testing. Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC contracted with Intertek Testing Services, North America (ITSNA) to collect and evaluate data on federal fleet operations as part of the Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity’s Federal Fleet Vehicle Data Logging and Characterization study. The Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity study seeks to collect and evaluate data to validate the utilization of advanced electric drive vehicle transportation. This report focuses on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest (CTNF) fleet to identify daily operational characteristics of select vehicles and report findings on vehicle and mission characterizations to support the successful introduction of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) into the agencies’ fleets. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to electric vehicle adoption and whether a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) (collectively plug-in electric vehicles, or PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements. ITSNA acknowledges the support of Idaho National Laboratory and CTNF for participation in the study. ITSNA is pleased to provide this report and is encouraged by enthusiasm and support from the Forest Service and CTNF personnel.

  8. Non-Invasive Assessment of the Interrelationships of Diet, Pregnancy Rate, Group Composition, and Physiological and Nutritional Stress of Barren-Ground Caribou in Late Winter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle Joly

    Full Text Available The winter diet of barren-ground caribou may affect adult survival, timing of parturition, neonatal survival, and postpartum mass. We used microhistological analyses and hormone levels in feces to determine sex-specific late-winter diets, pregnancy rates, group composition, and endocrine-based measures of physiological and nutritional stress. Lichens, which are highly digestible but contain little protein, dominated the diet (> 68% but were less prevalent in the diets of pregnant females as compared to non-pregnant females and males. The amount of lichens in the diets of pregnant females decreased at higher latitudes and as winter progressed. Pregnancy rates (82.1%, 95% CI = 76.0 - 88.1% of adult cows were within the expected range for a declining herd, while pregnancy status was not associated with lichen abundance in the diet. Most groups (80% were of mixed sex. Male: female ratios (62:100 were not skewed enough to affect the decline. Levels of hormones indicating nutritional stress were detected in areas of low habitat quality and at higher latitudes. Levels of hormones indicated that physiological stress was greatest for pregnant cows, which faced the increasing demands of gestation in late winter. These fecal-based measures of diet and stress provided contextual information for the potential mechanisms of the ongoing decline. Non-invasive techniques, such as monitoring diets, pregnancy rates, sex ratios and stress levels from fecal samples, will become increasingly important as monitoring tools as the industrial footprint continues to expand in the Arctic.

  9. New caribou crisis – then and now

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert A. Ruttan

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The reported decline of the Bathurst herd has caused considerable concern and has raised rumours of a “crisis” in which there is a possibility of extinction. This paper reflects on relevant lessons learned from the officially declared “crisis” of population decline in 1955/56 and a second crisis of overpopulation identified by the author a decade later.

  10. Of Kimchi, Caribou – and Canadian Multiculturalism? An exploratory study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan G. Hallsworth

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we argue that food – a basic life-necessity – should not be overlooked as a dimension of life-satisfaction. We use secondary sources and also empirical research to illustrate emergent dimensions of this topic: primarily in British Columbia, Canada. Other recent research suggests that, among immigrant populations, life satisfaction in a multicultural society such as Canada is not just about getting a job. As people migrate, they move into a new environment that may, or may not, supply familiar necessities. The additional perspective here is that off-reservation access to appropriate food by First Nations is also considered.

  11. Geologic map of the Lower Valley quadrangle, Caribou County, Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberlindacher, H. Peter; Hovland, R. David; Miller, Susan T.; Evans, James G.; Miller, Robert J.

    2018-04-05

    The Lower Valley 7.5-minute quadrangle, located in the core of the Southeast Idaho Phosphate Resource Area, includes Mississippian to Triassic marine sedimentary rocks, Pliocene to Pleistocene basalt, and Tertiary to Holocene surficial deposits. The Mississippian to Triassic marine sedimentary sequence was deposited on a shallow shelf between an emergent craton to the east and the Antler orogenic belt to the west. The Meade Peak Phosphatic Shale Member of the Permian Phosphoria Formation hosts high-grade deposits of phosphate that were the subject of geologic studies through much of the 20th century. Open-pit mining of the phosphate has been underway within and near the Lower Valley quadrangle for several decades.

  12. Using Indigenous stories in caribou co-management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter Bayha

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available One day my dream would be to write a policy in my own language and let somebody else interpret. I think my days of interpreting are going down steadily. I’d rather just talk my language these days and leave it at that. As an officer I used to do a lot of judging. I was trained to do that. After I left the Wildlife Service, my wife said to me, “How come you don’t ask those questions anymore?” I said, “I don’t have to. I don’t need to. I just want to be a Dene, like the wildlife out there. Continue being a human being.” As a Dene person I’m taught to listen, to respect people, especially in learning centres because those are like my grandfather. I was taught never to ask questions. I don’t, out of respect. We don’t do that today anymore. The first thing I learned in school was the word “why.” I can think right back when I was growing up as a small child there was no word “why” or “what for.” I had to learn very quickly that if I’m going to be a human being in the future, then I’m going to have to start behaving so that my people will live. Our history is written on the land, in the placenames and the stories, in the language. It’s so important. Our people are disappearing very quickly.

  13. 77 FR 37702 - Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Caribou and Bonneville Counties, ID; Comprehensive...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-22

    ... the following: (1) Water management structures, methods, and schedules to improve refuge wildlife... wildlife-oriented recreational development, (2) the protection of natural resources, (3) the conservation..., and protection of fish and wildlife resources * * *'' 16 U.S.C. 742f(a)(4) ``* * * for the benefit of...

  14. Antler possession by west Greenland female caribou in relation to population characteristics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aastrup, Peter; Thing, Henning; Olesen, Carsten Riis

    1986-01-01

    susceptible to diseases and had significantly higher summer mortality than other calves, 42% and 27% respectively. The relative importance of factors influencing antler development under various environmental conditons are assessed and a close relationship between antlerlessness, physical condition, lactation...

  15. Clarification of some api characteristics in relation to caribou (Rangifer tarandus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William O. Pruitt, Jr.

    1990-09-01

    Full Text Available A total of 2177 comparisons of api hardness vs. density in northern Saskatchewan, southeastern Manitoba and northeastern Finland revealed no consistent correlation (r varied from +.70 to -.17. A total of 1395 comparisons of horizontal hardness of the top layer of api to vertical hardness of the same layer of api in southeastern Manitoba, northeastern Finland and far eastern middle Finland revealed no consistent correlation (r varied from +.99 to -.20. Therefore one cannot substitute density for hardness nor horizontal hardness of the top layer for vertical hardness of the top layer in the terms of the Värriö Snow Index.

  16. 75 FR 18881 - Notice of Realty Action: Proposed Sale of Public Land in Caribou Co., ID

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-13

    ... Syncline Phosphate Lease Area. The MRP is currently under review by the BLM, and an environmental impact... sale an integral part of the MRP. Disposal of mill tailings would require a tailings pond, an ore... phosphate lease could be adversely affected. ] The current 1988 BLM Pocatello Resource Management Plan (RMP...

  17. Use of satellite telemetry data, GIS, and HTML to create an interactive display of caribou movements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander K. Prichard

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available The use of animation clearly reveals the large annual variation in wintering areas and large differences in daily movement rates for this herd. This interactive display can be adapted for school groups, subsistence hunters, the general public, or scientists.

  18. Water quality and streamflow in the Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed, central Alaska, 1978.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerry W. Hilgert; Charles W. Slaughter

    1983-01-01

    Baseline data from 1978 are presented on precipitation, streamflow, and chemical and biological water quality in a subarctic, taiga watershed. First-, second-, and third-order streams that drain undisturbed catchments embracing permafrost-underlain and permafrost-free landscapes were monitored; results are being used in analysis of the natural, undisturbed condition of...

  19. 75 FR 66719 - Caribou-Targhee National Forest; Idaho and Wyoming; Revision of the Notice of Intent To Prepare a...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-29

    ... principal watershed or ecological subsection; (2) replaces requirements for maintaining ``biological... does not reflect the ecological capability of the Targhee. Because of the stand characteristics of... not apply to: i. Highway and utility corridors where hazard tree removal is necessary for public...

  20. 12th North American Caribou Workshop, 2-5 November 2008, Happy Valley – Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rolf Egil Haugerud (editor in chief

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The 12th NACW was arranged at Happy Valley - Goose Bay 4-6 November 2008 with the theme "Integrating Understanding across Ecotypes". Approximately 140 people attended from Canada, United States, Norway, and Greenland. The 12th NACW included more than 70 oral and poster presentations.

  1. Wildfire risk to residential structures in the Island Park Sustainable Fire Community: Caribou-Targhee National Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Don Helmbrecht; Julie Gilbertson-Day; Joe H. Scott; LaWen Hollingsworth

    2016-01-01

    The Island Park Sustainable Fire Community (IPSFC) Project is a collaborative working group of citizens, businesses, non-profit organizations, and local, state, and federal government agencies (www.islandparkfirecommunity.com) working to create fire-resilient ecosystems in and around the human communities of West Yellowstone, Montana and Island Park, Idaho....

  2. NOAA Office for Coastal Management Coastal Inundation Digital Elevation Model: Caribou Weather Forecast Office (CAR WFO) - Maine

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data were created as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office for Coastal Management's efforts to create an online mapping viewer...

  3. Arctic Ice Dynamics Joint Experiment 1975-1976. Physical Oceanography Data Report, Salinity, Temperature and Depth Data, Camp Caribou. Volume I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-02-01

    triangular array from which hydrographic stations were taken (Newton and Coachman, 1973). At the main camp, current profiles to 180 m (Hunkins, 1974 b...Navigation report (Thorndike and Cheung, 1977) indicated signal reduction in the data at the inertial period due to filtering of approximately 50% and...m- q* .2 I -- O.4N0 O6=p 060 f-0 a0et- NWa00 PWm V0%0C- OVOM4eyN- CDP W-t-a lIf- 0a45= 0?- NM V0an e w0 VDMCI Z0 a .0 ... . .. . o

  4. The nature of food: indigenous Dene foodways and ontologies in the era of climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Walsh

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate change leading to a drastic decline in caribou populations has prompted strict hunting regulations in Canada’s Northwest Territories since 2010. The Dene, a subarctic indigenous people, have responded by turning to tradition and calling for more respectful hunting to demonstrate respectful reciprocity to the caribou, including a community-driven foodways project on caribou conservation and Dene caribou conservation which I co-facilitated in 2011. In these ways the caribou is approached as a person. Dene responses to caribou decline can best be understood by ontological theories of an expanded notion of indigenous personhood. However, I argue these theories are inadequate without an attention to foodways, specifically the getting, sharing, and returning of food to the land. The necessity of sustenance reveals a complicated relationship of give-and-take between humans and caribou, negotiated by tradition, yet complicated by the contemporary crisis.

  5. 77 FR 71041 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Southern...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-28

    ... biology and ecology of the southern Selkirk Mountains population of woodland caribou, refer to the final... winter food, arboreal lichens, occurs. The term ``mountain caribou'' is a common designation used throughout the scientific literature to describe the mountain/arboreal- lichen feeding ecotype of woodland...

  6. The need for the management of wolves — an open letter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arthur T. Bergerud

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available The Southern Mountain and Boreal Woodland Caribou are facing extinction from increased predation, predominantly wolves (Canis lupus and coyotes (Canis latrans. These predators are increasing as moose (Alces alces and deer (Odocoileus spp. expand their range north with climate change. Mitigation endeavors will not be sufficient; there are too many predators. The critical habitat for caribou is the low predation risk habitat they select at calving: It is not old growth forests and climax lichens. The southern boundary of caribou in North America is not based on the presence of lichens but on reduced mammalian diversity. Caribou are just as adaptable as other cervids in their use of broadleaf seed plant as forage. Without predator management these woodland caribou will go extinct in our life time.

  7. Capturing migration phenology of terrestrial wildlife using camera traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tape, Ken D.; Gustine, David D.

    2014-01-01

    Remote photography, using camera traps, can be an effective and noninvasive tool for capturing the migration phenology of terrestrial wildlife. We deployed 14 digital cameras along a 104-kilometer longitudinal transect to record the spring migrations of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and ptarmigan (Lagopus spp.) in the Alaskan Arctic. The cameras recorded images at 15-minute intervals, producing approximately 40,000 images, including 6685 caribou observations and 5329 ptarmigan observations. The northward caribou migration was evident because the median caribou observation (i.e., herd median) occurred later with increasing latitude; average caribou migration speed also increased with latitude (r2 = .91). Except at the northernmost latitude, a northward ptarmigan migration was similarly evident (r2 = .93). Future applications of this method could be used to examine the conditions proximate to animal movement, such as habitat or snow cover, that may influence migration phenology.

  8. Pop / Tõnu Pedaru

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Pedaru, Tõnu

    2007-01-01

    Heliplaatidest: Milburn "These Are The Facts", Beirut "The Flying Club Cup", The Quantic Soul Orchestra "Tropidelico", Caribou "Andorra", Khillem "Vill", Einstürzende Neubauten "Alles Wider Offen", Arthur Verocai "Encore", Tunng "Good Arrows"

  9. North Slope, Alaska ESI: T_MAMMAL (Terrestrial Mammal Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for brown bears, caribou, and muskoxen for the North Slope, Alaska. Vector polygons in this data set...

  10. Environmental Impact Analysis Process. Draft Environmental Impact Statement Proposed Alaskan Radar System Over-the-Horizon Backscatter Radar Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-08-01

    Anadromous salmon, whitefish, Arctic grayling, burbot, and Dolly Varden/Arctic char are common to all the study areas. Dolly Varden/ Arctic char is a species...species. Large mammals common to all study areas are caribou, moose, and black and brown bears. Additionally, Dali sheep range in the vicinity of the...Dall sheep is located about 10 miles north of the Paxson East study area. The Nelchina and Fortymile caribou herds, 2 of the 22 major herds in Alaska

  11. Oil patch fitting in with wildlife habitat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lea, N.

    2003-06-01

    Changes in grizzly bear and caribou populations associated with roads, seismic lines, and pipelines are of great concern to the oil, gas and forestry industries since the presence of structures are providing easier access to wildlife habitats for predatory wolves and humans. This article provides details of this concern and describes efforts, such as the Caribou Range Recovery Project, towards mitigating the impact of the industry and hastening the reclamation of the woodland caribou habitat disturbed by humans. This project, funded by a consortium of government, industry and the University of Alberta, is a three-year project which focuses on the revegetation of disturbed areas in the highly-impacted caribou ranges of northern and west-central Alberta, the development of a preliminary set of guidelines for reclamation of industrial developments in caribou ranges, development of a long-term monitoring strategy for assessing the success of these reclamation efforts, and on promoting First Nations involvement through consultation and participation. Previous projects focused on Little Smoky, Redrock, Red Earth, and Stony Mountain areas. Details are also provided of the Foot Hills Model Forest Grizzly Bear Research project, a five-year, $3 million study deigned to ensure healthy grizzly bear populations in west-central Alberta by better integrating their needs into land management decisions.

  12. Using radioecological data to determine prey selection by the Alaska wolf

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holleman, D.F.; Luick, J.R.

    1978-01-01

    Recently the predation of the Alaska wolf (Canis lupus pambasileus) upon various species of big game has been the subject of considerable controversy between game management specialists and environmentalists. The basis of this controversy centers primarily on the selectivity and extent of prey utilization by the wolf. This report suggests how radioecological data can be used to assess both qualitative and quantitative aspects of wolf predation. Primary prey species of the wolf have distinctly different fallout radiocesium body burdens; e.g., reindeer/caribou have high radiocesium body burdens, whereas moose and small game have low radiocesium body burdens. Consequently, the resulting radiocesium body burden of the wolf depends upon the type and quantity of prey species consumed. Laboratory measurements for this study show a wide variation of radiocesium concentrations of skeletal muscle of wolves within Alaska. Values ranged from 263 to 17,300 pCi 137 Cs/kg of wet muscle. These data relate to known degrees of reindeer/caribou predation by the wolves. A radiocesium kinetic model was constructed from data obtained with wolves and other arctic carnivores and was used to estimate reindeer/caribou intake by wolves. Estimates ranged from 40 to 1650 g of reindeer/caribou muscle per day per wolf. Although the application has limitations, it could yield useful information for evaluating the food habits of wolves, especially in areas of the state where it is important to know the extent of reindeer/caribou utilization by the wolf

  13. Development of a modular test system for the silicon sensor R&D of the ATLAS Upgrade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, H.; Benoit, M.; Chen, H.; Chen, K.; Di Bello, F. A.; Iacobucci, G.; Lanni, F.; Peric, I.; Ristic, B.; Barreto Pinto, M. Vicente; Wu, W.; Xu, L.; Jin, G.

    2017-01-01

    High Voltage CMOS sensors are a promising technology for tracking detectors in collider experiments. Extensive R&D studies are being carried out by the ATLAS Collaboration for a possible use of HV-CMOS in the High Luminosity LHC upgrade of the Inner Tracker detector. CaRIBOu (Control and Readout Itk BOard) is a modular test system developed to test Silicon based detectors. It currently includes five custom designed boards, a Xilinx ZC706 development board, FELIX (Front-End LInk eXchange) PCIe card and a host computer. A software program has been developed in Python to control the CaRIBOu hardware. CaRIBOu has been used in the testbeam of the HV-CMOS sensor AMS180v4 at CERN. Preliminary results have shown that the test system is very versatile. Further development is ongoing to adapt to different sensors, and to make it available to various lab test stands.

  14. Development of a modular test system for the silicon sensor R&D of the ATLAS Upgrade

    CERN Document Server

    Liu, H.

    2017-01-11

    High Voltage CMOS sensors are a promising technology for tracking detectors in collider experiments. Extensive R&D studies are being carried out by the ATLAS Collaboration for a possible use of HV-CMOS in the High Luminosity LHC upgrade of the Inner Tracker detector. CaRIBOu (Control and Readout Itk BOard) is a modular test system developed to test Silicon based detectors. It currently includes five custom designed boards, a Xilinx ZC706 development board, FELIX (Front-End LInk eXchange) PCIe card and a host computer. A software program has been developed in Python to control the CaRIBOu hardware. CaRIBOu has been used in the testbeam of the HV-CMOS sensor CCPDv4 at CERN. Preliminary results have shown that the test system is very versatile. Further development is ongoing to adapt to different sensors, and to make it available to various lab test stands.

  15. Mapping as dreaming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Mubi Brighenti

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available In a fascinating ethnography conducted in the 1970s among the Beaver Indians, a hunting tribe of the Northwestern territories and British Columbia, Canada – who hunt and fish animals such as the moose, the caribou and the rainbow trout – the anthropologist Hughes Brody (1998[1981] describes a remarkable hunting practice.

  16. Rock, Paper, Protest: The Fight for the Boreal Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunz, Sally; Whittaker, Linda

    2016-01-01

    Canada's boreal forests are second only to the Amazon in producing life-giving oxygen and providing a habitat for thousands of species, from the large woodland caribou to the smallest organisms. The boreal forests are the lifeblood of many Aboriginal communities and the thousands of workers, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, who harvest and process…

  17. The Experience of Place: Exploring Land as Teacher.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffan, James

    1993-01-01

    Explores emotional and spiritual bonds to the land as they are expressed through poetry, song, or visual arts. Describes four principal components of a sense of place, based on conversations with the Chipewyan Dene and Caribou Inuit (natives of the Thelon Game Sanctuary in Canada's Northwest Territories) and various forms of experiential learning.…

  18. 50 CFR 25.12 - What do these terms mean?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... large game animals, including moose, elk, caribou, reindeer, musk ox, deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goat... mean any member of the animal kingdom in a wild, unconfined state, whether alive or dead, including a... extinction as determined in writing by the Director or so directed by Presidential or Secretarial order. The...

  19. 76 FR 23333 - Notice of Proposed Withdrawal Extension and Opportunity for Public Meeting; Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-26

    ... location and entry under the United States mining laws to protect unique topographic characteristics and... action and announces the date, time, and location of a public meeting. DATES: Comments must be received... Caribou Counties, Wyoming, from location and entry under the United States mining laws (30 U.S.C. ch. 2...

  20. The long term response of stream flow to climatic warming in headwater streams of interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeremy B. Jones; Amanda J. Rinehart

    2010-01-01

    Warming in the boreal forest of interior Alaska will have fundamental impacts on stream ecosystems through changes in stream hydrology resulting from upslope loss of permafrost, alteration of availability of soil moisture, and the distribution of vegetation. We examined stream flow in three headwater streams of the Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed (CPCRW) in...

  1. 76 FR 18701 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Peary...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-05

    ... subspecies crosses the sea ice in the Strait seasonally, and this decrease in sea ice may affect the species.... groenlandicus x pearyi) caribou as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended... Van Norman, Chief, Branch of Foreign Species, Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife...

  2. 76 FR 11259 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Rasmussen Valley...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-01

    ... Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Rasmussen Valley Mine and Reclamation Plan, Caribou County, ID... Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to determine and analyze the effects of a proposed phosphate mine and... has proposed management practices in its mine and reclamation plan to reduce environmental impacts...

  3. 75 FR 17763 - Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Fairbanks, AK

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-07

    ... ecological studies and management of this herd and the Western Arctic caribou herd), polar bears, grizzly...] Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Fairbanks, AK AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION... Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (NWR, Refuge). The Revised CCP will establish goals and objectives...

  4. Stream dissolved organic matter bioavailability and composition in watersheds underlain with discontinuous permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly L. Balcarczyk; Jeremy B. Jones; Rudolf Jaffe; Nagamitsu Maie

    2009-01-01

    We examined the impact of permafrost on dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition in Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed (CPCRW), a watershed underlain with discontinuous permafrost, in interior Alaska. The stream draining the high permafrost watershed had higher DOC and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) concentrations, higher DOCDON and greater specific...

  5. First record of Taenia ovis krabbei muscle cysts in muskoxen from Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raundrup, Katrine; Al-Sabi, Mohammad M; Kapel, Christian Moliin Outzen

    2012-01-01

    A first record of Taenia ovis krabbei muscle cysts in a muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) from the Kangerlussuaq population in West Greenland suggests that introduced muskoxen now contributes to the transmission of this parasite in addition to previous observations from caribou (Rangtfer tarandus...

  6. LORE

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    One of the problems experienced by TEK researchers is that funding agencies often require concrete examples of how the information gathered will be applied. ..... In all countries, the marketing of value-added products that represent a more complete use of subsistence goods (for example, caribou hides) should be ...

  7. Remote sensing techniques for determining landcover features: applications for a species at risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Fauvelle

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Remote sensing techniques are becoming more advanced and commonplace in conservation biology, and are used to study spatial patterns of various taxa. The main objective of this study was to determine whether supervised classification of landcover types within Landsat imagery could be accurately used to find or locate islands on lakes that may have been overlooked during ground transects in central Saskatchewan. Additionally, we used telemetry data from collared female caribou to determine which islands were used and in which season(s, and to determine island char­acteristics that make caribou more likely to select them. We were able to successfully identify all islands within bodies of water relevant to collared caribou using a supervised classification method, which suggests that our methods were adequate. We also determined that none of the island characteristics significantly influenced caribou selection accord­ing to an occupancy model, however females tended to choose islands with a higher vegetation cover (NDVI during the summer months and a proportionally lower snow cover during the winter months, likely as forage and predator avoidance strategies respectively. Finally, we suggest directions for future studies as well as implications for both wildlife managers and land-use planners in Saskatchewan, Canada.

  8. 75 FR 18875 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Dairy Syncline...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-13

    ... facilitate mobile equipment operation and personnel, some small support facilities at the active mining sites.... Plans have been developed and submitted for agency review of proposed open pit mining operations at the... new mining operations at the Dairy Syncline Phosphate Lease Area lie within the Caribou-Targhee...

  9. Multi-trophic resource selection function enlightens the behavioural game between wolves and their prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courbin, Nicolas; Fortin, Daniel; Dussault, Christian; Fargeot, Viviane; Courtois, Réhaume

    2013-09-01

    1. Habitat selection strategies translate into movement tactics, which reckon with the predator-prey spatial game. Strategic habitat selection analysis can therefore illuminate behavioural games. Cover types at potential encounter sites (i.e. intersections between movement paths of predator and prey) can be compared with cover types available (i) within the area of home-range-overlap (HRO) between predator and prey; and (ii) along the path (MP) of each species. Unlike the HRO scale, cover-type availability at MP scale differs between interacting species due to species-specific movement decisions. Scale differences in selection could therefore inform on divergences in fitness rewarding actions between predators and prey. 2. We used this framework to evaluate the spatial game between GPS-collared wolves (Canis lupus) versus caribou (Rangifer tarandus), and wolf versus moose (Alces alces). 3. Changes in cover-type availability between HRO and MP revealed differences in how each species fine-tuned its movements to habitat features. In contrast to caribou, wolves increased their encounter rate with regenerating cuts along their paths (MP) relative to the HRO level. As a consequence, wolves were less likely to cross caribou paths in areas with higher percentage of regenerating cuts than expected based on the availability along their paths, whereas caribou had a higher risk of intersecting wolf paths by crossing these areas, relative to random expectation along their paths. Unlike for caribou, availability of mixed and deciduous areas decreased from HRO to MP level for wolves and moose. Overall, wolves displayed stronger similarities in movement decisions with moose than with caribou, thereby revealing the focus of wolves on moose. 4. Our study reveals how differences in fine-scale movement tactics between species create asymmetric relative encounter probabilities between predators and prey, given their paths. Increase in relative risk of encounter for prey and decrease

  10. Spatial and temporal trends of contaminants in terrestrial biota from the Canadian Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gamberg, Mary; Braune, Birgit; Davey, Eric; Elkin, Brett; Hoekstra, Paul F.; Kennedy, David; Macdonald, Colin; Muir, Derek; Nirwal, Amar; Wayland, Mark; Zeeb, Barbara

    2005-01-01

    Contaminants in the Canadian Arctic have been studied over the last twelve years under the guidance of the Northern Contaminants Program. This paper summarizes results from that program from 1998 to 2003 with respect to terrestrial animals in the Canadian Arctic. The arctic terrestrial environment has few significant contaminant issues, particularly when compared with freshwater and marine environments. Both current and historical industrial activities in the north may have a continuing effect on biota in the immediate area, but effects tend to be localized. An investigation of arctic ground squirrels at a site in the Northwest Territories that had historically received applications of DDT concluded that DDT in arctic ground squirrels livers was the result of contamination and that this is an indication of the continuing effect of a local point source of DDT. Arsenic concentrations were higher in berries collected from areas around gold mines in the Northwest Territories than from control sites, suggesting that gold mining may significantly affect arsenic levels in berries in the Yellowknives Dene traditional territory. Although moose and caribou from the Canadian Arctic generally carry relatively low contaminant burdens, Yukon moose had high renal selenium concentrations, and moose and some woodland caribou from the same area had high renal cadmium levels, which may put some animals at risk of toxicological effects. Low hepatic copper levels in some caribou herds may indicate a shortage of copper for metabolic demands, particularly for females. Similarities in patterns of temporal fluctuations in renal element concentrations for moose and caribou suggest that environmental factors may be a major cause of fluctuations in renal concentrations of some elements. Concentrations of persistent organochlorines and metals in beaver and muskrat from the Northwest Territories, and carnivores from across the Canadian Arctic were very low and considered normal for terrestrial

  11. Rates of disturbance vary by data resolution: implications for conservation schedules using the Alberta boreal forest as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komers, P E; Stanojevic, Z

    2013-09-01

    Investigations of biophysical changes on earth caused by anthropogenic disturbance provide governments with tools to generate sustainable development policy. Canada currently experiences one of the fastest rates of boreal forest disturbance in the world. Plans to conserve the 330 000 km(2) boreal forest in the province of Alberta exist but conservation targets and schedules must be aligned with rates of forest disturbance. We explore how disturbance rate, and the accuracy with which we detect it, may affect conservation success. We performed a change detection analysis from 1992 to 2008 using Landsat and SPOT satellite image data processing. Canada's recovery strategy for boreal caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) states that ≤35% of a caribou range can be either burned or within 500 m of a man-made feature for caribou to recover. Our analyses show that by 2008 78% of the boreal forest was disturbed and that, if the current rate continues, 100% would be disturbed by 2028. Alberta plans to set aside 22% for conservation in a region encompassing oil sands development to balance economic, environmental, and traditional indigenous land-use goals. Contrary to the federal caribou recovery strategy, provincial conservation plans do not consider wildfire a disturbance. Based on analyses used in the provincial plan, we apply a 250 m buffer around anthropogenic footprints. Landsat image analysis indicates that the yearly addition of disturbance is 714 km(2) (0.8%). The higher resolution SPOT images show fine-scale disturbance indicating that actual disturbance was 1.28 times greater than detected by Landsat. If the SPOT image based disturbance rates continue, the 22% threshold may be exceeded within the next decade, up to 20 years earlier than indicated by Landsat-based analysis. Our results show that policies for sustainable development will likely fail if governments do not develop time frames that are grounded by accurate calculations of disturbance rates. © 2013 John

  12. Spatiotemporal heterogeneity in prey abundance and vulnerability shapes the foraging tactics of an omnivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayl, Nathaniel; Bastille-Rousseau, Guillaume; Organ, John F.; Mumma, Matthew; Mahoney, Shane P.; Soulliere, Colleen; Lewis, Keith; Otto, Robert; Murray, Dennis; Waits, Lisette; Fuller, Todd

    2018-01-01

    Prey abundance and prey vulnerability vary across space and time, but we know little about how they mediate predator–prey interactions and predator foraging tactics. To evaluate the interplay between prey abundance, prey vulnerability and predator space use, we examined patterns of black bear (Ursus americanus) predation of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) neonates in Newfoundland, Canada using data from 317 collared individuals (9 bears, 34 adult female caribou, 274 caribou calves).During the caribou calving season, we predicted that landscape features would influence calf vulnerability to bear predation, and that bears would actively hunt calves by selecting areas associated with increased calf vulnerability. Further, we hypothesized that bears would dynamically adjust their foraging tactics in response to spatiotemporal changes in calf abundance and vulnerability (collectively, calf availability). Accordingly, we expected bears to actively hunt calves when they were most abundant and vulnerable, but switch to foraging on other resources as calf availability declined.As predicted, landscape heterogeneity influenced risk of mortality, and bears displayed the strongest selection for areas where they were most likely to kill calves, which suggested they were actively hunting caribou. Initially, the per‐capita rate at which bears killed calves followed a type‐I functional response, but as the calving season progressed and calf vulnerability declined, kill rates dissociated from calf abundance. In support of our hypothesis, bears adjusted their foraging tactics when they were less efficient at catching calves, highlighting the influence that predation phenology may have on predator space use. Contrary to our expectations, however, bears appeared to continue to hunt caribou as calf availability declined, but switched from a tactic of selecting areas of increased calf vulnerability to a tactic that maximized encounter rates with calves.Our results reveal that

  13. Spatiotemporal heterogeneity in prey abundance and vulnerability shapes the foraging tactics of an omnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayl, Nathaniel D; Bastille-Rousseau, Guillaume; Organ, John F; Mumma, Matthew A; Mahoney, Shane P; Soulliere, Colleen E; Lewis, Keith P; Otto, Robert D; Murray, Dennis L; Waits, Lisette P; Fuller, Todd K

    2018-05-01

    Prey abundance and prey vulnerability vary across space and time, but we know little about how they mediate predator-prey interactions and predator foraging tactics. To evaluate the interplay between prey abundance, prey vulnerability and predator space use, we examined patterns of black bear (Ursus americanus) predation of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) neonates in Newfoundland, Canada using data from 317 collared individuals (9 bears, 34 adult female caribou, 274 caribou calves). During the caribou calving season, we predicted that landscape features would influence calf vulnerability to bear predation, and that bears would actively hunt calves by selecting areas associated with increased calf vulnerability. Further, we hypothesized that bears would dynamically adjust their foraging tactics in response to spatiotemporal changes in calf abundance and vulnerability (collectively, calf availability). Accordingly, we expected bears to actively hunt calves when they were most abundant and vulnerable, but switch to foraging on other resources as calf availability declined. As predicted, landscape heterogeneity influenced risk of mortality, and bears displayed the strongest selection for areas where they were most likely to kill calves, which suggested they were actively hunting caribou. Initially, the per-capita rate at which bears killed calves followed a type-I functional response, but as the calving season progressed and calf vulnerability declined, kill rates dissociated from calf abundance. In support of our hypothesis, bears adjusted their foraging tactics when they were less efficient at catching calves, highlighting the influence that predation phenology may have on predator space use. Contrary to our expectations, however, bears appeared to continue to hunt caribou as calf availability declined, but switched from a tactic of selecting areas of increased calf vulnerability to a tactic that maximized encounter rates with calves. Our results reveal that generalist

  14. Thermal and mass implications of magmatic evolution in the Lassen volcanic region, California, and minimum constraints on basalt influx to the lower crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guffanti, M.; Clynne, M.A.; Muffler, L.J.P.

    1996-01-01

    We have analyzed the heat and mass demands of a petrologic model of basaltdriven magmatic evolution in which variously fractionated mafic magmas mix with silicic partial melts of the lower crust. We have formulated steady state heat budgets for two volcanically distinct areas in the Lassen region: the large, late Quaternary, intermediate to silicic Lassen volcanic center and the nearby, coeval, less evolved Caribou volcanic field. At Caribou volcanic field, heat provided by cooling and fractional crystallization of 52 km3 of basalt is more than sufficient to produce 10 km3 of rhyolitic melt by partial melting of lower crust. Net heat added by basalt intrusion at Caribou volcanic field is equivalent to an increase in lower crustal heat flow of ???7 mW m-2, indicating that the field is not a major crustal thermal anomaly. Addition of cumulates from fractionation is offset by removal of erupted partial melts. A minimum basalt influx of 0.3 km3 (km2 Ma)-1 is needed to supply Caribou volcanic field. Our methodology does not fully account for an influx of basalt that remains in the crust as derivative intrusives. On the basis of comparison to deep heat flow, the input of basalt could be ???3 to 7 times the amount we calculate. At Lassen volcanic center, at least 203 km3 of mantle-derived basalt is needed to produce 141 km3 of partial melt and drive the volcanic system. Partial melting mobilizes lower crustal material, augmenting the magmatic volume available for eruption at Lassen volcanic center; thus the erupted volume of 215 km3 exceeds the calculated basalt input of 203 km3. The minimum basalt input of 1.6 km3 (km2 Ma)-1 is >5 times the minimum influx to the Caribou volcanic field. Basalt influx high enough to sustain considerable partial melting, coupled with locally high extension rate, is a crucial factor in development of Lassen volcanic center; in contrast. Caribou volcanic field has failed to develop into a large silicic center primarily because basalt supply

  15. Comparative ecological and behavioral adaptations of Ovibos moschatus and Rangifer tarandus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David R. Klein

    1992-10-01

    Full Text Available Caribou/reindeer and muskoxen are the only two ungulate species that have successfully occupied arctic tundra habitats. Although confronted with similar environmental constraints, their morphological dissimilarities have enabled them to develop unique behavioral and ecological adaptations that under most circumstances result in minimal overlap in use of forage resources. The large body and gut capacity of muskoxen have enabled them to adopt a strategy maximizing rate of forage intake and energy conservation, whereas caribou/reindeer of substantially smaller body size must pursue selective feeding, requiring high mobility and high energy expenditure. Responses to predators and insects by the two species show similar contrasts in associated energy costs. When confronted with environmental extremes that limit forage availability, competition for food may occur and the resulting differential success is a reflection of their divergent evolutionary routes.

  16. Migration - utopia or myopia?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Osborne

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Peter Osborne spent a sabbatical in northern America and was surprised that so many scientists and students stated that caribou migration was largely the result of mosquito pressure. He failed however to find any documented evidence of this claim although he was constantly confronted by the well known «facts» that mosquitoes had been observed to drive caribou crazy and even kill juveniles. The issue Osborne wishes to focus is that an experimentally unsubstantiated anthropomorphism appears to have become critical evidence in support of a theory. A recent article in Nature (393, 511-513, 1998 devoted to the uses of 'science in fiction' to stimulate thought and discussion about aspects of academia encouraged him to write the following comment in the form of a parody of ancient Greek dialogues.

  17. A protein A/G indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of anti-Brucella antibodies in Arctic wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nymo, Ingebjørg H; Godfroid, Jacques; Åsbakk, Kjetil; Larsen, Anett K; das Neves, Carlos G; Rødven, Rolf; Tryland, Morten

    2013-05-01

    A species-independent indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) based on chimeric protein A/G was established for the detection of anti-Brucella antibodies in Arctic wildlife species and compared to previously established brucellosis serological tests for hooded seals (Cystophora cristata), minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus), as well as bacteriology results for reindeer and caribou (Rangifer tarandus sp.). The protein A/G iELISA results were consistent with the other serological tests with Cohen kappa values between 0.47 and 0.92, and the protein A/G iELISA can thus offer a technically simple method for these species yielding results consistent with established brucellosis serological tests. Receiver operator characteristics analysis proved that the reindeer and caribou protein A/G iELISA results were consistent with the bacteriological gold standard with an area under the curve of 0.99, and the protein A/G iELISA was thus validated as a sensitive and specific serological method for the detection of anti-Brucella antibodies in reindeer and caribou. The binding of the antibodies from the respective species to protein A and G were also evaluated in the iELISA. The antibodies from hooded seals and polar bears reacted stronger to protein A than to G. The sei whale, fin whale, reindeer, and caribou antibodies reacted stronger to protein G than to A. The minke whale antibodies reacted to both protein A and G. There was a strong correlation (r s = 0.88-0.98) between the optical density results obtained with the iELISA with protein A/G and protein A or G, showing that protein A/G is as well suited as protein A or G for the detection of anti-Brucella antibodies in these species with the iELISA.

  18. Creative convergence: exploring biocultural diversity through art

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean L. Polfus

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Interdisciplinary approaches are necessary for exploring the complex research questions that stem from interdependence in social-ecological systems. For example, the concept of biocultural diversity, which highlights the interactions between human diversity and the diversity of biological systems, bridges multiple knowledge systems and disciplines and can reveal historical, existing, and emergent patterns of variation that are essential to ecosystem dynamics. Identifying biocultural diversity requires a flexible, creative, and collaborative approach to research. We demonstrate how visual art can be used in combination with scientific and social science methods to examine the biocultural landscape of the Sahtú region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Specifically, we focus on the intersection of Dene cultural diversity and caribou (Rangifer tarandus intraspecific variation. We developed original illustrations, diagrams, and other visual aids to increase the effectiveness of communication, improve the organization of research results, and promote intellectual creativity. For example, we used scientific visualization and drawings to explain complex genetic data and clarify research priorities. Visual facilitation during meetings helped establish accurate representations of both cultural and biological diversity by externalizing heterogeneity and avoiding standardization. Group mind mapping enhanced collaborators' ability to visualize connections between Dene concepts, like bets'erı̨hchá "respect" and caribou, and to recognize differences between knowledge systems that challenge translations and reduce the effectiveness of research outcomes. Collaborative visual products, like posters that represented different caribou types, allowed Dene partners to more clearly articulate subtleties within caribou intraspecific variation that are manifest through distinct dialects, place-based relationships, and cultural practices. Our results point

  19. Voices from Denali: "it's bigger than wilderness"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alan E. Watson; Katie Knotek; Neal Christensen

    2005-01-01

    Denali National Park and Preserve, at over 6 million acres (2.5 million ha) contains the highest point in North America. Mount McKinley, at more than 20,000 feet (more than 6,000 m) above sea level, watches over thousands of caribou, moose, packs of wolves, grizzly bears, and Dall sheep, as well as many other mountains and a vast amount of rare plant life. Research was...

  20. Clicking in cervids - basic parameters, origin and function?

    OpenAIRE

    POJEROVÁ, Lucie

    2014-01-01

    It is well known that some ungulates produce clicking sound by limbs, but often without more details. This study deals with the clicking sound in five cervid taxons, specifically in Caribou (Rangifer tarandus), Pere David´s Deer (Elaphurus davidianus), Western Red Deer (Cervus elaphus), Moose (Alces alces), Barbary stag (Cervus elaphus barbarus) in detail. Dominant frequency, 25% quartile, 50% quartile, 75% quartile were investigated for these species, with the particular attention to sex, ag...

  1. Tracking wildlife by satellite: Current systems and performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Richard B.; Fancy, Steven G.; Douglas, David C.; Garner, Gerald W.; Amstrup, Steven C.; McCabe, Thomas R.; Pank, Larry F.

    1990-01-01

    Since 1984, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has used the Argos Data Collection and Location System (DCLS) and Tiros-N series satellites to monitor movements and activities of 10 species of large mammals in Alaska and the Rocky Mountain region. Reliability of the entire system was generally high. Data were received from instrumented caribou (Rangifer tarandus) during 91% of 318 possible transmitter-months. Transmitters failed prematurely on 5 of 45 caribou, 2 of 6 muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus), and 1 of 2 gray wolves (Canis lupus). Failure rates were considerably higher for polar (Ursus maritimus) and brown (U. arctos) bears than for caribou (Rangifer tarandus). Efficiency of gathering both locational and sensor data was related to both latitude and topography.Mean error of locations was estimated to be 954 m (median = 543 m) for transmitters on captive animals; 90% of locations were indices of animal activity were developed and evaluated. For several species, the long-term index was correlated with movement patterns and the short-term index was calibrated to specific activity categories (e.g., lying, feeding, walking).Data processing and sampling considerations were evaluated. Algorithms for choosing the most reliable among a series of reported locations were investigated. Applications of satellite telemetry data and problems with lack of independence among locations are discussed.

  2. Implications of a Bayesian radiocarbon calibration of colonization ages for mammalian megafauna in glaciated New York State after the Last Glacial Maximum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feranec, Robert S.; Kozlowski, Andrew L.

    2016-03-01

    To understand what factors control species colonization and extirpation within specific paleoecosystems, we analyzed radiocarbon dates of megafaunal mammal species from New York State after the Last Glacial Maximum. We hypothesized that the timing of colonization and extirpation were both driven by access to preferred habitat types. Bayesian calibration of a database of 39 radiocarbon dates shows that caribou (Rangifer tarandus) were the first colonizers, then mammoth (Mammuthus sp.), and finally American mastodon (Mammut americanum). The timing of colonization cannot reject the hypothesis that colonizing megafauna tracked preferred habitats, as caribou and mammoth arrived when tundra was present, while mastodon arrived after boreal forest was prominent in the state. The timing of caribou colonization implies that ecosystems were developed in the state prior to 16,000 cal yr BP. The contemporaneous arrival of American mastodon with Sporormiella spore decline suggests the dung fungus spore is not an adequate indicator of American mastodon population size. The pattern in the timing of extirpation is opposite to that of colonization. The lack of environmental changes suspected to be ecologically detrimental to American mastodon and mammoth coupled with the arrival of humans shortly before extirpation suggests an anthropogenic cause in the loss of the analyzed species.

  3. 137Cs concentrations in northern Alaskan Eskimos, 1962-79: effects of ecological, cultural and political factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, W.C.

    1982-01-01

    Concentrations of worldwide fallout 137 Cs were measured in the lichen-caribou-Eskimo food chain of northern Alaska during the period 1962-79. Pronounced inputs of fallout occurred after major nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere and 137 Cs was transmitted through the food chain to Eskimos with about a 2-yr delay due to environmental parameters. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) meat sampled during spring harvest contained 4 times the 137 Cs concentration of lichens obtained from their winter range. Calculated caribou meat ingestion rates of Anaktuvuk Pass Eskimos during winter ranged from approximately equal to 1 kg/day in 1964 to 0.16 kg/day in 1977. Several environmental factors affected seasonal patterns and amounts of 137 Cs transferred through the food chain. Maximum 137 Cs concentrations of approximately equal to 20 nCi/kg body weight in Eskimos occurred in 1964 and have now decreased to approximately equal to 0.5 nCi/kg, largely because of cultural and political factors. Radiation doses from 137 Cs body burdens during the study period ranged from 60 mrad/yr in 1962 to approximately equal to 140 mrad/yr during the 1962-64 maxima and decreased to 8 mrad/yr in 1979. (author)

  4. Pacific Northwest Laboratory Annual Report for 1978 to the DOE Assistant Secretary for Environment Part 2. Ecological Sciences.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanson, W.C.; Eberhardt, L.E.

    1979-07-01

    The objective of this research is to provide an integrated program of investigation for the definition of the ecological consequences of resource developments in northern Alaska. Qualitative and quantitative results are obtained that describe environmental costs incurred by petroleum resource extraction and transportation, including interaction of industrial activities with arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus), small mammals, and tundra-nesting birds in the Prudhoe Bay field and along the Trans-Alaska pipeline and haul road; similar information from the Colville River delta for comparative purposes; baseline information on moose (Alces alces) populations, caribou (Rangifer tarandus) range quality and use, and lichen communities that are or will be impacted by resource developments; field experiments to determine lichen sensitivities to sulfur oxide concentrations likely to be encountered near pipeline pumping stations; food chain transfers of stable and radioactive elements that utilize a data base of some 19 years for comparative purposes; and evaluation of oil field development activities on rabies and other physiological phenomena in foxes. A significant fraction of the research is coordinated through university contracts that utilize academic researchers in specific areas of expertise. During 1978 research continued to emphasize investigations on the ecological consequences of petroleum resource development in northern Alaska. Studies were conducted this year on arctic foxes, tundra-nesting birds, small mammals, caribou, lichens, and fallout radionuclides in the lichen-caribou-Eskimo food web.

  5. Satellite telemetry: A new tool for wildlife research and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fancy, Steven G.; Pank, Larry F.; Douglas, David C.; Curby, Catherine H.; Garner, Gerald W.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Regelin, Wayne L.

    1998-01-01

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have cooperated since 1984 to develop and evaluate satellite telemetry as a means of overcoming the high costs and logistical problems of conventional VHF (very high frequency) radiotelemetry systems. Detailed locational and behavioral data on caribou (Rangifer tarandus), polar bears (Ursus maritimus), and other large mammals in Alaska have been obtained using the Argos Data Collection and Location System (DCLS). The Argos system, a cooperative project of the Centre National d'Études Spatiales of France, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is designed to acquire environmental data on a routine basis from anywhere on earth. Transmitters weighing 1.6-2.0 kg and functioning approximately 12-18 months operated on a frequency of 401.650 MHz. Signals from the transmitters were received by Argos DCLS instruments aboard two Tiros-N weather satellites in sun-synchronous, nearpolar orbits. Data from the satellites were received at tracking stations, transferred to processing centers in Maryland and France, and made available to users via computer tape, printouts, or telephone links.During 1985 and 1986, more than 25,000 locations and an additional 28,000 sets of sensor data (transmitter temperature and short-term and long-term indices of animal activity) were acquired for caribou and polar bears. Locations were calculated from the Doppler shift in the transmitted signal as the satellite approached and then moved away from the transmitter. The mean locational error for transmitters at known locations (n - 1,265) was 829 m; 90% of the calculated locations were within 1,700 m of the true location. Caribou transmitters provided a mean of 3.1 (+5.0. SD) locations per day during 6h of daily operation, and polar bear transmitters provided 1.7 (+6.9SD) locations during 12h of operation every third day. During the first 6 months of

  6. Taxonomy and origin of reindeer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knut H. Røed

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Reindeer and caribou was probably the key species for the human immigration and colonization in the Arctic and sub-Arctic by the retreat of the ice in the last glacial period. The close connection between human and reindeer has contributed to great interest and variation in reindeer taxonomy and origin. Through the history several both species, subspecies and types of reindeer and caribou have been described. The early taxonomy of the species is marked by comparisons of individual specimen using traits as body size, skin colour or antler formations - characteristics known to be highly variable and subjected to environmental and nutritional level. During the mid 1900s the taxonomy was more based on variation of morphological traits among populations by analysing a large series of specimens representative of the various geographic populations and a consensus of classification of several subspecies, all belonging to the same species, evolved. During late 1900 the development of modern molecular techniques procured tools for revealing genetic structure of populations reflecting different origin and isolation rather than environmental influences. The genetic structure revealed a major genetic dichotomy between American woodland caribou on the one hand and all other types of reindeer and caribou on the other which gave evidence that the ancestors of present woodland caribou had survived and evolved in ice free refugium south to the glacier in North America and the ancestors of all other types of reindeer and caribou had evolved separated from these in refugium in Eurasia and Beringia. The ancestors of present reindeer in Scandinavia appear furthermore to have evolved from different populations separated during the last glaciation period and the colonization and origin of present wild and domestic reindeer will be discussed in this perspective.Taksonomi og opprinnelse til reinAbstract in Norwegian / Sammendrag: Rein og caribou har hatt stor betydning

  7. Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus and climate change: Importance of winter forage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thrine Moen Heggberget

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available As a consequence of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, climate change is predicted to be particularly pronounced, although regionally variable, in the vast arctic, sub-arctic and alpine tundra areas of the northern hemisphere. Here, we review winter foraging conditions for reindeer and caribou (Rangifer tarandus living in these areas, and consider diet, forage quality and distribution, accessibility due to snow variation, and effects of snow condition on reindeer and caribou populations. Finally, we hypothesise how global warming may affect wild mountain reindeer herds in South Norway. Energy-rich lichens often dominate reindeer and caribou diets. The animals also prefer lichens, and their productivity has been shown to be higher on lichen-rich than on lichen-poor ranges. Nevertheless, this energy source appears to be neither sufficient as winter diet for reindeer or caribou (at least for pregnant females nor necessary. Some reindeer and caribou populations seem to be better adapted to a non-lichen winter diet, e.g. by a larger alimentary tract. Shrubs appear to be the most common alternative winter forage, while some grasses appear to represent a good, nutritionally-balanced winter diet. Reindeer/caribou make good use of a wide variety of plants in winter, including dead and dry parts that are digested more than expected based on their fibre content. The diversity of winter forage is probably important for the mineral content of the diet. A lichen-dominated winter diet may be deficient in essential dietary elements, e.g. minerals. Sodium in particular may be marginal in inland winter ranges. Our review indicates that most Rangifer populations with lichen-dominated winter diets are either periodically or continuously heavily harvested by humans or predators. However, when population size is mainly limited by food, accessible lichen resources are often depleted. Plant studies simulating climatic change indicate that a warmer, wetter

  8. Comeback season : scientists helping mother nature reduce industry footprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ross, E.

    2006-06-15

    Previously, land reclamation certificates were issued for abandoned wellsites once soil stability had been achieved. However, public demand for a more sustainable approach to development has resulted in oil and gas companies funding research projects to further reduce environmental impacts on the land. This article presented details of 2 land reclamation studies currently underway. The first section of the article described a research project that aims to return native species and habitats to abandoned wellsites. Researchers are currently investigating native colonizer species that can adapt to harsh environments, grow rapidly and produce mature seeds while not preventing other native species from colonizing the reclaimed areas. Seed mixes will be made available to reclamation workers so that plant communities can recover from disturbances. In addition to grasses, the scientists have used 4 to 10 different species of plants to date, including forbs, pea vines, legumes and milk weed. The last section of the article presented details of a reforestation pilot project targeted at re-stocking an indigenous caribou herd that was impacted by oil and gas development. Seismic lines are being reforested as part of a long-term habitat project for the herd, whose numbers were reduced after a pipeline was built in the region. The $1.2 million project will target areas that will most benefit the caribou, with a particular focus on the intersections of seismic lines where wolves have been positioning themselves to hunt the caribou. Plantings will be done in concert with 2 local forest companies and will include spruce, alder and white pine. The reforested area will be monitored for a minimum of 3 to 5 years for vegetation growth and for animal and human access. Details of Alberta Environment's role in improving on existing reclamation criteria were also discussed. 3 figs.

  9. Redes de distribución de caribú en Sheshatshiu, Labrador: una estrategia de modelización

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damian Castro

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available La localidad de Sheshatshiu, en la península de Québec/Labrador, es uno de los asentamientos del pueblo Innu impulsados por el gobierno canadiense en los 1950s y 1960s. A pesar de la crisis alimentaria que la sedentarización forzada produjo, el caribú sigue constituyendo una parte importante de la dieta y la cultura Innu. El objetivo de este trabajo es mostrar una estrategia de modelización de la distribución de caribú en Sheshatshiu. La metodología seleccionada incluye tres pasos. El primer paso de modelización es el diseño de una base de datos con la información de distribución obtenida a partir de una encuesta en la que se relevaron 30 casas aleatoriamente y un subsiguiente muestreo "bola de nieve". Luego, se usa el programa UCINET para determinar clusterización, conectividad y centralidad. El tercer y último paso es determinar el alcance la distribución de caribú a partir del análisis de los procedimientos previos.The town of Sheshatshiu, located in the Quebec-Labrador peninsula, is one of the settlements created by the Canadian government in the 1950s and 1960s. In spite of the nutritional crisis that the forced sedentarization produced, caribou is still an important part of the Innu diet and culture. The goal of this paper is to show a modeling strategy of the caribou distribution in Sheshatshiu. The selected methodology includes three steps. The first modeling step is the design of a database to store the distribution information obtained from a random survey of 30 households and a subsequent snowball survey. The second step is to determine the clusterization, connectivity and centrality measures, using UCINET software. The third and last step is establishing the scope of caribou distribution using the previous procedures.

  10. Lichen conservation in heavily managed boreal forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMullin, Richard Troy; Thompson, Ian D; Newmaster, Steven G

    2013-10-01

    Lichens are an important component of the boreal forest, where they are long lived, tend to accumulate in older stands, and are a major food source for the threatened woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou). To be fully sustainable, silvicultural practices in the boreal forest must include the conservation of ecological integrity. Dominant forest management practices, however, have short-term negative effects on lichen diversity, particularly the application of herbicides. To better understand the long-term effects of forest management, we examined lichen regeneration in 35 mixed black spruce (Picea mariana) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) forest stands across northern Ontario to determine recovery following logging and postharvest silvicultural practices. Our forest stands were 25-40 years old and had undergone 3 common sivilcultural treatments that included harvested and planted; harvested, planted, and treated with N-[phosphonomethyl] glycine (glyphosate); and harvested, planted, and treated with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). Forest stands with herbicide treatments had lower lichen biomass and higher beta and gamma diversity than planted stands that were not treated chemically or control stands. In northwestern Ontario, planted stands that were not treated chemically had significantly greater (p < 0.05) alpha diversity than stands treated with herbicides or control stands. Our results show that common silvicultural practices do not emulate natural disturbances caused by wildfires in the boreal forest for the lichen community. We suggest a reduction in the amount of chemical application be considered in areas where lichen biomass is likely to be high and where the recovery of woodland caribou is an objective. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Comparative response of Rangifer tarandus and other northern ungulates to climatic variability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert B. Weladji

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available To understand the factors influencing life history traits and population dynamics, attention is increasingly being given to the importance of environmental stochasticity. In this paper, we review and discuss aspects of current knowledge concerning the effect of climatic variation (local and global on population parameters of northern ungu¬lates, with special emphasis on reindeer/caribou (Rangifer tarandus. We also restrict ourselves to indirect effects of climate through both forage availability and quality, and insect activity. Various authors have used different weather variables; with sometime opposite trends in resulting life history traits of ungulates, and few studies show consistent effects to the same climatic variables. There is thus little consensus about which weather variables play the most sig¬nificant role influencing ungulate population parameters. This may be because the effects of weather on ungulate pop¬ulation dynamics and life history traits are scale dependent and it is difficult to isolate climatic effects from density dependent factors. This confirms the complexity of the relationship between environment and ecosystem. We point out limits of comparability between systems and the difficulty of generalizing about the effect of climate change broadly across northern systems, across species and even within species. Furthermore, insect harassment appears to be a key climate-related factor for the ecology of reindeer/caribou that has been overlooked in the literature of climatic effects on large herbivores. In light of this, there is a need for further studies of long time series in assessing effects of climate variability on reindeer/caribou.

  12. Summary of wildlife-related research on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 2002–17

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, John M.; Flint, Paul L.; Atwood, Todd C.; Douglas, David C.; Adams, Layne G.; Johnson, Heather E.; Arthur, Stephen M.; Latty, Christopher J.

    2018-01-23

    We summarize recent (2002–17) publicly available information from studies within the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well as terrestrial and coastal ecosystems elsewhere on the Arctic Coastal Plain that are relevant to the 1002 Area. This report provides an update on earlier research summaries on caribou (Rangifer tarandus), forage quality and quantity, polar bears (Ursus maritimus), muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus), and snow geese (Chen caerulescens). We also provide information on new research related to climate, migratory birds, permafrost, coastal erosion, coastal lagoons, fish, water resources, and potential effects of industrial disturbance on wildlife. From this literature review, we noted evidence for change in the status of some wildlife and their habitats, and the lack of change for others. In the 1002 Area, muskox numbers have decreased and the Porcupine Caribou Herd has exhibited variation in use of the area during the calving season. Polar bears are now more common on shore in summer and fall because of declines in sea ice in the Beaufort Sea. In a study spanning 25 years, there were no significant changes in vegetation quality and quantity, soil conditions, or permafrost thaw in the coastal plain of the 1002 Area. Based on studies from the central Arctic Coastal Plain, there are persistent and emerging uncertainties about the long-term effects of energy development for caribou. In contrast, recent studies that examined direct and indirect effects of industrial activities and infrastructure on birds in the central Arctic Coastal Plain found little effect for the species and disturbances examined, except for the possibility of increased predator activity near human developments.

  13. Ecological investigation of Alaskan resource development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, W.C.

    1982-01-01

    The objective of this research is to provide an integrated program for the definition of ecological consequences of resource developments in northern Alaska. The qualitative and quantitative results obtained describe the environmental costs incurred by petroleum resource extraction and transportation, and the interaction of wildlife populations with industrial activities. Information is presented on: affected populations of arctic foxes, small mammals, and tundra-nesting birds along the Trans-Alaska pipeline and haul road; field studies on the nitrogen fixation patterns of lichens; and on amounts of radionuclides from worldwide fallout in the lichen-caribou-Eskimo food chain

  14. Sparse Bayesian Information Filters for Localization and Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-02-01

    on the Unicorn and Caribou AUVs, going to sea on two research cruises, and going to 1369 for coffee in the morning, I’ve been very fortunate to get...map and thereby bound error growth . SLAM is a classic chicken-and-egg problem in which an accurate estimate for the robot’s pose is necessary to...the map that is more succinct. Unlike an occupancy grid rep- resentation, they do not suffer from exponential spatial growth . Instead, the size of

  15. The Joint Management Concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian Juniper

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available The responsibility of the Coordinating Committee in the management of wildlife, including caribou, in northern Quebec is self-evident. Since its establishment in 1975 the committee has attempted to fulfil this responsibility. Initially the committee was hampered in its efforts largely due to a different interpretation of this responsibility among the parties. However, a three stage process for reviewing and discussing management initiatives has evolved over the years which has been shown to be effective. Through trial and error over the years, the committee has come to fulfil its intended role - that of "coordinating" wildlife management in northern Quebec in conjunction with the responsible governments.

  16. Ecological investigation of Alaskan resource development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, W.C.; Eberhardt, L.E.

    1981-01-01

    The objective of this research is to provide an integrated program for the definition of ecological consequences of resource developments in northern Alaska. Information is presented on affected populations of arctic foxes, small mammals, and tundra-nesting birds in the Prudhoe Bay oil field and along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and haul road; findings from similar studies from the Colville River Delta and other affected habitats; field experiments to determine the sensitivity of lichen communities of the Brooks Range to sulfur dioxide concentrations likely to be encountered near pipeline pumping stations; and amounts of radionuclides from worldwide fallout in the lichen-caribou-Eskimo food chain

  17. Environmental radioactivity in Canada 1987

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    The radiological surveillance program of the Department of National Health and Welfare is conducted for the purpose of determining levels of environmental radioactivity in Canada and assessing the resulting population exposures. A study was initiated to evaluate the contamination by cesium-137, of caribou, a major source of food in northern communities. Work on development of methods proceeded for the determination of radon, carbon-14, polonium-210, radium-228 and isotopic uranium in samples. Monitoring continued of fallout contamination from Chernobyl of imported foods. All measurements made during 1987 are below the limits recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection

  18. Pathology, clinical signs, and tissue distribution of Toxoplasma gondii in experimentally infected reindeer (Rangifer tarandus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Émilie Bouchard

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic parasite found in vertebrates worldwide for which felids serve as definitive hosts. Despite low densities of felids in northern Canada, Inuit people in some regions show unexpectedly high levels of exposure, possibly through handling and consumption of Arctic wildlife. Free-ranging caribou (Rangifer tarandus are widely harvested for food across the Canadian North, show evidence of seroexposure to T. gondii, and are currently declining in numbers throughout the Arctic. We experimentally infected three captive reindeer (conspecific with caribou with 1000, 5000 or 10,000 oocysts of T. gondii via stomach intubation to assess clinical signs of infection, pathology, and tissue distribution. An unexposed reindeer served as a negative control. Signs of stress, aggression, and depression were noted for the first two weeks following infection. By 4 weeks post infection, all infected reindeer were positive on a modified agglutination test at the highest titer tested (1:200 for antibodies to T. gondii. At 20 weeks post infection, no gross abnormalities were observed on necropsy. Following histopathology and immunohistochemistry, tissue cysts were visualized in the reindeer given the highest and lowest dose of oocysts. Focal pleuritis and alveolitis were associated with respiratory problems in reindeer given the middle dose. DNA of T. gondii was detected following traditional DNA extraction and conventional PCR on 25 mg samples from 17/33 muscles and organs, and by magnetic capture DNA extraction from 100 g samples from all 26 tissues examined. This research demonstrated that reindeer/caribou can serve as intermediate hosts for T. gondii, and that the parasite may be associated with health effects in wildlife. The presence of T. gondii in all tissues tested, many of which are commonly consumed raw, smoked, or dried in northern communities, suggests that caribou may serve as a source of human exposure to T

  19. Effects of clear-cutting and alternative silvicultural systems on wildlife in Ontario`s boreal mixedwoods. NODA/NFP technical report No. TR-19

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wedeles, C.H.; Van Damme, L.

    1995-12-31

    Reviews the potential impacts of alternative silvicultural systems in Ontario boreal mixedwood forests on individual species and groups of wildlife. Begins with an overview of the ecology of boreal mixedwoods and a discussion of some of the concepts relevant to the later sections of the report, such as biodiversity. Alternative silvicultural systems are then reviewed, including modified clear-cut systems and the shelterwood system. The next four chapters cover habitat affiliations and the stand-level and large-scale effects of those silvicultural systems on the following categories of wildlife: Birds, small mammals such as rabbits and squirrels, ungulates (moose, caribou), and furbearers with small, intermediate, and large home ranges.

  20. HOW COFFEE COMPANIES CAN STAY COMPETITIVE

    OpenAIRE

    RALUCA DANIELA RIZEA; ROXANA SARBU; ELENA CONDREA

    2014-01-01

    The coffee shop industry in the U.S. includes 20,000 stores with combined annual revenue of about $11 billion. Major companies include Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Caribou, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Diedrich (Gloria Jean’s). The industry is highly concentrated at the top and fragmented at the bottom: the top 50 companies have over 70 percent of industry sales. Coffee is one of the world’s largest commodities. The top green coffee producing countries are Brazil, Colombia, and Vietnam. Many...

  1. The modification and evaluation of an ELISA test for the surveillance of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in wild ruminants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pruvot Mathieu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA is often used to test wildlife samples for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP infection. However, commercially available kits are only validated for use with domestic ruminant species. A literature review was performed to document the current use of MAP serum ELISA in wild and semi-domestic ruminants. We then modified and evaluated a commercial ELISA kit (IDEXX Mycobacterium paratuberculosis Antibody Test Kit for use with species for which it was not originally developed: elk (Cervus elaphus, bison (Bison bison and caribou (Rangifer tarandus. We tested the affinity of different conjugates for immunoglobulin G (IgG isolated from these species, performed checkerboard tests to determine the optimal dilutions of samples and conjugates, and established cut-off values using two different methods: a Receiver Operational Curve on a panel of known samples for elk, and an alternate method involving a panel of unknown serum samples for the three species. Results We found that the anti-bovine conjugate included in the IDEXX ELISA kit has limited affinity for elk, bison, and caribou IgG. Protein G showed good affinity for IgG of all three species, while anti-deer conjugate also bound elk and caribou IgG. Using Protein G with elk serum, a cut-off sample-to-positive (S/P value of 0.22 was selected, resulting in a sensitivity and specificity of 73% and 90%, respectively, whereas, using an anti-deer conjugate with elk serum, an S/P cut-off value of 0.29 gave a sensitivity of 68%, with 100% specificity. Cut-off values for bison and caribou using the Protein G conjugate were 0.17 and 0.25 respectively. Conclusions Due to incomplete reporting and a lack of test validation, it is difficult to critically appraise results of many sero-surveys that have previously been done for MAP in wildlife. Commercial ELISA kits may have limited or no capacity to detect antibodies from species other than for

  2. The non-agricultural areas of Canada and radioactivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyerhof, Dorothy; Marshall, Heather

    1990-01-01

    Approximately 90% of the Canadian land mass is non-agricultural. It is a source of food to native peoples and sport hunters. Although agricultural areas have been extensively monitored for the transfer of radionuclides through the food chain, very little work has been done on radionuclides in the natural environment in Canada. The exceptions are specific problems such as radiocesium in the lichen-caribou food chain in the Arctic and natural radioactivity in the vicinity of uranium mines. A systematic study of natural food chains is being initiated. This paper presents the results of the study so far and proposed future directions. (author)

  3. Distributions of Manganese, Iron, and Manganese-Oxidizing Bacteria In Lake Superior Sediments of Different Organic Carbon Content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Laurie L.; Nealson, Kenneth H.

    1989-01-01

    Profiles of oxygen, soluble and particulate manganese and iron, organic carbon and nitrogen were examined in Lake Superior sediment cores, along with the distribution and abundance of heterotrophic and manganese oxidizing bacteria. Analyses were performed using cores collected with the submersible Johnson Sea Link II. Three cores, exhibiting a range of organic carbon content, were collected from the deepest basin in Lake Superior and the north and south ends of the Caribou trough, and brought to the surface for immediate analysis. Minielectrode profiles of oxygen concentration of the three cores were carried out using a commercially available minielectrode apparatus. Oxygen depletion to less than 1% occurred within 4 cm of the surface for two of the cores, but not until approximately 15 cm for the core from the south basin of the Caribou trough. The three cores exhibited very different profiles of soluble, as well as leachable, manganese and iron, suggesting different degrees of remobilization of these metals in the sediments. Vertical profiles of viable bacteria and Mn oxidizing bacteria, determined by plating and counting, showed that aerobic (and facultatively aerobic) heterotrophic bacteria were present at the highest concentrations near the surface and decreased steadily with depth, while Mn oxidizing bacteria were concentrations primarily at and above the oxic/anoxic interface. Soluble manganese in the pore waters, along with abundant organic carbon, appeared to enhance the presence of manganese oxidizing bacteria, even below the oxic/anoxic interface. Profiles of solid-phase leachable manganese suggested a microbial role in manganese reprecipitation in these sediments.

  4. Anti-Brucella Antibodies in Moose (Alces alces gigas), Muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus), and Plains Bison (Bison bison bison) in Alaska, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nymo, Ingebjørg Helena; Beckmen, Kimberlee; Godfroid, Jacques

    2016-01-01

    We used an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) and the rose bengal test (RBT) to test for anti-Brucella antibodies in moose (Alces alces gigas), muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus), and plains bison (Bison bison bison) from various game management units (GMUs) in Alaska, US, sampled from 1982 to 2010. A portion of the sera had previously been tested with the standard plate test (SPT), the buffered Brucella antigen (BBA) card test, and the card test (CARD). No antibody-positive plains bison were identified. Anti-Brucella antibodies were detected in moose (iELISA, n=4/87; RBT, n=4/87; SPT, n=4/5; BBA, n=4/4) from GMU 23 captured in 1992, 1993, and 1995 and in muskoxen (iELISA, n=4/52; RBT, n=4/52; CARD, n=4/35) from GMUs 26A and 26B captured in 2004, 2006, and 2007. A negative effect of infection on the health of individuals of these species is probable. The presence of antibody-positive animals from 1992 to 2007 suggests presence of brucellae over time. The antibody-positive animals were found in northern Alaska, an area with a historically higher prevalence of Brucella-positive caribou, and a spillover of Brucella suis biovar 4 from caribou may have occurred. Brucella suis biovar 4 causes human brucellosis, and transmission from consumption of moose and muskoxen is possible.

  5. Explicit Not Implicit Preferences Predict Conservation Intentions for Endangered Species and Biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echeverri, Alejandra; Callahan, Megan M; Chan, Kai M A; Satterfield, Terre; Zhao, Jiaying

    2017-01-01

    Conservation of biodiversity is determined in part by human preferences. Preferences relevant to conservation have been examined largely via explicit measures (e.g., a self-reported degree of liking), with implicit measures (e.g., preconscious, automatic evaluations) receiving relatively less attention. This is the case despite psychological evidence from other contexts that implicit preferences are more informative of behavior. Thus, the type of measure that predicts conservation intentions for biodiversity is unknown. We conducted three studies to examine conservation intentions in light of people's explicit and implicit preferences toward four endangered species (sea otter, American badger, caribou, yellow-breasted chat) and four biomes (forest, ocean, grassland, tundra). In Study 1 (n = 55), we found that people implicitly preferred caribou most, but explicitly preferred sea otter most, with a significant multiple regression where participants' explicit preferences dictated their stated intended donations for conservation of each species. In Study 2 (n = 57) we found that people implicitly and explicitly preferred forest and ocean over grassland and tundra. Explicit rather than implicit preferences predicted the intended donation for conservation of the ocean biome. Study 3 involved a broader online sample of participants (n = 463) and also found that explicit preferences dictated the intended donations for conservation of biomes and species. Our findings reveal discrepancies between implicit and explicit preferences toward species, but not toward biomes. Importantly, the results demonstrate that explicit rather than implicit preferences predict conservation intentions for biodiversity. The current findings have several implications for conservation and the communication of biodiversity initiatives.

  6. Evaluation of the Snow Thermal Model (SNTHERM through Continuous in situ Observations of Snow’s Physical Properties at the CREST-SAFE Field Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose A. Infante Corona

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Snowpack properties like temperature or density are the result of a complex energy and mass balance process in the snowpack that varies temporally and spatially. The Snow Thermal Model (SNTHERM is a 1-dimensional model, energy and mass balance-driven, that simulates these properties. This article analyzes the simulated snowpack properties using SNTHERM forced with two datasets, namely measured meteorological data at the Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology-Snow Analysis and Field Experiment (CREST-SAFE site and the National Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS. The study area is located on the premises of Caribou Municipal Airport at Caribou (ME, USA. The model evaluation is based on properties such as snow depth, snow water equivalent, and snow density, in addition to a layer-by-layer comparison of snowpack properties. The simulations were assessed with precise in situ observations collected at the CREST-SAFE site. The outputs of the SNTHERM model showed very good agreement with observed data in properties like snow depth, snow water equivalent, and average temperature. Conversely, the model was not very efficient when simulating properties like temperature and grain size in different layers of the snowpack.

  7. 2nd International Arctic Ungulate Conference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Anonymous

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available The 2nd International Arctic Ungulate Conference was held 13-17 August 1995 on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. The Institute of Arctic Biology and the Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit were responsible for organizing the conference with assistance from biologists with state and federal agencies and commercial organizations. David R. Klein was chair of the conference organizing committee. Over 200 people attended the conference, coming from 10 different countries. The United States, Canada, and Norway had the largest representation. The conference included invited lectures; panel discussions, and about 125 contributed papers. There were five technical sessions on Physiology and Body Condition; Habitat Relationships; Population Dynamics and Management; Behavior, Genetics and Evolution; and Reindeer and Muskox Husbandry. Three panel sessions discussed Comparative caribou management strategies; Management of introduced, reestablished, and expanding muskox populations; and Health risks in translocation of arctic ungulates. Invited lectures focused on the physiology and population dynamics of arctic ungulates; contaminants in food chains of arctic ungulates and lessons learned from the Chernobyl accident; and ecosystem level relationships of the Porcupine Caribou Herd.

  8. Assessing values of Arctic wildlife and habitat subject to potential petroleum development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCabe, Thomas R.

    1994-01-01

    The National Wildlife Refuge system of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is predicated on the principle of conserving and perpetuating the natural diversity and abundance of wildlife and wildlands. The prospect of petroleum development on the 1002 area of the 10,000 km 2 pristine coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been a contentious national issue. The FWS assessed the habitat and its constituent wildlife species to determine potential impacts from this development. As part of the assessment effort, research was conducted on the 163,000 member porcupine caribou (Rangifer tarandus) herd, its primary predator at calving, brown bear (Ursus arctos), and the vegetation communities on the coastal plain. We found the traditional calving area within the 1002 area had significantly greater forage species availability and nutrient quality than areas peripheral to the 1002 area. Increased post-perinatal, predator-related mortality has been associated with the foothills and mountains adjacent to the 1002 area. Displacement of the calving caribou from the 1002 area would mean a lesser abundance of high quality forage for calving cows, and calves would be subjected to a potentially higher predation risk. These factors could have a negative impact on the population dynamics of the Porcupine herd. If petroleum development were authorized on the 1002 area of ANWR, the challenge for the FWS will be to assure that the dynamics of the tundra ecosystem are adequately understood and to conserve the abundance and diversity of natural wildlife populations and their habitat

  9. Survival strategies in arctic ungulates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. J. C. Tyler

    1990-09-01

    Full Text Available Arctic ungulates usually neither freeze nor starve to death despite the rigours of winter. Physiological adaptations enable them to survive and reproduce despite long periods of intense cold and potential undernutrition. Heat conservation is achieved by excellent insulation combined with nasal heat exchange. Seasonal variation in fasting metabolic rate has been reported in several temperate and sub-arctic species of ungulates and seems to occur in muskoxen. Surprisingly, there is no evidence for this in reindeer. Both reindeer and caribou normally maintain low levels of locomotor activity in winter. Light foot loads are important for reducing energy expenditure while walking over snow. The significance and control of selective cooling of the brain during hard exercise (e.g. escape from predators is discussed. Like other cervids, reindeer and caribou display a pronounced seasonal cycle of appetite and growth which seems to have an intrinsic basis. This has two consequences. First, the animals evidently survive perfectly well despite enduring negative energy balance for long periods. Second, loss of weight in winter is not necessarily evidence of undernutrition. The main role of fat reserves, especially in males, may be to enhance reproductive success. The principal role of fat reserves in winter appears to be to provide a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, poor quality winter forage. Fat also provides an insurance against death during periods of acute starvation.

  10. Environmental and physiological influences to isotopic ratios of N and protein status in a montane ungulate in winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry S.; Adams, Layne G.; Wolf, Nathan B.

    2014-01-01

    Winter severity can influence large herbivore populations through a reduction in maternal proteins available for reproduction. Nitrogen (N) isotopes in blood fractions can be used to track the use of body proteins in northern and montane ungulates. We studied 113 adult female caribou for 13 years throughout a series of severe winters that reduced population size and offspring mass. After these severe winters, offspring mass increased but the size of the population remained low. We devised a conceptual model for routing of isotopic N in blood in the context of the severe environmental conditions experienced by this population. We measured δ15N in three blood fractions and predicted the relative mobilization of dietary and body proteins. The δ15N of the body protein pool varied by 4‰ and 46% of the variance was associated with year. Annual variation in δ15N of body protein likely reflected the fall/early winter diet and winter locations, yet 15% of the isotopic variation in amino acid N was due to body proteins. Consistent isotopic differences among blood N pools indicated that animals tolerated fluxes in diet and body stores. Conservation of body protein in caribou is the result of active exchange among diet and body N pools. Adult females were robust to historically severe winter conditions and prioritized body condition and survival over early investment in offspring. For a vagile ungulate residing at low densities in a predator-rich environment, protein restrictions in winter may not be the primary limiting factor for reproduction.

  11. Geophysical Evidence for Abiotic Controls on Peatland Patterning at Multiple Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, J.; Slater, L.; Glaser, P.; Comas, X.; O'Brien, M.

    2007-12-01

    The autogenic and allogenic controls on the formation of distinctive and dramatic vegetation patterning found in northern peatlands remain unclear. Groundwater model studies and investigations using point measurements lack intensive data over multiple scales, primarily due to the intensive time required and difficult logistics required to work in these remote ecosystems. We provide geophysical evidence that lithological controls on vegetation patterning exist at multiple scales in ombrotrophic peatlands of northern Minnesota and Maine. Surveys using electrical imaging methods (including resistivity, induced polarization, and ground penetrating radar) at sites in the Red Lake Peatland Complex (160 km2), as well as Kanokolus Bog (1.65 km2) and the Caribou Bog Peatland Complex (22 km2) in Maine reveal sharp vegetation gradients coinciding with changes in the mineral soil lithology. In contrast, large-scale, continuous, patterned zones found in the Red lake Complex coincide with strikingly uniform mineral soil lithology as inferred from the geophysical images. Small-scale (0.3 km2) vegetation patterns observed in Caribou Bog also coincide with small scale lithologic changes in both the mineral and organic deposits. These results provide evidence that the subsurface hydrogeologic framework regulates vegetation patterning in peatlands across multiple scales, presumably by regulating (1) the supply of mineral solutes to the surface vegetation water, and (2) water levels within the organic soil.

  12. Eating habits of a population undergoing a rapid dietary transition: portion sizes of traditional and non-traditional foods and beverages consumed by Inuit adults in Nunavut, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehy, Tony; Roache, Cindy; Sharma, Sangita

    2013-06-02

    To determine the portion sizes of traditional and non-traditional foods being consumed by Inuit adults in three remote communities in Nunavut, Canada. A cross-sectional study was carried out between June and October, 2008. Trained field workers collected dietary data using a culturally appropriate, validated quantitative food frequency questionnaire (QFFQ) developed specifically for the study population. Caribou, muktuk (whale blubber and skin) and Arctic char (salmon family), were the most commonly consumed traditional foods; mean portion sizes for traditional foods ranged from 10 g for fermented seal fat to 424 g for fried caribou. Fried bannock and white bread were consumed by >85% of participants; mean portion sizes for these foods were 189 g and 70 g, respectively. Sugar-sweetened beverages and energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods were also widely consumed. Mean portion sizes for regular pop and sweetened juices with added sugar were 663 g and 572 g, respectively. Mean portion sizes for potato chips, pilot biscuits, cakes, chocolate and cookies were 59 g, 59 g, 106 g, 59 g, and 46 g, respectively. The present study provides further evidence of the nutrition transition that is occurring among Inuit in the Canadian Arctic. It also highlights a number of foods and beverages that could be targeted in future nutritional intervention programs aimed at obesity and diet-related chronic disease prevention in these and other Inuit communities.

  13. Evaluating random search strategies in three mammals from distinct feeding guilds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auger-Méthé, Marie; Derocher, Andrew E; DeMars, Craig A; Plank, Michael J; Codling, Edward A; Lewis, Mark A

    2016-09-01

    Searching allows animals to find food, mates, shelter and other resources essential for survival and reproduction and is thus among the most important activities performed by animals. Theory predicts that animals will use random search strategies in highly variable and unpredictable environments. Two prominent models have been suggested for animals searching in sparse and heterogeneous environments: (i) the Lévy walk and (ii) the composite correlated random walk (CCRW) and its associated area-restricted search behaviour. Until recently, it was difficult to differentiate between the movement patterns of these two strategies. Using a new method that assesses whether movement patterns are consistent with these two strategies and two other common random search strategies, we investigated the movement behaviour of three species inhabiting sparse northern environments: woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), barren-ground grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) and polar bear (Ursus maritimus). These three species vary widely in their diets and thus allow us to contrast the movement patterns of animals from different feeding guilds. Our results showed that although more traditional methods would have found evidence for the Lévy walk for some individuals, a comparison of the Lévy walk to CCRWs showed stronger support for the latter. While a CCRW was the best model for most individuals, there was a range of support for its absolute fit. A CCRW was sufficient to explain the movement of nearly half of herbivorous caribou and a quarter of omnivorous grizzly bears, but was insufficient to explain the movement of all carnivorous polar bears. Strong evidence for CCRW movement patterns suggests that many individuals may use a multiphasic movement strategy rather than one-behaviour strategies such as the Lévy walk. The fact that the best model was insufficient to describe the movement paths of many individuals suggests that some animals living in sparse environments may use

  14. How landscape dynamics link individual- to population-level movement patterns: A multispecies comparison of ungulate relocation data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Thomas; Olson, K.A.; Dressler, G.; Leimgruber, Peter; Fuller, Todd K.; Nicholson, Craig; Novaro, A.J.; Bolgeri, M.J.; Wattles, David W.; DeStefano, Stephen; Calabrese, J.M.; Fagan, William F.

    2011-01-01

    Aim  To demonstrate how the interrelations of individual movements form large-scale population-level movement patterns and how these patterns are associated with the underlying landscape dynamics by comparing ungulate movements across species.Locations  Arctic tundra in Alaska and Canada, temperate forests in Massachusetts, Patagonian Steppes in Argentina, Eastern Steppes in Mongolia.Methods  We used relocation data from four ungulate species (barren-ground caribou, Mongolian gazelle, guanaco and moose) to examine individual movements and the interrelation of movements among individuals. We applied and developed a suite of spatial metrics that measure variation in movement among individuals as population dispersion, movement coordination and realized mobility. Taken together, these metrics allowed us to quantify and distinguish among different large-scale population-level movement patterns such as migration, range residency and nomadism. We then related the population-level movement patterns to the underlying landscape vegetation dynamics via long-term remote sensing measurements of the temporal variability, spatial variability and unpredictability of vegetation productivity.Results  Moose, which remained in sedentary home ranges, and guanacos, which were partially migratory, exhibited relatively short annual movements associated with landscapes having very little broad-scale variability in vegetation. Caribou and gazelle performed extreme long-distance movements that were associated with broad-scale variability in vegetation productivity during the peak of the growing season. Caribou exhibited regular seasonal migration in which individuals were clustered for most of the year and exhibited coordinated movements. In contrast, gazelle were nomadic, as individuals were independently distributed and moved in an uncoordinated manner that relates to the comparatively unpredictable (yet broad-scale) vegetation dynamics of their landscape.Main conclusions

  15. Geoelectrical properties of peat in a northern peatland: Implications for peat basin formation, vegetation patterning, pool formation, and carbon gas evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comas, Xavier

    2005-11-01

    Peatlands are unique ecosystems that represent major terrestrial stores of soil carbon. Peatlands are important sources of atmospheric methane but their response to global warming still presents major uncertainties. A better understanding of the geoelectrical properties of peat and the in-situ formation of surficial features in peatlands can improve the current knowledge of the hydrology, nutrient dynamics, stratigraphy, and biogenic gas accumulation in peatlands. Geophysical techniques and hydrological measurements at the laboratory scale are used to examine the low-frequency properties of peat. At the field scale, geophysical and hydrological data are combined to investigate peat basin formation, vegetation and pool patterning, and biogenic gas accumulations in the central unit of Caribou Bog, a peatland in central Maine. In Chapter 2, hydraulic conductivity measurements demonstrate the effect of pore dilation in peat samples, invalidating Archie's Law. An empirical model relating the resistivity and induced polarization (IP) measurements to fluid conductivity in peat is developed, and shows potential to predict pore fluid conductivity and changes in vertical hydraulic conductivity in peatlands. In Chapter 3, resistivity and surface ground penetrating radar (GPR) data suggest that underlying stratigraphy exerts a primary control on vegetation and pool patterning, and present unique evidence of the convergence of a raised bog originated in two separated basins into a single bog A conceptual model for basin formation and peatland development in Caribou Bog is presented. In Chapter 4, surface GPR and terrain conductivity (EM31) surveys combined with direct core sampling indicate correlation between the location of open pools and elevated mineral soil surfaces (interpreted as esker deposits). A conceptual model based on a beaded esker system containing multiple ridges is developed to explain the formation of pools in Caribou Bog. In Chapter 5, areas of EM wave

  16. A multi-chip data acquisition system based on a heterogeneous system-on-chip platform

    CERN Document Server

    Fiergolski, Adrian

    2017-01-01

    The Control and Readout Inner tracking BOard (CaRIBOu) is a versatile readout system targeting a multitude of detector prototypes. It profits from the heterogeneous platform of the Zynq System-on-Chip (SoC) and integrates in a monolithic device front-end FPGA resources with a back-end software running on a hard-core ARM-based processor. The user-friendly Linux terminal with the pre-installed DAQ software is combined with the efficiency and throughput of a system fully implemented in the FPGA fabric. The paper presents the design of the SoC-based DAQ system and its building blocks. It also shows examples of the achieved functionality for the CLICpix2 readout ASIC.

  17. Ecological investigation of Alaskan resource development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, W.C.; Eberhardt, L.E.

    1980-01-01

    The objective is to provide an integrated program for the definition of ecological consequences of resource developments in northern Alaska. The qualitative and quantitative results obtained describe the environmental costs incurred by petroleum resource extraction and transportation, including interaction of wildlife populations with industrial activities. This section of the Annual Report presents information on impacted populations of arctic foxes, small mammals, and tundra-nesting birds in the Prudhoe Bay oil field and along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and haul road; findings from similar studies from the Colville River Delta and other unimpacted habitats; field experiments to determine the sensitivity of lichen communities of the Brooks Range to sulfur dioxide concentrations likely to be encountered near pipeline pumping stations; and amounts of worldwide-fallout radionuclides in the lichen-caribou-Eskimo food chain

  18. Reindeer lichen productivity: Problems and possibilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjartmar Sveinbjörnsson

    1990-09-01

    Full Text Available Reindeer lichens are important in the structure and function of tundra and taiga ecosystems, as exemplified by cover values, biomass, mineral content, and effect on other ecosystem components. They are particularly important for winter ecology of reindeer and caribou which largely relay on them. Growth measurement is difficult due to the very slow rate and the methods that have been used are not sufficiently documented, precise, or appropriate. Use of carbon dioxide exchange models, coupled with models of lichen microclimate and water relations, based on microclimatic data are suggested as alternatives for land managers. The assumptions of such models are discussed and the performance of mixed species lichen mats and of the lichen CO2 environment and its effect on lichen CO2 exchange.

  19. Tea with Mother: Sarah Palin and the Discourse of Motherhood as a Political Ideal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet McCabe

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Seldom has someone emerged so unexpectedly and sensationally on to the American political scene as Sarah Palin. With Palin came what had rarely, if ever, been seen before on a presidential trail: hockey moms, Caribou-hunting, pitbulls in lipstick parcelled as political weaponry. And let’s not forget those five children, including Track 19, set to deploy to Iraq, Bristol, and her unplanned pregnancy at 17, and Trig, a six-month-old infant with Down’s syndrome. Never before had motherhood been so finely balanced with US presidential politics. Biological vigour translated into political energy, motherhood transformed into an intoxicating political ideal. This article focuses on Sarah Palin and how her brand of “rugged Alaskan motherhood” (PunditMom 2008 became central to her media image, as well as what this representation has to tell us about the relationship between mothering as a political ideal, US politics, and the media.

  20. Parasites in ungulates of Arctic North America and Greenland: a view of contemporary diversity, ecology, and impact in a world under change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutz, Susan J; Ducrocq, Julie; Verocai, Guilherme G; Hoar, Bryanne M; Colwell, Doug D; Beckmen, Kimberlee B; Polley, Lydden; Elkin, Brett T; Hoberg, Eric P

    2012-01-01

    Parasites play an important role in the structure and function of arctic ecosystems, systems that are currently experiencing an unprecedented rate of change due to various anthropogenic perturbations, including climate change. Ungulates such as muskoxen, caribou, moose and Dall's sheep are also important components of northern ecosystems and are a source of food and income, as well as a focus for maintenance of cultural traditions, for northerners. Parasites of ungulates can influence host health, population dynamics and the quality, quantity and safety of meat and other products of animal origin consumed by people. In this article, we provide a contemporary view of the diversity of nematode, cestode, trematode, protozoan and arthropod parasites of ungulates in arctic and subarctic North America and Greenland. We explore the intricate associations among host and parasite assemblages and identify key issues and gaps in knowledge that emerge in a regime of accelerating environmental transition. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. How and why is aquatic quality changing at Nahanni National Park Reserve, NWT, Canada?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halliwell, Douglas R; Catto, Steve

    2003-01-01

    Nahanni National Park Reserve is located at southwestern NWT-Yukon border. One of the first UNESCO World Heritage sites, Nahanni lies within Taiga Cordillera and Taiga Shield Ecozones. Base and precious metal mining occurred upstream of Nahanni prior to park establishment. Nahanni waters, sediments, fish, and caribou have naturally elevated metals levels. Baseline water, sediment and fish tissue quality data were collected and analyzed throughout Nahanni during 1988-91 and 1992-97. These two programs characterized how aquatic quality variables are naturally varying in space and time, affected by geology, stream flow, seasonality, and extreme meteorological and geological events. Possible anthropogenic causes of aquatic quality change were examined. Measured values were compared to existing Guidelines and site-specific objectives were established.

  2. Environmental radioactivity in Canada 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    The radiological surveillance program of the Department of National Health and Welfare is conducted for the purpose of determining levels of environmental radioactivity in Canada and assessing the resulting population exposures. Following major changes to the CAMECO Port Hope operations to reduce uranium emissions, a study was initiated to measure uranium levels in air in the community. Studies continued on lung cancer and domestic exposure to radon, and current levels of cesium-137 in caribou, a major source of food in northern communities. The movement of tritium on the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers was studied following an accidental release into the Ottawa River. Monitoring continued of fallout contamination from Chernobyl in imported foods. All measurements recorded during 1988 were below the limits recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection. (14 refs., 14 figs., 15 tabs.)

  3. Living Lands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Suna Møller

    2015-01-01

    in West Greenland were carried out when it was hunting season for mux ox and caribou, exploring relations between education and perception of environment. All these trips have called for attention to the relation between actual engagement with ‘nature’ and experienced human-nature relations. Based on my......, hunters attended to questions like safe-journeying on ice or the role of natural surroundings in children’s education, in ways revealing a relational perception of ‘nature’ and dissolving culture-nature dualisms. Hunters’ experiences in living the land afforded children a dwelling position from which...... to grow with the features of the land. Framed this way, ‘nature’ was regarded as part of the social world. I suggest that learning among Arctic hunters is social and twofold. First, we can learn how human-environment relations influence individual life trajectories. Secondly, ‘nature’ as part...

  4. DNA evidence of bowhead whale exploitation by Greenlandic Paleo-Inuit 4,000 years ago

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seersholm, Frederik Valeur; Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Søe, Martin Jensen

    2016-01-01

    The demographic history of Greenland is characterized by recurrent migrations and extinctions since the first humans arrived 4,500 years ago. Our current understanding of these extinct cultures relies primarily on preserved fossils found in their archaeological deposits, which hold valuable......-described midden deposits. Our results confirm that the species found in the fossil record, like harp seal and ringed seal, were a vital part of Inuit subsistence, but also add a new dimension with evidence that caribou, walrus and whale species played a more prominent role for the survival of Paleo-Inuit cultures...... than previously reported. Most notably, we report evidence of bowhead whale exploitation by the Saqqaq culture 4,000 years ago....

  5. Ice-age megafauna in Arctic Alaska: extinction, invasion, survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Daniel H.; Groves, Pamela; Kunz, Michael L.; Reanier, Richard E.; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.

    2013-01-01

    Radical restructuring of the terrestrial, large mammal fauna living in arctic Alaska occurred between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. Steppe bison, horse, and woolly mammoth became extinct, moose and humans invaded, while muskox and caribou persisted. The ice age megafauna was more diverse in species and possibly contained 6× more individual animals than live in the region today. Megafaunal biomass during the last ice age may have been 30× greater than present. Horse was the dominant species in terms of number of individuals. Lions, short-faced bears, wolves, and possibly grizzly bears comprised the predator/scavenger guild. The youngest mammoth so far discovered lived ca 13,800 years ago, while horses and bison persisted on the North Slope until at least 12,500 years ago during the Younger Dryas cold interval. The first people arrived on the North Slope ca 13,500 years ago. Bone-isotope measurements and foot-loading characteristics suggest megafaunal niches were segregated along a moisture gradient, with the surviving species (muskox and caribou) utilizing the warmer and moister portions of the vegetation mosaic. As the ice age ended, the moisture gradient shifted and eliminated habitats utilized by the dryland, grazing species (bison, horse, mammoth). The proximate cause for this change was regional paludification, the spread of organic soil horizons and peat. End-Pleistocene extinctions in arctic Alaska represent local, not global extinctions since the megafaunal species lost there persisted to later times elsewhere. Hunting seems unlikely as the cause of these extinctions, but it cannot be ruled out as the final blow to megafaunal populations that were already functionally extinct by the time humans arrived in the region.

  6. Similarity of Stream Width Distributions Across Headwater Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, G. H.; Pavelsky, T.; Barefoot, E. A.; Tashie, A.; Butman, D. E.

    2016-12-01

    The morphology and abundance of streams control the rates of hydraulic and biogeochemical exchange between streams, groundwater, and the atmosphere. In large river systems, studies have used remote sensing to quantify river morphology, and have found that the relationship between river width and abundance is fractal, such that narrow rivers are proportionally more common than wider rivers. However, in headwater systems (stream order 1-3), where many biogeochemical reactions are most rapid, the relationship between stream width and abundance is unknown, reducing the certainty of biogeochemical flux estimates. To constrain this uncertainty, we surveyed two components of stream morphology (wetted stream width and length) in seven physiographically contrasting stream networks in Kings Creek in Konza Prarie, KS; Sagehen Creek in the N. Sierra Nevada Mtns., CA; Elder Creek in Angelo Coast Range Preserve, CA; Caribou Creek in the Caribou Poker Creek Research Watershed, AK; V40 Stream, NZ; Blue Duck Creek, NZ; Stony Creek in Duke Forest, NC. To assess temporal variations, we also surveyed stream geometry in a subcatchment of Stony Creek six times over a range of moderate streamflow conditions (discharge less than 90 percentile of gauge record). Here we show a strikingly consistent gamma statistical distribution of stream width in all surveys and a characteristic most abundant stream width of 32±7 cm independent of flow conditions or basin size. This consistency is remarkable given the substantial physical diversity among the studied catchments. We propose a model that invokes network topology theory and downstream hydraulic geometry to show that, as active drainage networks expand and contract in response to changes in streamflow, the most abundant stream width remains approximately static. This framework can be used to better extrapolate stream size and abundance from large rivers to small headwater streams, with significant impact on understanding of the hydraulic

  7. Rain-on-snow and ice layer formation detection using passive microwave radiometry: An arctic perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langlois, A.; Royer, A.; Montpetit, B.; Johnson, C. A.; Brucker, L.; Dolant, C.; Richards, A.; Roy, A.

    2015-12-01

    With the current changes observed in the Arctic, an increase in occurrence of rain-on-snow (ROS) events has been reported in the Arctic (land) over the past few decades. Several studies have established that strong linkages between surface temperatures and passive microwaves do exist, but the contribution of snow properties under winter extreme events such as rain-on-snow events (ROS) and associated ice layer formation need to be better understood that both have a significant impact on ecosystem processes. In particular, ice layer formation is known to affect the survival of ungulates by blocking their access to food. Given the current pronounced warming in northern regions, more frequent ROS can be expected. However, one of the main challenges in the study of ROS in northern regions is the lack of meteorological information and in-situ measurements. The retrieval of ROS occurrence in the Arctic using satellite remote sensing tools thus represents the most viable approach. Here, we present here results from 1) ROS occurrence formation in the Peary caribou habitat using an empirically developed ROS algorithm by our group based on the gradient ratio, 2) ice layer formation across the same area using a semi-empirical detection approach based on the polarization ratio spanning between 1978 and 2013. A detection threshold was adjusted given the platform used (SMMR, SSM/I and AMSR-E), and initial results suggest high-occurrence years as: 1981-1982, 1992-1993; 1994-1995; 1999-2000; 2001-2002; 2002-2003; 2003-2004; 2006-2007; 2007-2008. A trend in occurrence for Banks Island and NW Victoria Island and linkages to caribou population is presented.

  8. Bacterial genomics reveal the complex epidemiology of an emerging pathogen in arctic and boreal ungulates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forde, Taya L.; Orsel, Karin; Zadoks, Ruth N.; Biek, Roman; Adams, Layne G.; Checkley, Sylvia L.; Davison, Tracy; De Buck, Jeroen; Dumond, Mathieu; Elkin, Brett T.; Finnegan, Laura; Macbeth, Bryan J.; Nelson, Cait; Niptanatiak, Amanda; Sather, Shane; Schwantje, Helen M.; van der Meer, Frank; Kutz, Susan J.

    2016-01-01

    Northern ecosystems are currently experiencing unprecedented ecological change, largely driven by a rapidly changing climate. Pathogen range expansion, and emergence and altered patterns of infectious disease, are increasingly reported in wildlife at high latitudes. Understanding the causes and consequences of shifting pathogen diversity and host-pathogen interactions in these ecosystems is important for wildlife conservation, and for indigenous populations that depend on wildlife. Among the key questions are whether disease events are associated with endemic or recently introduced pathogens, and whether emerging strains are spreading throughout the region. In this study, we used a phylogenomic approach to address these questions of pathogen endemicity and spread for Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, an opportunistic multi-host bacterial pathogen associated with recent mortalities in arctic and boreal ungulate populations in North America. We isolated E. rhusiopathiae from carcasses associated with large-scale die-offs of muskoxen in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and from contemporaneous mortality events and/or population declines among muskoxen in northwestern Alaska and caribou and moose in western Canada. Bacterial genomic diversity differed markedly among these locations; minimal divergence was present among isolates from muskoxen in the Canadian Arctic, while in caribou and moose populations, strains from highly divergent clades were isolated from the same location, or even from within a single carcass. These results indicate that mortalities among northern ungulates are not associated with a single emerging strain of E. rhusiopathiae, and that alternate hypotheses need to be explored. Our study illustrates the value and limitations of bacterial genomic data for discriminating between ecological hypotheses of disease emergence, and highlights the importance of studying emerging pathogens within the broader context of environmental and host factors.

  9. Fatty acid composition of birds and game hunted by the Eastern James Bay Cree people of Québec

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proust, Francoise; Johnson-Down, Louise; Berthiaume, Line; Greffard, Karine; Julien, Pierre; Robinson, Elizabeth; Lucas, Michel; Dewailly, Éric

    2016-01-01

    Background Indigenous peoples have traditionally relied on foods hunted and gathered from their immediate environment. The Eastern James Bay Cree people consume wild game and birds, and these are believed to provide health as well as cultural benefits. Objective To determine the fatty acid (FA) composition of traditional game and bird meats hunted in the Eastern James Bay area. Design Harvested traditional game and birds were analysed for FA composition. A total of 52 samples from six wildlife species were collected in the areas of Chisasibi, Waswanipi and Mistissini, of which 35 were from birds (white partridge and Canada goose) and 17 were from land animals (beaver, moose, caribou and black bear). Results Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) was the most common n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in all samples except for the black bear flesh, in which it was docosapentaenoic acid (DPAn-3). In white partridge, beaver and caribou flesh, PUFAs (mainly n-6) were the most common category of fats while in goose, moose and black bear flesh, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) predominated. In all species, saturated fatty acids (SFAs) were the second most important FAs. It would appear that in the land animals and birds that were analysed, the SFA content was lower and the PUFA content was higher than store-bought meats giving them a more heart-healthy profile. Conclusions These results showed that the FA composition of game species consumed by the James Bay Cree population is consistent with a beneficial diet and that traditional foods should continue to be promoted among the Cree people to provide better physical health as well as social and spiritual benefits. PMID:27495903

  10. Varestrongylus eleguneniensis sp. n. (Nematoda: Protostrongylidae): a widespread, multi-host lungworm of wild North American ungulates, with an emended diagnosis for the genus and explorations of biogeography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verocai, Guilherme G; Kutz, Susan J; Simard, Manon; Hoberg, Eric P

    2014-12-17

    A putative new species of Varestrongylus has been recently recognized in wild North American ungulates based on the ITS-2 sequences of larvae isolated from feces during a wide geographic survey. No taxonomic description was provided, as adult specimens were not examined. Lungworm specimens were collected in the terminal bronchioles of muskoxen from Quebec, and a woodland caribou from central Alberta, Canada. The L3 stage was recovered from experimentally infected slugs (Deroceras spp.). Description of specimens was based on comparative morphology and integrated approaches. Molecular identity was determined by PCR and sequencing of the ITS-2 region of the nuclear ribosomal DNA, and compared to other protostrongylids. Varestrongylus eleguneniensis sp. n. is established for a recently discovered protostrongylid nematode found in caribou (Rangifer tarandus), muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) and moose (Alces americanus); hosts that collectively occupy an extensive geographic range across northern North America. Adults of Varestrongylus eleguneniensis are distinguished from congeners by a combination of characters in males (distally bifurcate gubernaculum, relatively short equal spicules not split distally, a strongly elongate and bifurcate dorsal ray, and an undivided copulatory bursa) and females (reduced provagina with hood-like fold extending ventrally across prominent genital protuberance). Third-stage larvae resemble those found among other species in the genus. The genus Varestrongylus is emended to account for the structure of the dorsal ray characteristic of V. eleguneniensis, V. alpenae, V. alces and V. longispiculatus. Herein we describe and name V. eleguneniensis, a pulmonary protostrongylid with Rangifer tarandus as a primary definitive host, and which secondarily infects muskoxen and moose in areas of sympatry. Biogeographic history for V. eleguneniensis and V. alpenae, the only two endemic species of Varestrongylus known from North America, appears consistent

  11. Bacterial Genomics Reveal the Complex Epidemiology of an Emerging Pathogen in Arctic and Boreal Ungulates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forde, Taya L; Orsel, Karin; Zadoks, Ruth N; Biek, Roman; Adams, Layne G; Checkley, Sylvia L; Davison, Tracy; De Buck, Jeroen; Dumond, Mathieu; Elkin, Brett T; Finnegan, Laura; Macbeth, Bryan J; Nelson, Cait; Niptanatiak, Amanda; Sather, Shane; Schwantje, Helen M; van der Meer, Frank; Kutz, Susan J

    2016-01-01

    Northern ecosystems are currently experiencing unprecedented ecological change, largely driven by a rapidly changing climate. Pathogen range expansion, and emergence and altered patterns of infectious disease, are increasingly reported in wildlife at high latitudes. Understanding the causes and consequences of shifting pathogen diversity and host-pathogen interactions in these ecosystems is important for wildlife conservation, and for indigenous populations that depend on wildlife. Among the key questions are whether disease events are associated with endemic or recently introduced pathogens, and whether emerging strains are spreading throughout the region. In this study, we used a phylogenomic approach to address these questions of pathogen endemicity and spread for Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae , an opportunistic multi-host bacterial pathogen associated with recent mortalities in arctic and boreal ungulate populations in North America. We isolated E. rhusiopathiae from carcasses associated with large-scale die-offs of muskoxen in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and from contemporaneous mortality events and/or population declines among muskoxen in northwestern Alaska and caribou and moose in western Canada. Bacterial genomic diversity differed markedly among these locations; minimal divergence was present among isolates from muskoxen in the Canadian Arctic, while in caribou and moose populations, strains from highly divergent clades were isolated from the same location, or even from within a single carcass. These results indicate that mortalities among northern ungulates are not associated with a single emerging strain of E. rhusiopathiae , and that alternate hypotheses need to be explored. Our study illustrates the value and limitations of bacterial genomic data for discriminating between ecological hypotheses of disease emergence, and highlights the importance of studying emerging pathogens within the broader context of environmental and host factors.

  12. Herbivores modify the carbon cycle in a warming arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahoon, S. M.; Sullivan, P.; Welker, J. M.; Post, E.

    2009-12-01

    Typically, our studies of arctic terrestrial ecosystem responses to changes in climate focus on abiotic drivers (i.e. warming or added rain or added snow) and subsequent biogeochemical cycles and plant physiological performance. However, many arctic systems, such as those in western Greenland, are home ranges for large herbivores such as muskoxen and caribou. In order to fully understand how tundra landscapes in Greenland will respond to change, experiments are needed that allow us to quantify whether abiotic (climate warming) and or biotic (presence or absence of herbivores) drivers or their combinations regulate ecosystem function and structure. Here we present the results of two consecutive field seasons in western Greenland in which we quantified the interactive effects of local herbivore foraging and simulated climate warming on ecosystem C and N cycling and leaf level physiology. Large exclosure fences were erected in 2002, and ITEX passive warming chambers were established in 2003 within and adjacent to the fences. We performed weekly CO2 flux measurements during the 2008 and 2009 growing seasons which we normalized to a common irradiance by generating light-response curves at all plots (n=9). Although we observed interannual variability in soil moisture and average daily air temperature, browsing by herbivores was a key factor in the seasonal carbon dynamics. By physically removing leaves and upper stems, caribou and muskoxen altered the community composition, reduced leaf area and in turn decreased gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP), regardless of the warming treatment. Neither herbivory nor warming significantly affected ecosystem respiration rates. Thus the reduction in net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was primarily driven by reductions in GEP associated with leaf area removal by grazers. Our results indicate that the biotic influence from large herbivores can significantly influence carbon-derived climatic feedbacks and can no longer be overlooked in

  13. Fatty acid composition of birds and game hunted by the Eastern James Bay Cree people of Québec.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proust, Francoise; Johnson-Down, Louise; Berthiaume, Line; Greffard, Karine; Julien, Pierre; Robinson, Elizabeth; Lucas, Michel; Dewailly, Éric

    2016-01-01

    Indigenous peoples have traditionally relied on foods hunted and gathered from their immediate environment. The Eastern James Bay Cree people consume wild game and birds, and these are believed to provide health as well as cultural benefits. To determine the fatty acid (FA) composition of traditional game and bird meats hunted in the Eastern James Bay area. Harvested traditional game and birds were analysed for FA composition. A total of 52 samples from six wildlife species were collected in the areas of Chisasibi, Waswanipi and Mistissini, of which 35 were from birds (white partridge and Canada goose) and 17 were from land animals (beaver, moose, caribou and black bear). Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) was the most common n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in all samples except for the black bear flesh, in which it was docosapentaenoic acid (DPAn-3). In white partridge, beaver and caribou flesh, PUFAs (mainly n-6) were the most common category of fats while in goose, moose and black bear flesh, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) predominated. In all species, saturated fatty acids (SFAs) were the second most important FAs. It would appear that in the land animals and birds that were analysed, the SFA content was lower and the PUFA content was higher than store-bought meats giving them a more heart-healthy profile. These results showed that the FA composition of game species consumed by the James Bay Cree population is consistent with a beneficial diet and that traditional foods should continue to be promoted among the Cree people to provide better physical health as well as social and spiritual benefits.

  14. Fatty acid composition of birds and game hunted by the Eastern James Bay Cree people of Québec

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francoise Proust

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Indigenous peoples have traditionally relied on foods hunted and gathered from their immediate environment. The Eastern James Bay Cree people consume wild game and birds, and these are believed to provide health as well as cultural benefits. Objective: To determine the fatty acid (FA composition of traditional game and bird meats hunted in the Eastern James Bay area. Design: Harvested traditional game and birds were analysed for FA composition. A total of 52 samples from six wildlife species were collected in the areas of Chisasibi, Waswanipi and Mistissini, of which 35 were from birds (white partridge and Canada goose and 17 were from land animals (beaver, moose, caribou and black bear. Results: Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA was the most common n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA in all samples except for the black bear flesh, in which it was docosapentaenoic acid (DPAn-3. In white partridge, beaver and caribou flesh, PUFAs (mainly n-6 were the most common category of fats while in goose, moose and black bear flesh, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs predominated. In all species, saturated fatty acids (SFAs were the second most important FAs. It would appear that in the land animals and birds that were analysed, the SFA content was lower and the PUFA content was higher than store-bought meats giving them a more heart-healthy profile. Conclusions: These results showed that the FA composition of game species consumed by the James Bay Cree population is consistent with a beneficial diet and that traditional foods should continue to be promoted among the Cree people to provide better physical health as well as social and spiritual benefits.

  15. Nitrogen reserves, spring regrowth and winter survival of field-grown alfalfa (Medicago sativa) defoliated in the autumn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhont, Catherine; Castonguay, Yves; Nadeau, Paul; Bélanger, Gilles; Drapeau, Raynald; Laberge, Serge; Avice, Jean-Christophe; Chalifour, François-P

    2006-01-01

    The objective of the study was to characterize variations in proline, arginine, histidine, vegetative storage proteins, and cold-inducible gene expression in overwintering roots of field-grown alfalfa, in response to autumn defoliation, and in relation to spring regrowth and winter survival. Field trials, established in 1996 in eastern Canada, consisted of two alfalfa cultivars ('AC Caribou' and 'WL 225') defoliated in 1997 and 1998 either only twice during the summer or three times with the third defoliation taken 400, 500 or 600 growing degree days (basis 5 degrees C) after the second summer defoliation. The root accumulation of proline, arginine, histidine and soluble proteins of 32, 19 and 15 kDa, characterized as alfalfa vegetative storage proteins, was reduced the following spring by an early autumn defoliation at 400 or 500 growing degree days in both cultivars; the 600-growing-degree-days defoliation treatment had less or no effect. Transcript levels of the cold-inducible gene msaCIA, encoding a glycine-rich protein, were markedly reduced by autumn defoliation in 'WL 225', but remained unaffected in the more winter-hardy cultivar 'AC Caribou'. The expression of another cold-inducible gene, the dehydrin homologue msaCIG, was not consistently affected by autumn defoliation. Principal component analyses, including components of root organic reserves at the onset of winter, along with yield and plant density in the following spring, revealed that (a) amino acids and soluble proteins are positively related to the vigour of spring regrowth but poorly related to winter survival and (b) winter survival, as indicated by plant density in the spring, is associated with higher concentrations of cryoprotective sugars in alfalfa roots the previous autumn. An untimely autumn defoliation of alfalfa reduces root accumulation of specific N reserves such as proline, arginine, histidine and vegetative storage proteins that are positively related to the vigour of spring

  16. High-precision quasi-continuous atmospheric greenhouse gas measurements at Trainou tower (Orléans forest, France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, M.; Lopez, M.; Yver Kwok, C.; Messager, C.; Ramonet, M.; Wastine, B.; Vuillemin, C.; Truong, F.; Gal, B.; Parmentier, E.; Cloué, O.; Ciais, P.

    2014-07-01

    Results from the Trainou tall tower measurement station installed in 2006 are presented for atmospheric measurements of CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, CO, H2 mole fractions and radon-222 activity. Air is sampled from four sampling heights (180, 100, 50 and 5 m) of the Trainou 200 m television tower in the Orléans forest in France (47°57'53" N, 2°06'45" E, 131 m a.s.l.). The station is equipped with a custom-built CO2 analyser (CARIBOU), which is based on a commercial non-dispersive, infrared (NDIR) analyser (Licor 6252), and a coupled gas chromatography (GC) system equipped with an electron capture detector (ECD) and a flame ionization detector (FID) (HP6890N, Agilent) and a reduction gas detector (PP1, Peak Performer). Air intakes, pumping and air drying system are shared between the CARIBOU and the GC systems. The ultimately achieved short-term repeatability (1 sigma, over several days) for the GC system is 0.05 ppm for CO2, 1.4 ppb for CH4, 0.25 ppb for N2O, 0.08 ppb for SF6, 0.88 ppb for CO and 3.8 for H2. The repeatability of the CARIBOU CO2 analyser is 0.06 ppm. In addition to the in situ measurements, weekly flask sampling is performed, and flask air samples are analysed at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE) central laboratory for the same species as well for stable isotopes of CO2. The comparison between in situ measurements and the flask sampling showed averaged differences of 0.08 ± 1.40 ppm for CO2, 0.7 ± 7.3 ppb for CH4, 0.6 ± 0.6 ppb for N2O, 0.01 ± 0.10 ppt for SF6, 1.5± 5.3 ppb for CO and 4.8± 6.9 ppb for H2 for the years 2008-2012. At Trainou station, the mean annual increase rates from 2007 to 2011 at the 180 m sampling height were 2.2 ppm yr-1 for CO2, 4 ppb yr-1 for CH4, 0.78 ppb yr-1 for N2O and 0.29 ppt yr-1 for SF6. For all species, the 180 m sampling level showed the smallest diurnal variation. Mean diurnal gradients between the 50 m and the 180 m sampling level reached up to 30 ppm CO2, 15 ppm CH4 or 0.5 ppb N2

  17. Standardized monitoring of Rangifer health during International Polar Year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan Kutz

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 21 false false false SV X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Normal tabell"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;} Monitoring of individual animal health indices in wildlife populations can be a powerful tool for evaluation of population health, detecting changes, and informing management decisions. Standardized monitoring allows robust comparisons within and across populations, and over time and vast geographic regions. As an International Polar Year Initiative, the CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment network established field protocols for standardized monitoring of caribou and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus health, which included body condition, contaminants, and pathogen exposure and abundance. To facilitate use of the protocols, training sessions were held, additional resources were developed, and language was translated where needed. From March 2007 to September 2010, at least 1206 animals from 16 circumpolar herds were sampled in the field using the protocols. Four main levels of sampling were done and ranged from basic to comprehensive sampling. Possible sources of sampling error were noted by network members early in the process and protocols were modified or supplemented with additional visual resources to improve clarity when needed. This is the first time that such broad and comprehensive circumpolar sampling of migratory caribou and wild reindeer, using standardized protocols covering both body

  18. Aspects of the ecology of mat-forming lichens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. D. Crittenden

    2000-03-01

    Full Text Available Lichen species in the genera Cladonia (subgenus Cladina, Cetraria, Stereocaulon and Alectoria are important vegetation components on well-drained terrain and on elevated micro-sites in peatlands in boreal-Arctic regions. These lichens often form closed mats, the component thalli in which grow vertically upwards at the apices and die off in the older basal regions; they are therefore only loosely attached to the underlying soil. This growth habit is relatively unusual in lichens being found in <0.5% of known species. It might facilitate internal nutrienr recycling and higher growth rates and, together with the production of allelochemicals, it might underlie the considerable ecological success of mat-forming lichens; experiments to critically assess the importance of these processes are required. Mat-forming lichens can constitute in excess of 60% of the winter food intake of caribou and reindeer. Accordingly there is a pressing need for data on lichen growth rates, measured as mass increment, in order to help determine the carrying capacity of winter ranges for rhese herbivores and to better predict recovery rates following grazing. Trampling during the snow-free season fragments lichen thalli; mat-forming lichens regenerate very successfully from thallus fragments provided trampling does nor re-occur. Frequent recurrence of trampling creates disturbed habitats from which lichens will rapidly become eliminated consistent with J.P. Grime's CSR strategy theory. Such damage to lichen ground cover has occurred where reindeer or caribou are unable to migrate away from their winter range such as on small islands or where political boundaries have been fenced; it can also occur on summer range that contains a significant lichen component and on winter range where numbers of migrarory animals become excessive. Species of Stereocaulon, and other genera that contain cyanobacteria (most notably Peltigera and Nephroma, are among the principal agents of

  19. A Bayesian random effects discrete-choice model for resource selection: Population-level selection inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, D.L.; Johnson, D.; Griffith, B.

    2006-01-01

    Modeling the probability of use of land units characterized by discrete and continuous measures, we present a Bayesian random-effects model to assess resource selection. This model provides simultaneous estimation of both individual- and population-level selection. Deviance information criterion (DIC), a Bayesian alternative to AIC that is sample-size specific, is used for model selection. Aerial radiolocation data from 76 adult female caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and calf pairs during 1 year on an Arctic coastal plain calving ground were used to illustrate models and assess population-level selection of landscape attributes, as well as individual heterogeneity of selection. Landscape attributes included elevation, NDVI (a measure of forage greenness), and land cover-type classification. Results from the first of a 2-stage model-selection procedure indicated that there is substantial heterogeneity among cow-calf pairs with respect to selection of the landscape attributes. In the second stage, selection of models with heterogeneity included indicated that at the population-level, NDVI and land cover class were significant attributes for selection of different landscapes by pairs on the calving ground. Population-level selection coefficients indicate that the pairs generally select landscapes with higher levels of NDVI, but the relationship is quadratic. The highest rate of selection occurs at values of NDVI less than the maximum observed. Results for land cover-class selections coefficients indicate that wet sedge, moist sedge, herbaceous tussock tundra, and shrub tussock tundra are selected at approximately the same rate, while alpine and sparsely vegetated landscapes are selected at a lower rate. Furthermore, the variability in selection by individual caribou for moist sedge and sparsely vegetated landscapes is large relative to the variability in selection of other land cover types. The example analysis illustrates that, while sometimes computationally intense, a

  20. Seasonal effects of Pacific-based climate on recruitment in a predator-limited large herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegel, Troy M; Mysterud, Atle; Ergon, Torbjørn; Loe, Leif Egil; Huettmann, Falk; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2010-03-01

    1. Climate is an important factor influencing the population dynamics of large herbivores operating directly on individuals or through its effect on forage characteristics. However, the seasonal effect of climate may differ between forage- and predator-limited populations because of a climatic influence on predation rates. The influence of climate on predator-limited large herbivores is less well known than on forage-limited populations. Further, the effect of Pacific-based climate on large herbivore populations has been rarely assessed. 2. We investigated the effect of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), across different seasons, on recruitment in 10 populations (herds) of mountain-dwelling caribou Rangifer tarandus caribou L. in the Yukon Territory, Canada. These low-density populations occur in highly seasonal environments and are considered predator-limited with high neonatal calf mortality. Hence, in most years females do not spend resources through lactational support during the summer and resource intake is devoted to self-maintenance. We predicted that climate affecting environmental conditions at calving would have a strong effect on recruitment via its influence on predation rates. We also predicted that climatic conditions prior to conception could have an effect on recruitment through its influence on female fecundity. We modelled recruitment (n = 165) by seasonal PDO values using generalized linear mixed-effects models with herd-varying coefficients. 3. We found that recruitment variability was best explained by variation in winter climate (beta = 0.110, SE = 0.007) prior to birth (in utero) and May climate (beta = 0.013, SE = 0.006) at calving. There was little support for a pre-conception climate effect influencing female body condition and hence fecundity. These results confirm that recruitment in these populations is limited by predation and that forage-limitation is not a significant factor in their population dynamics. There was considerable

  1. Multi-scale hydroclimate reconstruction using co-located lake and bog records from Maine and comparison with other records from the Northeast US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, C.; Shuman, B. N.; Booth, R.; Jackson, S. T.

    2015-12-01

    Sedimentary lake-level records and ombrotrophic bog water-table depth records both document hydrologic variability over the Holocene. Lake level records have long temporal length (10,000+ years) and fidelity in preserving low-frequency trends and centennial to millennial length events. Hydrologic reconstructions based on peatland testate amoebae assemblage composition are sensitive to moisture variability at interannual to multidecadal time scales and precipitation on the bog surface is the sole moisture input. However, bog records are generally not as long as lake level records and bog development processes can confound centennial to millennial trends. In this study we present and combine new reconstructions from Giles Pond, Aurora, Maine, USA and Caribou Bog, Old Town, ME USA. The lake-level record from Giles Pond extends a network of lake-level records from southern New England that show an orbitally driven long-term trend toward wetter conditions punctuated by low-water phases in the mid- to late-Holocene that each lasted 100 to 400+ years. Some of these low lake level events appear to be synchronous across multiple sites in New England (Newby, et al. 2014 GRL). Preliminary data from Giles Pond suggest that some of these events extended all the way to Maine. Thus, there were New England-wide dry periods within the last 5000 years that lasted more than 100 years. These long low stands are unlike anything observed during the historical period and the interannual to decadal variability during these low stands is poorly understood. This leads to challenges in understanding the modern and future implications of the lake-level record alone. The Caribou Bog record also builds on a network of peatland water-table reconstructions from the Northeast, and contributes higher-resolution hydroclimate information that adds interannual to multidecadal texture to the centennial to millennial variability of the Giles Pond record. Our multiproxy approach allows us to use the

  2. Critical evaluation of the literature concerning the transfer feed/meat of strontium, radium, technetium in domestic animals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fliegl, E.; Schelenz, R.; Fischer, E.

    1981-12-01

    A literature study concerning the transfer of Sr, Ra, Te, Co and Fe from feed to meat of domestic animals has been carried out. Approx. 4200 publications from 1950-1980 have been evaluated. General criteria for the influence of experimental conditions on the transfer factor have been pointed out. The transfer factor of growing animals is greater than that of adult animals. After completion of growth the transfer factor is independent of age. The transfer factors differ with various animal species. From these findings the following average transfer factors meat/feed in d/kg have been derived during steady state equilibrium between daily intake and excretion of the isotope. For Sr: cattle 6x10 -4 , calf 2x10 -3 , sheep 2,1x10 -3 , goat 3.3x10 -3 , pig 3,6x10 -4 , hen 1,8x10 -2 . For Ra: cattle 6x10 -4 , pig 2,6x10 -4 , caribou 2,3x10 -3 . These values have been derived mainly from metabolic experiments and from literature values of concentrations in feed and meat. For Te, Co and Fe it was not possible to find relevant values. A transfer factor for Tc of 8x10 -3 d/kg for beef was derived indirectly using values of meat and vegetables. (orig.) [de

  3. Comparing and improving reconstruction methods for proxies based on compositional data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, C.; Tipton, J.; Booth, R.; Jackson, S. T.; Hooten, M.

    2017-12-01

    Many types of studies in paleoclimatology and paleoecology involve compositional data. Often, these studies aim to use compositional data to reconstruct an environmental variable of interest; the reconstruction is usually done via the development of a transfer function. Transfer functions have been developed using many different methods. Existing methods tend to relate the compositional data and the reconstruction target in very simple ways. Additionally, the results from different methods are rarely compared. Here we seek to address these two issues. First, we introduce a new hierarchical Bayesian multivariate gaussian process model; this model allows for the relationship between each species in the compositional dataset and the environmental variable to be modeled in a way that captures the underlying complexities. Then, we compare this new method to machine learning techniques and commonly used existing methods. The comparisons are based on reconstructing the water table depth history of Caribou Bog (an ombrotrophic Sphagnum peat bog in Old Town, Maine, USA) from a new 7500 year long record of testate amoebae assemblages. The resulting reconstructions from different methods diverge in both their resulting means and uncertainties. In particular, uncertainty tends to be drastically underestimated by some common methods. These results will help to improve inference of water table depth from testate amoebae. Furthermore, this approach can be applied to test and improve inferences of past environmental conditions from a broad array of paleo-proxies based on compositional data

  4. CEAMF study, volume 2 : cumulative effects indicators, thresholds, and case studies : final

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-03-01

    The four types of cumulative effects on the environment are: alteration, loss, and fragmentation of habitat; disturbance; barriers to movement; and direct and indirect mortality. Defining where and how human activities can be continued without irreversible net harm to the environment is part of cumulative effects management. Various land-use and habitat indicators were tested in the Blueberry and Sukunka study areas of British Columbia, to address the environmental effects associated with oil and gas development. As recommended, a tiered threshold approach was used to allow for flexibility in different land management regimes and ecological settings. Success will depend on defining acceptable change, threshold values, standard public database, standard processes to calculate indicator values using the database, and project-specific and cooperative management actions. A pilot study was suggested to test the candidate thresholds and implementation process. The two areas proposed for consideration were the Jedney Enhanced Resource Development Resource Management Zone in the Fort St. John Forest District, and the Etsho Enhanced Resource Development Resource Management Zone in the Fort Nelson Forest District. Both are of interest to the petroleum and forest sectors, and support the woodland caribou, a species which is extremely sensitive to cumulative effects of habitat fragmentation and disturbance. 117 refs., 11 tabs., 39 figs.

  5. Managing the Cumulative Impacts of Land Uses in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin: A Modeling Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard, R. Schneider

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available This case study from northeastern Alberta, Canada, demonstrates a fundamentally different approach to forest management in which stakeholders balance conservation and economic objectives by weighing current management options from the point of view of their long-term effects on the forest. ALCES®, a landscape-scale simulation model, is used to quantify the effects of the current regulatory framework and typical industrial practices on a suite of ecological and economic indicators over the next 100 yr. These simulations suggest that, if current practices continue, the combined activities of the energy and forestry industries in our 59,000 km2 study area will cause the density of edge of human origin to increase from 1.8 km/km 2 to a maximum of 8.0 km/km2. We also predict that older age classes of merchantable forest stands will be largely eliminated from the landscape, habitat availability for woodland caribou will decline from 43 to 6%, and there will be a progressive shortfall in the supply of softwood timber beginning in approximately 60 yr. Additional simulations involving a suite of "best practices" demonstrate that substantial improvements in ecological outcome measures could be achieved through alternative management scenarios while still maintaining a sustainable flow of economic benefits. We discuss the merits of our proposed approach to land use planning and apply it to the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

  6. Polonium-210 and lead-210 in food and tobacco products: a review of parameters and an estimate of potential exposure and dose

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watson, A.P.

    1983-07-01

    Food-chain transport of Pb-210 and Po-210 from soil to edible plant parts and from animal feed to meat and milk were evaluated from a review of literature. The degree of transfer was characterized by estimating concentration factors (unweighted arithmetic means) as well as the transfer coefficients B/sub v/, B/sub r/ (unweighted geometric means, f/sub m/ and f/sub f/ (unweighted arithmetic means). Global dietary intake of Pb-210 and Po-210 was also summarized, and 50-year dose estimates to target organs calculated. The greatest estimated ingestion doses were those to populations with large dietary complements of animal protein in the form of seafood (Japan) or caribou/reindeer muscle and organ meats (Arctic Eskimos and Lapps). The magnitude of this latter source illustrates the importance of simple food chains in generating significant exposures to populations dependent upon them. The origin and magnitude of inhalation exposure and dose from tobacco products was also assessed. For the majority of internal organs evaluated, the dose resulting from smoking commercially available tobacco products is comparable to or greater than the dose estimates for ingestion of naturally occurring dietary Pb-210 and Po-210

  7. Polonium-210 and Lead-210 in food and tobacco products: transfer parameters and normal exposure and dose

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watson, A.P.

    1985-01-01

    Food-chain transport of Pb-210 and Po-210 from soil to edible plant parts and from animal feed to meat and milk was evaluated from a review of literature. The degree of transfer was characterized by estimating concentration factors as well as the transfer coefficients B/sub v/, B/sub r/, f/sub m/, and f/sub f/. Global dietary intake of Pb-210 and Po-210 was also summarized, and 50-y dose estimates to target organs were calculated. The greatest estimated ingestion doses were those to populations with large dietary complements of animal protein in the form of seafood (Japan) or caribou/reindeer muscle and organ meats (Arctic Eskimos and Lapps). The origin and magnitude of inhalation exposure and dose from tobacco products were also assessed. For the majority of internal organs evaluated, the dose resulting from smoking commercially available tobacco products is comparable with or greater than the dose estimates for ingestion of naturally occurring dietary Pb-210 and Po-210. 79 refs

  8. Characteristics, atmospheric drivers and occurrence patterns of freezing precipitation and ice pellets over the Prairie Provinces and Arctic Territories of Canada: 1964-2005

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochtubajda, Bohdan; Mooney, Curtis; Stewart, Ronald

    2017-07-01

    Freezing precipitation and ice pellet events on the Canadian Prairies and Arctic territories of Canada often lead to major disruptions to air and ground transportation, damage power grids and prevent arctic caribou and other animals from accessing the plants and lichen they depend on for survival. In a warming climate, these hazards and associated impacts will continue to happen, although their spatial and temporal characteristics may vary. In order to address these issues, the occurrence of freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and ice pellets from 1964 to 2005 is examined using hourly weather observations at 27 manned 24 h weather stations across the different climatic regions of the Prairie Provinces and Arctic Territories of Canada. Because of the enormous size of the area and its diverse climatic regions, many temporal and spatial differences in freezing precipitation and ice pellet characteristics occur. The 12 most widespread freezing rain events over the study area are associated with only two atmospheric patterns with one linked to strong warm advection between low and high pressure centres and the other pattern associated with chinooks occurring east of the Rocky Mountains. Given the annual patterns of freezing rain occurrence found in this study, it is proposed that a maximum of five regimes exist and three occur within the Prairies and Arctic.

  9. Can antibrowsing defense regulate the spread of woody vegetation in arctic tundra?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, John P.; Joly, Kyle; Chapin, F. Stuart; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Kielland, Knut

    2014-01-01

    Global climate warming is projected to promote the increase of woody plants, especially shrubs, in arctic tundra. Many factors may affect the extent of this increase, including browsing by mammals. We hypothesize that across the Arctic the effect of browsing will vary because of regional variation in antibrowsing chemical defense. Using birch (Betula) as a case study, we propose that browsing is unlikely to retard birch expansion in the region extending eastward from the Lena River in central Siberia across Beringia and the continental tundra of central and eastern Canada where the more effectively defended resin birches predominate. Browsing is more likely to retard birch expansion in tundra west of the Lena to Fennoscandia, Iceland, Greenland and South Baffin Island where the less effectively defended non-resin birches predominate. Evidence from the literature supports this hypothesis. We further suggest that the effect of warming on the supply of plant-available nitrogen will not significantly change either this pan-Arctic pattern of variation in antibrowsing defense or the resultant effect that browsing has on birch expansion in tundra. However, within central and east Beringia warming-caused increases in plant-available nitrogen combined with wildfire could initiate amplifying feedback loops that could accelerate shrubification of tundra by the more effectively defended resin birches. This accelerated shrubification of tundra by resin birch, if extensive, could reduce the food supply of caribou causing population declines. We conclude with a brief discussion of modeling methods that show promise in projecting invasion of tundra by woody plants.

  10. Rapid population increase in an introduced muskox population, West Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten Riis Olesen

    1993-10-01

    Full Text Available In 1962 and 1965, 27 (13 and 14 muskox yearlings were translocated from East Greenland (71°N to the Angujaartorfiup Nunaa range in West Greenland (67°N. Angujaartorfiup Nunaa is a 6600 km2 icefree, continental area where caribou are indigenous. The climate is strictly continental with a minimum of precipitation but with abundant vegetation. Aerial surveys in 1990 documented that the muskox population has increased to 2600 heads despite quota-based harvesting since 1988. The annual quota was 200, 300 and 400 for 1988, 1989 and 1990, respectively. Distribution of muskoxen shows a significant preference for low altitude habitats southeast of Kangerlussuaq Airport and around Arnangarnup Qoorua (Paradise valley. Annual population increment averages 30% and the calf crop is around 24% of the population. Yearling recruitment in the population reveals that calf mortality during winter is very limited. About half of the 1-year-old females are served and they eventually give birth to their first calf when they turn 2 years old. With half of the 2-year-old females reproducing, the calf/cow ration ranges between 0.9 and 1.0.

  11. Inclusion of Additional Plant Species and Trait Information in Dynamic Vegetation Modeling of Arctic Tundra and Boreal Forest Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Patil, V.; Roach, J.; Griffith, B.; McGuire, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) have been developed to model the ecophysiological characteristics of plant functional types in terrestrial ecosystems. They have frequently been used to answer questions pertaining to processes such as disturbance, plant succession, and community composition under historical and future climate scenarios. While DVMs have proved useful in these types of applications, it has often been questioned if additional detail, such as including plant dynamics at the species-level and/or including species-specific traits would make these models more accurate and/or broadly applicable. A sub-question associated with this issue is, 'How many species, or what degree of functional diversity, should we incorporate to sustain ecosystem function in modeled ecosystems?' Here, we focus on how the inclusion of additional plant species and trait information may strengthen dynamic vegetation modeling in applications pertaining to: (1) forage for caribou in northern Alaska, (2) above- and belowground carbon storage in the boreal forest and lake margin wetlands of interior Alaska, and (3) arctic tundra and boreal forest leaf phenology. While the inclusion of additional information generally proved valuable in these three applications, this additional detail depends on field data that may not always be available and may also result in increased computational complexity. Therefore, it is important to assess these possible limitations against the perceived need for additional plant species and trait information in the development and application of dynamic vegetation models.

  12. Success and failure of reindeer herding in Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Cuyler

    1999-04-01

    Full Text Available Animal husbandry is a recent innovation in Greenland, specifically reindeer husbandry is less than 50 years old. Reindeer husbandry was first established in mid-west Greenland and later in southern Greenland. The Greenland hunter tradition and culture is, however, still dominant in many communities. During the 1980s and 1990s, the incompatibility of these two traditions resulted in the failure of reindeer husbandry in mid-west Greenland. There were neither herding nor seasonal herd movements. Animals remained year round on the winter range, which was destroyed as lichens were trampled every summer. Without seasonal herd movements both sustainable range use and control of the herd were lost. Today, there are just two semi-domestic reindeer herds left, and both are in southern Greenland. One herd is commercially successful, and the other is under development. In mid-west Greenland, semi-domestic reindeer husbandry officially ended in 1998, and a hunt was initiated to remove the remaining population. Possibly, by the year 2000 any animals left in this region will be considered wild caribou.

  13. Can partial‐cut harvesting be used to manage terrestrial lichen habitat? A review of recent evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan K. Stevenson

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent research suggests that partial-cut harvesting techniques can be used to alter successional trajectories in pine- and spruce-lichen woodlands, allowing forest managers to extend the period of reindeer lichen growth in mid- to late seral boreal forest stands. In Quebec, a fully replicated partial-cutting trial found that terrestrial lichen abundance remained at least as high in the partial cut as in the clearcuts or unlogged stands, and that the partial cut appeared to be on a trajectory to have even more terrestrial lichen due to sustained higher growth rates. In Alberta, a retrospective study found higher terrestrial lichen abundance in an early horse-logged partial cut than in undisturbed adjacent old forests or in clearcuts. Follow-up studies of partial-cut harvesting trials in British Columbia found that group selection plots 10 years after harvesting had lichen cover equivalent to that of undisturbed forest. In contrast, studies on lichen woodlands that have been defoliated by mountain pine beetle showed a major decline in reindeer lichen cover and a corresponding increase in vascular plant cover, similar to the results of previous studies on clear-cut logging impacts. Taken together these studies provide qualified support for the hypothesis that partial-cut harvesting can be used to enhance, or at least maintain, terrestrial lichen mats used as forage by caribou.

  14. Sunscreening fungal pigments influence the vertical gradient of pendulous lichens in boreal forest canopies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Färber, Leonie; Sølhaug, Knut Asbjorn; Esseen, Per-Anders; Bilger, Wolfgang; Gauslaa, Yngvar

    2014-06-01

    Pendulous lichens dominate canopies of boreal forests, with dark Bryoria species in the upper canopy vs. light Alectoria and Usnea species in lower canopy. These genera offer important ecosystem services such as winter forage for reindeer and caribou. The mechanism behind this niche separation is poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that species-specific sunscreening fungal pigments protect underlying symbiotic algae differently against high light, and thus shape the vertical canopy gradient of epiphytes. Three pale species with the reflecting pigment usnic acid (Alectoria sarmentosa, Usnea dasypoga, U. longissima) and three with dark, absorbing melanins (Bryoria capillaris, B. fremontii, B. fuscescens) were compared. We subjected the lichens to desiccation stress with and without light, and assessed their performance with chlorophyll fluorescence. Desiccation alone only affected U. longissima. By contrast, light in combination with desiccation caused photoinhibitory damage in all species. Usnic lichens were significantly more susceptible to light during desiccation than melanic ones. Thus, melanin is a more efficient light-screening pigment than usnic acid. Thereby, the vertical gradient of pendulous lichens in forest canopies is consistent with a shift in type and functioning of sunscreening pigments, from high-light-tolerant Bryoria in the upper to susceptible Alectoria and Usnea in the lower canopy.

  15. A guide to developing resource selection functions from telemetry data using generalized estimating equations and generalized linear mixed models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Koper

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Resource selection functions (RSF are often developed using satellite (ARGOS or Global Positioning System (GPS telemetry datasets, which provide a large amount of highly correlated data. We discuss and compare the use of generalized linear mixed-effects models (GLMM and generalized estimating equations (GEE for using this type of data to develop RSFs. GLMMs directly model differences among caribou, while GEEs depend on an adjustment of the standard error to compensate for correlation of data points within individuals. Empirical standard errors, rather than model-based standard errors, must be used with either GLMMs or GEEs when developing RSFs. There are several important differences between these approaches; in particular, GLMMs are best for producing parameter estimates that predict how management might influence individuals, while GEEs are best for predicting how management might influence populations. As the interpretation, value, and statistical significance of both types of parameter estimates differ, it is important that users select the appropriate analytical method. We also outline the use of k-fold cross validation to assess fit of these models. Both GLMMs and GEEs hold promise for developing RSFs as long as they are used appropriately.

  16. Summary report of a workshop on establishing cumulative effects thresholds : a suggested approach for establishing cumulative effects thresholds in a Yukon context

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-01-01

    Increasingly, thresholds are being used as a land and cumulative effects assessment and management tool. To assist in the management of wildlife species such as woodland caribou, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (DIAND) Environment Directorate, Yukon sponsored a workshop to develop and use cumulative thresholds in the Yukon. The approximately 30 participants reviewed recent initiatives in the Yukon and other jurisdictions. The workshop is expected to help formulate a strategic vision for implementing cumulative effects thresholds in the Yukon. The key to success resides in building relationships with Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA) Boards, the Development Assessment Process (DAP), and the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act (YESAA). Broad support is required within an integrated resource management framework. The workshop featured discussions on current science and theory of cumulative effects thresholds. Potential data and implementation issues were also discussed. It was concluded that thresholds are useful and scientifically defensible. The threshold research results obtained in Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories are applicable to the Yukon. One of the best tools for establishing and tracking thresholds is habitat effectiveness. Effects must be monitored and tracked. Biologists must share their information with decision makers. Interagency coordination and assistance should be facilitated through the establishment of working groups. Regional land use plans should include thresholds. 7 refs.

  17. Historic, pre-European settlement, and present-day contribution of wild ruminants to enteric methane emissions in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hristov, A N

    2012-04-01

    The objectives of this analysis were to estimate historic (pre-European settlement) enteric CH(4) emissions from wild ruminants in the contiguous United States and compare these with present-day CH(4) emissions from farmed ruminants. The analysis included bison, elk (wapiti), and deer (white-tailed and mule). Wild ruminants such as moose, antelope (pronghorn), caribou, and mountain sheep and goat were not included in the analysis because their natural range is mostly outside the contiguous United States or because they have relatively small population sizes. Data for presettlement and present-day population sizes, animal BW, feed intake, and CH(4) emission factors were adopted from various sources. Present-day CH(4) emissions from livestock were from recent United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates. The most important factor determining CH(4) emissions from wild ruminants in the presettlement period was the size of the bison population. Overall, enteric CH(4) emissions from bison, elk, and deer in the presettlement period were about 86% (assuming bison population size of 50 million) of the current CH(4) emissions from farmed ruminants in the United States. Present-day CH(4) emissions from wild ruminants (bison, elk, and deer) were estimated at 0.28 Tg/yr, or 4.3% of the emissions from domestic ruminants. Due to its population size (estimated at 25 million), the white-tailed deer is the most significant present-day wild ruminant contributor to enteric CH(4) emissions in the contiguous United States.

  18. Methane emission from animals: A Global High-Resolution Data Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, Jean; Matthews, Elaine; Fung, Inez

    1988-06-01

    We present a high-resolution global data base of animal population densities and associated methane emission. Statistics on animal populations from the Food and Agriculture Organization and other sources have been compiled. Animals were distributed using a 1° resolution data base of countries of the world and a 1° resolution data base of land use. The animals included are cattle and dairy cows, water buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, pigs, horses and caribou. Published estimates of methane production from each type of animal have been applied to the animal populations to yield a global distribution of annual methane emission by animals. There is large spatial variability in the distribution of animal populations and their methane emissions. Emission rates greater than 5000 kg CH4 km-2 yr-1 are found in small regions such as Bangladesh, the Benelux countries, parts of northern India, and New Zealand. Of the global annual emission of 75.8 Tg CH4 for 1984, about 55% is concentrated between 25°N and 55°N, a significant contribution to the observed north-south gradient of atmospheric methane concentration. A magnetic tape of the global data bases is available from the authors.

  19. Providing science-based solutions to environmental challenges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-01-01

    The various research efforts supported by the Environmental Research Advisory Council (ERAC) are briefly reviewed in this document. The studies were peer-reviewed, performed by scientists from academia, government and consultants. The list included in this document is comprised of ERAC projects currently being funded, as well as those that were completed in 2002. The projects were divided into three distinct categories: air, soil and groundwater, and ecological projects. Two projects came under the umbrella of air projects, namely flaring performance, and neuro behavioural effects of hydrogen sulphide on humans. In the soil and groundwater category, there were five projects: (1) environmentally-acceptable endpoints for residual petroleum hydrocarbons in soil, (2) framework foundation for tier 2 soil contact cleanup standards for petroleum hydrocarbons (PHC)-contaminated sites, (3) remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated sites by monitored natural attenuation, (4) parkland natural region inventory and Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping, and (5) plant uptake of process chemicals and petroleum hydrocarbons. The ecological projects category discussed three projects: caribou range recovery project, ecology and management of crested wheat grass invasion in northern mixed prairie, and foothills model forest grizzly bear study

  20. Pilot study investigating ambient air toxics emissions near a Canadian kraft pulp and paper facility in Pictou County, Nova Scotia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Emma; Guernsey, Judith R; Walker, Tony R; Kim, Jong Sung; Sherren, Kate; Andreou, Pantelis

    2017-09-01

    Air toxics are airborne pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects, including certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), prioritized by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While several EPA-designated air toxics are monitored at a subset of Canadian National Air Pollution Surveillance (NAPS) sites, Canada has no specific "air toxics" control priorities. Although pulp and paper (P&P) mills are major industrial emitters of air pollutants, few studies quantified the spectrum of air quality exposures. Moreover, most NAPS monitoring sites are in urban centers; in contrast, rural NAPS sites are sparse with few exposure risk records. The objective of this pilot study was to investigate prioritized air toxic ambient VOC concentrations using NAPS hourly emissions data from a rural Pictou, Nova Scotia Kraft P&P town to document concentration levels, and to determine whether these concentrations correlated with wind direction at the NAPS site (located southwest of the mill). Publicly accessible Environment and Climate Change Canada data (VOC concentrations [Granton NAPS ID: 31201] and local meteorological conditions [Caribou Point]) were examined using temporal (2006-2013) and spatial analytic methods. Results revealed several VOCs (1,3-butadiene, benzene, and carbon tetrachloride) routinely exceeded EPA air toxics-associated cancer risk thresholds. 1,3-Butadiene and tetrachloroethylene were significantly higher (p towns and contribute to poor health in nearby communities.

  1. DEVELOPMENT OF THE BRICAN TD100 SMALL UAS AND PAYLOAD TRIALS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Eggleston

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The Brican TD100 is a high performance, small UAS designed and made in Brampton Ontario Canada. The concept was defined in late 2009 and it is designed for a maximum weight of 25 kg which is now the accepted cut-off defining small civil UASs. A very clean tractor propeller layout is used with a lightweight composite structure and a high aspect ratio wing to obtain good range and endurance. The design features and performance of the initial electrically powered version are discussed and progress with developing a multifuel engine version is described. The system includes features enabling operation beyond line of sight (BLOS and the proving missions are described. The vehicle has been used for aerial photography and low cost mapping using a professional grade Nikon DSLR camera. For forest fire research a FLIR A65 IR camera was used, while for georeferenced mapping a new Applanix AP20 system was calibrated with the Nikon camera. The sorties to be described include forest fire research, wildlife photography of bowhead whales in the Arctic and surveys of endangered caribou in a remote area of Labrador, with all these applications including the DSLR camera.

  2. Musselwhite partnership produces results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Larmour, A.

    2009-12-01

    Hydro One will install transmission lines between Nipigon and Pickle Lake as one of 20 projects in Ontario's ambitious $2.3 billion green-energy makeover. The electrical power grid will be extended to the region at the request of a group of northwestern Ontario First Nation communities and representatives from Goldcorp Inc.'s Musselwhite Mine, who wanted a reliable source of energy in this remote area. The partnership between Goldcorp and the First Nation communities began in the late 1980s. The Musselwhite Agreement was one of the first Impact Benefit Agreements negotiated in Ontario. Initially signed in 1996, the 5-year deal was renewed in 2001 and 2006. One of the communities at North Caribou Lake has a population of 780 and is located approximately 320 kilometres north of Sioux Lookout. It is one of 4 First Nation communities and 2 tribal councils that have negotiated the sharing of resources from the Musselwhite gold mine, originally owned and operated by Placer Dome. This article discussed some of the best practices in building relationships with community leaders and members. Industry needs to understand the governance of a First Nation community and how they are set up in their decision-making process. Other negotiated aspects within the agreement are revenue sharing and employment. A target of 30 per cent First Nation employment was set for the signatory and affiliate communities. 2 refs., 1 fig.

  3. Conservation of erupting ungulate populations on islands – a comment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Gunn

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available A generalised model for herbivores experiencing abundant forage over time is that their numbers erupt and then decline. This model has been applied to fluctuations in caribou (Rangifer tarandus populations especially those on islands. Since this generalised model for erupting herbivores was first proposed, two assumptions have slipped in (1 that an erupting population will crash; and (2 that the crash will be density-dependent. The problem with the assumptions is that, without testing, they can lead to inappropriate management such as culls. The first assumption arises from uncritical use of earlier accounts and the second assumption from not discriminating between the effects of environmental variation from the effects of the high herbivore numbers on forage availability (density-dependence. Often typical densitydependent effects such as lowered initial reproduction, reduced early survival of calves, and subsequent calf, yearling and juvenile survival are used to justify the contention that there are too many herbivores. But such reasoning is flawed unless cause/effect relationships are established and the role of environmental variation is evaluated. We argue that it is overly simplistic to believe that every population’s subsequent performance and fate will follow a singular pattern with only one paramount factor driving and ultimately dictating an inevitable outcome. The relative importance of unpredictable abiotic factors in influencing and causing variation in the response of ungulate populations should be investigated, no matter whether those factors are sporadic or periodic.

  4. Patterns of faunal extinction and paleoclimatic change from mid-Holocene mammoth and polar bear remains, Pribilof Islands, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veltre, Douglas W.; Yesner, David R.; Crossen, Kristine J.; Graham, Russell W.; Coltrain, Joan B.

    2008-07-01

    Qagnaxˆ Cave, a lava tube cave on St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs, has recently produced a mid-Holocene vertebrate faunal assemblage including woolly mammoth, polar bear, caribou, and Arctic fox. Several dates on the mammoth remains converge on 5700 14C yr BP. These dates, ~ 2300 yr younger than mammoth dates previously published from the Pribilof Islands, make these the youngest remains of proboscideans, and of non-extinct Quaternary megafauna, recovered from North America. Persistence of mammoths on the Pribilofs is most parsimoniously explained by the isolation of the Pribilofs and the lack of human presence in pre-Russian contact times, but an additional factor may have been the local existence of high-quality forage in the form of grasses enriched by nutrients derived from local Holocene tephras. This interpretation is reinforced by stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values obtained from the mammoth remains. The endpoint of mammoth survival in the Pribilofs is unknown, but maybe coterminous with the arrival of polar bears whose remains in the cave date to the Neoglacial cold period of ~ 4500 to 3500 14C yr BP. The polar bear record corroborates a widespread cooling of the Bering Sea region at that time.

  5. What to eat now? Shifts in polar bear diet during the ice-free season in western Hudson Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gormezano, Linda J; Rockwell, Robert F

    2013-01-01

    Under current climate trends, spring ice breakup in Hudson Bay is advancing rapidly, leaving polar bears (Ursus maritimus) less time to hunt seals during the spring when they accumulate the majority of their annual fat reserves. For this reason, foods that polar bears consume during the ice-free season may become increasingly important in alleviating nutritional stress from lost seal hunting opportunities. Defining how the terrestrial diet might have changed since the onset of rapid climate change is an important step in understanding how polar bears may be reacting to climate change. We characterized the current terrestrial diet of polar bears in western Hudson Bay by evaluating the contents of passively sampled scat and comparing it to a similar study conducted 40 years ago. While the two terrestrial diets broadly overlap, polar bears currently appear to be exploiting increasingly abundant resources such as caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and snow geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) and newly available resources such as eggs. This opportunistic shift is similar to the diet mixing strategy common among other Arctic predators and bear species. We discuss whether the observed diet shift is solely a response to a nutritional stress or is an expression of plastic foraging behavior. PMID:24223286

  6. Geospatial Analysis of Grey Wolf Movement Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sur, D.

    2017-12-01

    The grey wolf is a top predator that lives across a diverse habitat, ranging from Europe to North America. They often hunt in packs, preferring caribou, deer and elk as prey. Currently, many gray wolves live in Denali National Park and Preserve. In this study, several wolf packs were studied in three distinct regions of Denali. The purpose of my research was to investigate the links between wolf habitat, movement patterns, and prey thresholds. These are needed for projecting future population, growth and distribution of wolves in the studied region. I also investigated the effect wolves have on the ecological structure of the communities they inhabit. In the study I carried out a quantitative analysis of wolf population trends and daily distance movement by utilizing an analysis of variance (ANOVA) in the program JmpPro12 (SAS Institute, Crary, NC) to assess regional differences in pack size, wolf density, average daily distance moved. I found a clear link between the wolf habitat and prey thresholds; the habitat directly influences the types of prey available. However there was no link between the daily distance movement, the wolf habitat and prey density.

  7. Parasitism of Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) by a New Species of Hairworm (Nematomorpha: Gordiida) in Arctic Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernst, Crystal M; Hanelt, Ben; Buddle, Christopher M

    2016-06-01

    The host-parasite associations between ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and hairworms (Nematomorpha: Gordiida) collected from the Arctic (an understudied and ecologically important region) is described. Carabids and their parasites were collected from 12 sites spanning the 3 northernmost ecoclimatic zones of Canada (north boreal, subarctic, and high Arctic) using standardized methods. The beetles and hairworms were identified using traditional morphological approaches. Seven beetle species are recorded as hosts: Amara alpina, Pterostichus caribou, Pterostichus brevicornis, Pterostichus tareumiut, Pterostichus haematopus, Patrobus septentrionis, and Notiophilus borealis. All represent new host records (increasing the known North American host list from 14 to 21), and this is the first record of hairworm infection in the genus Notiophilus. Beetles from Banks Island, Northwest Territory, were infected in high numbers (11-19% per sampling period) and were used as an ecological case study. There was no significant relationship between infection status and host species, body size, or sex. Beetles collected in yellow pan traps and in wet habitats were more likely to be infected, likely due to water-seeking behavior induced by the parasites. Morphological examinations indicate that the hairworms collected from all locations represent a single, new species of Gordionus, making it only the sixth hairworm species and the third species of that genus found in Canada. Hosts are unknown for all other Canadian (and 1 Alaskan) Gordionus species.

  8. Lichens, a unique forage resource threatened by air pollution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David R. Klein

    1992-10-01

    Full Text Available Lichens are the primary winter forage for most mainland caribou and reindeer herds in North America and for the majority of domestic and wild reindeer in Siberia and northern Europe, collectively totaling in excess of 5 million animals. Lichens represent a unique forage resource throughout much of the circumpolar North that cannot effectively be replaced by vascular plants. Lichens are particularly sensitive to the effects of air pollution. The increased pace of exploitation and processing of minerals and petroleum resources throughout the circumpolar North, with associated introduction of pollution products into the atmosphere has already resulted in losses of lichens and their reduced productivity in extensive areas adjacent to large metallurgical complexes in the Taimyr of Siberia, on the Kola Peninsula, and in adjacent parts of Finland. Losses of terricolous lichens in the Taimyr from pollution generated by the Norilsk metallurgical complex have been nearly complete within a 300 000 ha area closest to the pollution source and damage and reduced growth extends over an area in excess of 600 000 ha. The Arctic also is a sink for atmospheric pollution generated in the heavily industrialized north temperate regions of the world. Assessment of the effects on lichens of this global scale increase in air pollution is difficult because of the lack of representative controls.

  9. Pool patterning in a northern peatland using near surface geophysics: the role of glacial deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comas, X.; Slater, L.; Reeve, A.; Nolan, J.; Jol, H.

    2008-05-01

    The potential role of stratigraphy and lithology on the processes leading to pool formation were examined in Caribou Bog, a 2200-hectare peatland in central Maine. The area is surrounded by esker deposit outcrops from the Katahdin system, that extends 150 km from central Maine to the coast (orientated approximately N-S), and is dominated by sharp-crested eskers with poorly sorted sand, gravel and boulders. A combination of hydrogeophysical techniques were used to examine the correlation between pool location within the bog and subsurface stratigraphy and lithology that included: ground penetrating radar (GPR), electrical resistivity, EM-31, hydrological measurements and direct sampling. Previous studies in the area showed certain correspondence between elevated mineral soil surfaces (interpreted as buried eskers) and pool location. The work presented here expands upon our previous results by including a wider array of measurements to better constrain that correspondence. Hydrological measurements showed spatial correlation between stronger downward hydraulic gradients and proximity to the esker crests. Geophysical data along the pool area consistently showed two buried esker crests with dipping and undulating bedding, collapse structures and presence of boulders in sediment. A conceptual model for pool development that accounts for the initial (e.g. heterogeneous peat growth due to local enhanced decomposition) and final stages (e.g. lateral spreading) of pool development is proposed based on these findings.

  10. Evaluation of the factors involved in bioaccumulation of gamma-emmitting radionuclides in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginanus). Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jenkins, J.H.

    1977-01-01

    The objectives of the work were to: determine the amounts and kinds of fallout gamma emitting radionuclides in an important food and sport animal, the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the southeastern U.S.A.; elucidate some of the food chain interrelationships around the year; and see if a relationship exists between bioaccumulation in deer, the soils, the deer foods available, the rumen contents, and uptake in man. Whole body counters were constructed to measure the gamma rays emitted by animals varying in size from warblers (10 grams) and cotton rats (100 grams) up through live deer and people. Over 1800 deer from throughout the Southeast were analyzed. Deer from the Flatwoods sub-type of the Lower Coastal Plain region often have 137 Cs levels exceeding those reported for Alaskan Caribou at their peak and 90 Sr is as effectively transported through the Lower Coastal Plains environment as 137 Cs. Detailed studies have been conducted on two sites (Piedmont and Lower Coastal Plain) to determine the characteristics of soil and vegetation contributing to biomagnification

  11. Approaches to estimate body condition from slaughter records in reindeer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Olofsson

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Long-term fluctuations in population densities of reindeer and caribou are common, where pasture is the limiting resource. Pasture quality affects the nutritional status and production of the animals. Therefore, continuous information about changes in the grazing resources is important when making management decisions. The objective of this study was to investigate different possibilities of using routine and additional slaughter records as body condition indicators, and thereby indicators of pasture resources in the summer ranges of reindeer husbandry. Records from 696 reindeer slaughtered in the winter 2002/2003 were included in the study. We developed a model with carcass weight as body condition indicator and two different models combining fatness, conformation, carcass weight, and body size as body condition indicators. The results showed age and sex dependent differences between the variables, and differentiation of animal age and sex improved the precision of models. Adjusting weight for body size also improved weight as a body condition indicator in adults. Conformation and fatness had good resemblance to weight and body size adjusted weight and should preferably be included, together with carcass weight and body size measures, when estimating body condition from carcasses. Our analysis showed that using non-invasive slaughter records is a good and non-expensive method of estimating body condition in reindeer. Abstract in Swedish / Sammandrag:Tillvägagångssätt för skattning avkroppskondition hos ren från slaktregistreringarFluktuationer i ren- och caribou-populationers täthet över tiden är vanliga då betet är en begränsad resurs och beteskvalitén påverkar djurens kondition och produktion. Kontinuerligt uppdaterad information om förändringar i betesresurserna är viktigt i samband med beslutsfattande om förvaltning avresurserna. Syftet med denna studie var att utvärdera olika möjliga sätt att anv

  12. Water quality of streams draining abandoned and reclaimed mined lands in the Kantishna Hills area, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, 2008–11

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brabets, Timothy P.; Ourso, Robert T.

    2013-01-01

    The Kantishna Hills are an area of low elevation mountains in the northwest part of Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Streams draining the Kantishna Hills are clearwater streams that support several species of fish and are derived from rain, snowmelt, and subsurface aquifers. However, the water quality of many of these streams has been degraded by mining. Past mining practices generated acid mine drainage and excessive sediment loads that affected water quality and aquatic habitat. Because recovery through natural processes is limited owing to a short growing season, several reclamation projects have been implemented on several streams in the Kantishna Hills region. To assess the current water quality of streams in the Kantishna Hills area and to determine if reclamation efforts have improved water quality, a cooperative study between the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service was undertaken during 2008-11. High levels of turbidity, an indicator of high concentrations of suspended sediment, were documented in water-quality data collected in the mid-1980s when mining was active. Mining ceased in 1985 and water-quality data collected during this study indicate that levels of turbidity have declined significantly. Turbidity levels generally were less than 2 Formazin Nephelometric Units and suspended sediment concentrations generally were less than 1 milligram per liter during the current study. Daily turbidity data at Rock Creek, an unmined stream, and at Caribou Creek, a mined stream, documented nearly identical patterns of turbidity in 2009, indicating that reclamation as well as natural revegetation in mined streams has improved water quality. Specific conductance and concentrations of dissolved solids and major ions were highest from streams that had been mined. Most of these streams flow into Moose Creek, which functions as an integrator stream, and dilutes the specific conductance and ion concentrations. Calcium and magnesium are the

  13. Wolves on the hunt: The behavior of wolves hunting wild prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mech, L. David; Smith, Douglas W.; MacNulty, Daniel R.

    2015-01-01

    The interactions between apex predators and their prey are some of the most awesome and meaningful in nature—displays of strength, endurance, and a deep coevolutionary history. And there is perhaps no apex predator more impressive and important in its hunting—or more infamous, more misjudged—than the wolf. Because of wolves’ habitat, speed, and general success at evading humans, researchers have faced great obstacles in studying their natural hunting behaviors. The first book to focus explicitly on wolf hunting of wild prey, Wolves on the Hunt seeks to fill these gaps in our knowledge and understanding. Combining behavioral data, thousands of hours of original field observations, research in the literature, a wealth of illustrations, and—in the e-book edition and online—video segments from cinematographer Robert K. Landis, the authors create a compelling and complex picture of these hunters. The wolf is indeed an adept killer, able to take down prey much larger than itself. While adapted to hunt primarily hoofed animals, a wolf—or especially a pack of wolves—can kill individuals of just about any species. But even as wolves help drive the underlying rhythms of the ecosystems they inhabit, their evolutionary prowess comes at a cost: wolves spend one-third of their time hunting—the most time consuming of all wolf activities—and success at the hunt only comes through traveling long distances, persisting in the face of regular failure, detecting and taking advantage of deficiencies in the physical condition of individual prey, and through ceaseless trial and error, all while risking injury or death. By describing and analyzing the behaviors wolves use to hunt and kill various wild prey—including deer, moose, caribou, elk, Dall sheep, mountain goats, bison, musk oxen, arctic hares, beavers, and others—Wolves on the Hunt provides a revelatory portrait of one of nature’s greatest hunters.

  14. Alternative prey use affects helminth parasite infections in grey wolves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friesen, Olwyn C; Roth, James D

    2016-09-01

    Predators affect prey populations not only through direct predation, but also by acting as definitive hosts for their parasites and completing parasite life cycles. Understanding the affects of parasitism on prey population dynamics requires knowing how their predators' parasite community is affected by diet and prey availability. Ungulates, such as moose (Alces americanus) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), are often important prey for wolves (Canis lupus), but wolves also consume a variety of alternative prey, including beaver (Castor canadensis) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). The use of alternative prey, which may host different or fewer parasites than ungulates, could potentially reduce overall abundance of ungulate parasites within the ecosystem, benefiting both wolves and ungulate hosts. We examined parasites in wolf carcasses from eastern Manitoba and estimated wolf diet using stable isotope analysis. Taeniidae cestodes were present in most wolves (75%), reflecting a diet primarily comprised of ungulates, but nematodes were unexpectedly rare. Cestode abundance was negatively related to the wolf's δ(13) C value, indicating diet affects parasite abundance. Wolves that consumed a higher proportion of beaver and caribou (Rangifer tarandus), estimated using Bayesian mixing models, had lower cestode abundance, suggesting the use of these alternative prey can reduce parasite loads. Long-term consumption of beavers may lower the abundance of adult parasites in wolves, eventually lowering parasite density in the region and ultimately benefiting ungulates that serve as intermediate hosts. Thus, alternative prey can affect both predator-prey and host-parasite interactions and potentially affect food web dynamics. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  15. Stable Isotope (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S) Analysis and Satellite Telemetry Depict the Complexity of Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) Diets in Southwest Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanek, A.; Watts, D. E.; Cohn, B. R.; Spencer, P.; Mangipane, B.; Welker, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    Throughout Alaska, gray wolves (Canis lupus) are a top predator of large ungulates. While they primarily rely on ungulates such as moose (Alces alces) and caribou (Rangifer tarandus) as food, they are opportunistic and use alternative resources. The variation and supplemental protein sources in wolf diet has not been studied extensively on live animals currently using the landscape. With large seasonal influxes of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus sp.) into Alaska, terrestrial carnivore use of marine species is of particular interest. Using stable isotope (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S) analysis of wolf guard hair and blood, this study aims to determine the proportion of marine derived nutrients (MDN) in the diet of wolf packs within and surrounding Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and Alaska Peninsula and Becharof National Wildlife Refuges in Southwest Alaska. Satellite telemetry from the animals sampled facilitates quantification of landscape use patterns in correspondence with isotopic traits. Wolf pack territories within and surrounding the Lake Clark region appear to vary in spatial extent and in availability of MDN, such as salmon. Initial analysis shows that two packs with smaller home ranges, centrally located around areas with greater salmon availability, have enriched δ15N values compared to packs that have larger home ranges not centralized around salmon spawning waters. This pattern of isotopic enrichment is found in red blood cells, blood serum and hair, representing diets over different time scales. The enrichment in both blood and hair indicates a sustained use of MDN over the previous six to nine months. In the Lake Clark region, simple mixing model estimates suggest that up to 30% of wolf pack diets may be from marine sources. In contrast, packs with larger home ranges and less access to salmon have stable isotope values representative of a terrestrial diet.

  16. Climate driven range divergence among host species affects range-wide patterns of parasitism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard E. Feldman

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Species interactions like parasitism influence the outcome of climate-driven shifts in species ranges. For some host species, parasitism can only occur in that part of its range that overlaps with a second host species. Thus, predicting future parasitism may depend on how the ranges of the two hosts change in relation to each other. In this study, we tested whether the climate driven species range shift of Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer accounts for predicted changes in parasitism of two other species from the family Cervidae, Alces alces (moose and Rangifer tarandus (caribou, in North America. We used MaxEnt models to predict the recent (2000 and future (2050 ranges (probabilities of occurrence of the cervids and a parasite Parelaphostrongylus tenuis (brainworm taking into account range shifts of the parasite’s intermediate gastropod hosts. Our models predicted that range overlap between A. alces/R. tarandus and P. tenuis will decrease between 2000 and 2050, an outcome that reflects decreased overlap between A. alces/R. tarandus and O. virginianus and not the parasites, themselves. Geographically, our models predicted increasing potential occurrence of P. tenuis where A. alces/R. tarandus are likely to decline, but minimal spatial overlap where A. alces/R. tarandus are likely to increase. Thus, parasitism may exacerbate climate-mediated southern contraction of A. alces and R. tarandus ranges but will have limited influence on northward range expansion. Our results suggest that the spatial dynamics of one host species may be the driving force behind future rates of parasitism for another host species.

  17. Towards Snowpack Characterization using C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, J.; Forman, B. A.

    2017-12-01

    Sentinel 1A and 1B, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), carries a C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensor that can be used to monitor terrestrial snow properties. This study explores the relationship between terrestrial snow-covered area, snow depth, and snow water equivalent with Sentinel 1 backscatter observations in order to better characterize snow mass. Ground-based observations collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center (NOAA-CREST) in Caribou, Maine in the United States are also used in the comparative analysis. Sentinel 1 Ground Range Detected (GRD) imagery with Interferometric Wide swath (IW) were preprocessed through a series of steps accounting for thermal noise, sensor orbit, radiometric calibration, speckle filtering, and terrain correction using ESA's Sentinel Application Platform (SNAP) software package, which is an open-source module written in Python. Comparisons of dual-polarized backscatter coefficients (i.e., σVV and σVH) with in-situ measurements of snow depth and SWE suggest that cross-polarized backscatter observations exhibit a modest correlation between both snow depth and SWE. In the case of the snow-covered area, a multi-temporal change detection method was used. Results using Sentinel 1 yield similar spatial patterns as when using hyperspectral observations collected by the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). These preliminary results suggest the potential application of Sentinel 1A/1B backscatter coefficients towards improved discrimination of snow cover, snow depth, and SWE. One goal of this research is to eventually merge C-band SAR backscatter observations with other snow information (e.g., passive microwave brightness temperatures) as part of a multi-sensor snow assimilation framework.

  18. Traditional food consumption is associated with higher nutrient intakes in Inuit children attending childcare centres in Nunavik

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doris Gagné

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. To describe traditional food (TF consumption and to evaluate its impact on nutrient intakes of preschool Inuit children from Nunavik. Design. A cross-sectional study. Methods. Dietary intakes of children were assessed with a single 24-hour recall (n=217. TF consumption at home and at the childcare centres was compared. Differences in children's nutrient intakes when consuming or not consuming at least 1 TF item were examined using ANCOVA. Results. A total of 245 children attending childcare centres in 10 communities of Nunavik were recruited between 2006 and 2010. The children's mean age was 25.0±9.6 months (11–54 months. Thirty-six percent of children had consumed at least 1 TF item on the day of the recall. TF contributed to 2.6% of total energy intake. Caribou and Arctic char were the most reported TF species. Land animals and fish/shellfish were the main contributors to energy intake from TF (38 and 33%, respectively. In spite of a low TF intake, children who consumed TF had significantly (p<0.05 higher intakes of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, selenium, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and vitamin B12, and lower intakes of energy and carbohydrate compared with non-consumers. There was no significant difference in any of the socio-economic variables between children who consumed TF and those who did not. Conclusion. Although TF was not eaten much, it contributed significantly to the nutrient intakes of children. Consumption of TF should be encouraged as it provides many nutritional, economic, and sociocultural benefits.

  19. The Energetic Value of Land-Based Foods in Western Hudson Bay and Their Potential to Alleviate Energy Deficits of Starving Adult Male Polar Bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gormezano, Linda J; Rockwell, Robert F

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is predicted to expand the ice-free season in western Hudson Bay and when it grows to 180 days, 28-48% of adult male polar bears are projected to starve unless nutritional deficits can be offset by foods consumed on land. We updated a dynamic energy budget model developed by Molnar et al. to allow influx of additional energy from novel terrestrial foods (lesser snow geese, eggs, caribou) that polar bears currently consume as part of a mixed diet while on land. We calculated the units of each prey, alone and in combination, needed to alleviate these lethal energy deficits under conditions of resting or limited movement (2 km d-1) prior to starvation. We further considered the total energy available from each sex and age class of each animal prey over the period they would overlap land-bound polar bears and calculated the maximum number of starving adult males that could be sustained on each food during the ice-free season. Our results suggest that the net energy from land-based food, after subtracting costs of limited movement to obtain it, could eliminate all projected nutritional deficits of starving adult male polar bears and likely other demographic groups as well. The hunting tactics employed, success rates as well as behavior and abundance of each prey will determine the realized energetic values for individual polar bears. Although climate change may cause a phenological mismatch between polar bears and their historical ice-based prey, it may simultaneously yield a new match with certain land-based foods. If polar bears can transition their foraging behavior to effectively exploit these resources, predictions for starvation-related mortality may be overestimated for western Hudson Bay. We also discuss potential complications with stable-carbon isotope studies to evaluate utilization of land-based foods by polar bears including metabolic effects of capture-related stress and consuming a mixed diet.

  20. The Energetic Value of Land-Based Foods in Western Hudson Bay and Their Potential to Alleviate Energy Deficits of Starving Adult Male Polar Bears.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda J Gormezano

    Full Text Available Climate change is predicted to expand the ice-free season in western Hudson Bay and when it grows to 180 days, 28-48% of adult male polar bears are projected to starve unless nutritional deficits can be offset by foods consumed on land. We updated a dynamic energy budget model developed by Molnar et al. to allow influx of additional energy from novel terrestrial foods (lesser snow geese, eggs, caribou that polar bears currently consume as part of a mixed diet while on land. We calculated the units of each prey, alone and in combination, needed to alleviate these lethal energy deficits under conditions of resting or limited movement (2 km d-1 prior to starvation. We further considered the total energy available from each sex and age class of each animal prey over the period they would overlap land-bound polar bears and calculated the maximum number of starving adult males that could be sustained on each food during the ice-free season. Our results suggest that the net energy from land-based food, after subtracting costs of limited movement to obtain it, could eliminate all projected nutritional deficits of starving adult male polar bears and likely other demographic groups as well. The hunting tactics employed, success rates as well as behavior and abundance of each prey will determine the realized energetic values for individual polar bears. Although climate change may cause a phenological mismatch between polar bears and their historical ice-based prey, it may simultaneously yield a new match with certain land-based foods. If polar bears can transition their foraging behavior to effectively exploit these resources, predictions for starvation-related mortality may be overestimated for western Hudson Bay. We also discuss potential complications with stable-carbon isotope studies to evaluate utilization of land-based foods by polar bears including metabolic effects of capture-related stress and consuming a mixed diet.

  1. Continental divide: Predicting climate-mediated fragmentation and biodiversity loss in the boreal forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Dennis L; Peers, Michael J L; Majchrzak, Yasmine N; Wehtje, Morgan; Ferreira, Catarina; Pickles, Rob S A; Row, Jeffrey R; Thornton, Daniel H

    2017-01-01

    Climate change threatens natural landscapes through shifting distribution and abundance of species and attendant change in the structure and function of ecosystems. However, it remains unclear how climate-mediated variation in species' environmental niche space may lead to large-scale fragmentation of species distributions, altered meta-population dynamics and gene flow, and disrupted ecosystem integrity. Such change may be especially relevant when species distributions are restricted either spatially or to a narrow environmental niche, or when environments are rapidly changing. Here, we use range-wide environmental niche models to posit that climate-mediated range fragmentation aggravates the direct effects of climate change on species in the boreal forest of North America. We show that climate change will directly alter environmental niche suitability for boreal-obligate species of trees, birds and mammals (n = 12), with most species ranges becoming smaller and shifting northward through time. Importantly, species distributions will become increasingly fragmented, as characterized by smaller mean size and greater isolation of environmentally-suitable landscape patches. This loss is especially pronounced along the Ontario-Québec border, where the boreal forest is narrowest and roughly 78% of suitable niche space could disappear by 2080. Despite the diversity of taxa surveyed, patterns of range fragmentation are remarkably consistent, with our models predicting that spruce grouse (Dendragapus canadensis), boreal chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus), moose (Alces americanus) and caribou (Rangifer tarandus) could have entirely disjunct east-west population segments in North America. These findings reveal potentially dire consequences of climate change on population continuity and species diversity in the boreal forest, highlighting the need to better understand: 1) extent and primary drivers of anticipated climate-mediated range loss and fragmentation; 2) diversity of

  2. Non-Destructive Lichen Biomass Estimation in Northwestern Alaska: A Comparison of Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosso, Abbey; Neitlich, Peter; Smith, Robert J.

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial lichen biomass is an important indicator of forage availability for caribou in northern regions, and can indicate vegetation shifts due to climate change, air pollution or changes in vascular plant community structure. Techniques for estimating lichen biomass have traditionally required destructive harvesting that is painstaking and impractical, so we developed models to estimate biomass from relatively simple cover and height measurements. We measured cover and height of forage lichens (including single-taxon and multi-taxa “community” samples, n = 144) at 73 sites on the Seward Peninsula of northwestern Alaska, and harvested lichen biomass from the same plots. We assessed biomass-to-volume relationships using zero-intercept regressions, and compared differences among two non-destructive cover estimation methods (ocular vs. point count), among four landcover types in two ecoregions, and among single-taxon vs. multi-taxa samples. Additionally, we explored the feasibility of using lichen height (instead of volume) as a predictor of stand-level biomass. Although lichen taxa exhibited unique biomass and bulk density responses that varied significantly by growth form, we found that single-taxon sampling consistently under-estimated true biomass and was constrained by the need for taxonomic experts. We also found that the point count method provided little to no improvement over ocular methods, despite increased effort. Estimated biomass of lichen-dominated communities (mean lichen cover: 84.9±1.4%) using multi-taxa, ocular methods differed only nominally among landcover types within ecoregions (range: 822 to 1418 g m−2). Height alone was a poor predictor of lichen biomass and should always be weighted by cover abundance. We conclude that the multi-taxa (whole-community) approach, when paired with ocular estimates, is the most reasonable and practical method for estimating lichen biomass at landscape scales in northwest Alaska. PMID:25079228

  3. Mapping lichen color-groups in western Arctic Alaska using seasonal Landsat composites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, P.; Macander, M. J.; Swingley, C. S.

    2016-12-01

    Mapping lichens at a landscape scale has received increased recent interest due to fears that terricolous lichen mats, primary winter caribou forage, may be decreasing across the arctic and boreal zones. However, previous efforts have produced taxonomically coarse, total lichen cover maps or have covered relatively small spatial extents. Here we attempt to map lichens of differing colors as species proxies across northwestern Alaska to produce the finest taxonomic and spatial- grained lichen maps covering the largest spatial extent to date. Lichen community sampling in five western Alaskan National Parks and Preserves from 2007-2012 generated 328 FIA-style 34.7 m radius plots on which species-level macrolichen community structure and abundance was estimated. Species were coded by color and plot lichen cover was aggregated by plot as the sum of the cover of each species in a color group. Ten different lichen color groupings were used for modeling to deduce which colors were most detectable. Reflectance signatures of each plot were extracted from a series of Landsat composites (circa 2000-2010) partitioned into two-week intervals from June 1 to Sept. 15. Median reflectance values for each band in each pixel were selected based on filtering criteria to reduce likelihood of snow cover. Lichen color group cover was regressed against plot reflectance plus additional abiotic predictors in two different data mining algorithms. Brown and grey lichens had the best models explaining approximately 40% of lichen cover in those color groups. Both data mining techniques produced similarly good fitting models. Spatial patterns of lichen color-group cover show distinctly different ecological patterns of these color-group species proxies.

  4. Evaluation of VIIRS Land Surface Temperature Using CREST-SAFE Air, Snow Surface, and Soil Temperature Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos L. Pérez Díaz

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS Land Surface Temperature (LST Environmental Data Record (EDR was evaluated against snow surface (T-skin and near-surface air temperature (T-air ground observations recorded at the Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center—Snow Analysis and Field Experiment (CREST-SAFE, located in Caribou, ME, USA during the winters of 2013 and 2014. The satellite LST corroboration of snow-covered areas is imperative because high-latitude regions are often physically inaccessible and there is a need to complement the data from the existing meteorological station networks. T-skin is not a standard meteorological parameter commonly observed at synoptic stations. Common practice is to measure surface infrared emission from the land surface at research stations across the world that allow for estimating ground-observed LST. Accurate T-skin observations are critical for estimating latent and sensible heat fluxes over snow-covered areas because the incoming and outgoing radiation fluxes from the snow mass and T-air make the snow surface temperature different from the average snowpack temperature. Precise characterization of the LST using satellite observations is an important issue because several climate and hydrological models use T-skin as input. Results indicate that T-air correlates better than T-skin with VIIRS LST data and that the accuracy of nighttime LST retrievals is considerably better than that of daytime. Based on these results, empirical relationships to estimate T-air and T-skin for clear-sky conditions from remotely-sensed (RS LST were derived. Additionally, an empirical formula to correct cloud-contaminated RS LST was developed.

  5. Non-destructive lichen biomass estimation in northwestern Alaska: a comparison of methods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abbey Rosso

    Full Text Available Terrestrial lichen biomass is an important indicator of forage availability for caribou in northern regions, and can indicate vegetation shifts due to climate change, air pollution or changes in vascular plant community structure. Techniques for estimating lichen biomass have traditionally required destructive harvesting that is painstaking and impractical, so we developed models to estimate biomass from relatively simple cover and height measurements. We measured cover and height of forage lichens (including single-taxon and multi-taxa "community" samples, n = 144 at 73 sites on the Seward Peninsula of northwestern Alaska, and harvested lichen biomass from the same plots. We assessed biomass-to-volume relationships using zero-intercept regressions, and compared differences among two non-destructive cover estimation methods (ocular vs. point count, among four landcover types in two ecoregions, and among single-taxon vs. multi-taxa samples. Additionally, we explored the feasibility of using lichen height (instead of volume as a predictor of stand-level biomass. Although lichen taxa exhibited unique biomass and bulk density responses that varied significantly by growth form, we found that single-taxon sampling consistently under-estimated true biomass and was constrained by the need for taxonomic experts. We also found that the point count method provided little to no improvement over ocular methods, despite increased effort. Estimated biomass of lichen-dominated communities (mean lichen cover: 84.9±1.4% using multi-taxa, ocular methods differed only nominally among landcover types within ecoregions (range: 822 to 1418 g m-2. Height alone was a poor predictor of lichen biomass and should always be weighted by cover abundance. We conclude that the multi-taxa (whole-community approach, when paired with ocular estimates, is the most reasonable and practical method for estimating lichen biomass at landscape scales in northwest Alaska.

  6. Late Quaternary environmental changes inferred from stable carbon, nitrogen and oxygen isotope values at Teshekpuk Lake, North Slope, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall, J. J.; Booth, A. L.; Wooller, M. J.; Jones, B. M.; Gaglioti, B.

    2012-12-01

    Global surface air temperatures increased by ~0.74°C between 1906-2005, with average temperatures in the Arctic increasing at almost twice the rate as the rest of the planet. The Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska is particularly susceptible and responsive to these fluctuations in climate. Better understanding both short- and long-term climate variability is important as this ecosystem provides food and habitat for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds and caribou. Despite the ecological importance of the Arctic Coastal Plain, relatively few studies exist that provide multi-proxy paleoclimatic data for the region and thus the rate at which climate and ecosystems have changed during the past century lack a longer term context. Here we present stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values from the analysis of bulk organic matter in samples from a ~6 m sediment core from Teshekpuk Lake, 80 miles southeast of Barrow, Alaska. AMS 14C dates on a nearby core indicate a basal age of ~15 kyr. The relatively low C/N values (mean base of the core to peaks of ~-23‰ between ~10 and 8 kyr, inferring highs in lake production during this time. We also present stable oxygen isotope values from analyses of chironomid and aquatic invertebrate chitin preserved in the core. Non-biting midges in the family Chironomidae begin their lifecycles in freshwater. During their larval stages chironomids synthesize and molt chitinous head capsules. These head capsules record the oxygen isotopic composition of the lake water present at the time of synthesis, and are well preserved in lake sediments. These isotopic results are interpreted in terms of other recent isotope data from the north slope of Alaska in addition to a pollen reconstruction from the same core and their implications in terms of past environmental changes.

  7. Measured elemental transfer factors for boreal hunter/gatherer scenarios: fish, game and berries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sheppard, S.C.; Long, J.M.; Sanipelli, B.

    2010-01-01

    The environmental assessment of long-term nuclear waste management requires data to estimate food chain transfers for radionuclides in various environmental settings. For key elements such as iodine (I) and chlorine (Cl), there is a paucity of transfer factor data, particularly outside of agricultural food chains. This study dealt with transfers of I, Cl and 28 other elements to foods that would be typical of boreal hunter/gatherer lifestyles, as well as being common foods for modern recreational and subsistence hunters. Food/substrate concentration ratios (CRs) and related transfer factors for eight species of widely distributed fish, whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Canada geese (Branta canadensis) and wild blueberries (Vaccinium myrtilloides) were measured and compared to the literature. Limited data were obtained for caribou (Rangifer tarandus), elk (Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces americanus). Freshwater sediment Kd values and CRs for a ubiquitous freshwater macrophyte were also obtained. The CRs for I in fish were 29 L kg -1 in edible muscle (fillets) of large-bodied species and 85 L kg -1 for whole, small-bodied fish. The log CRs for fish and macrophytes were correlated across elements. For several elements, the Kds for sediments in deep water were ∼4-fold higher than for littoral samples. The elemental transfers to wild animals for some elements were notably different than the literature indicates for domestic animals. It is argued that the transfer data obtained using indigenous elements from real environmental settings, as opposed to contaminant elements in experimental or impacted environments, are especially relevant to assessment of long-term impacts.

  8. Predation risk and optimal foraging trade-off in the demography and spacing of the George River Herd, 1958 to 1993

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arthur T. Bergerud

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available The behavior options of feeding animals lie on a continuum between energy maximization and minimization of predation risk. We studied the distribution, mobility, and energy budgets of the George River herd, Ungava from 1974 to 1993. We arranged the annual cycle into 6 phases where we argue that the importance between the priorities of optimal foraging and predation risk change between periods. At calving, risk is more important than foraging for females but males take more risk to optimally forage. During the mosquito season, insect avoidance takes priority over risk and for¬aging. Optimal foraging takes precedent over risk in the late summer and fall and it is at this time that the herd expanded its range relative to numbers and forage abundance. In the winter (December to mid-March animals sought restricted localized ranges with low snow cover to reduce predation risk. The spring migration of females may have increased risk during the interval the females were moving back to the tundra to give birth to their neonates on the low risk calv¬ing ground. In May, females sought early greens near treeline, which may have increased risk in order to provide maximum nutrition to their fetuses in the last weeks of pregnancy. The ancestors of the George River Herd during the Pleistocene, 18 000 yr. BP may have reduced predation risk by spacing-out in the Appalachian Mountains, removed from the major specie of the megafauna in the lowlands. With global warming, it is argued the major problem for caribou will be increased wolf predation rather than changing forage and nutritional regimes. It is essential that First Nation residents of the North maintain their option to manage wolf numbers if excessive predation in the future adversely affects the migratory herds of the Northwest Territories and Ungava.

  9. Normal dietary levels of radium-226, radium-228, lead-210, and polonium-210 for man

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holtzman, R.B.

    1980-01-01

    A review of the literature and the results of some recent measurements on the levels in man's diet of the naturally occurring radionuclides 226 Ra, 228 Ra, 210 Pb, and 210 Po are presented. Intakes in other countries are similar to those in the United States, but in localized populations the 226 Ra intake can be 8 or more pCi/day. The few data on 228 Ra show that intake of this nuclide is about 80% that of 226 Ra except in monazite areas where intakes of up to 160 pCi 228 Ra/day are reported. Drinking water contributes less than 5% to daily intake except in special areas. For 210 Pb, higher levels have been noted for Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics than for the United States. Persons in the Arctic who consume reindeer or caribou meat may ingest 210 Pb at the rate of 10 to 40 pCi/day. Normal dietary levels of 210 Po are about 20 to 30% higher than those of 210 Pb, except in the Arctic. The levels of these nuclides in classes of foods are compared to show that the higher levels observed in certain diets are due to the levels in particular foods. Because of the high levels of 210 Pb intake in Japan, total skeletal dose rates in that country are estimated to be more than twice those in the United States. The use of dietary intake for estimating metabolic parameters, such as intestinal absorption of 226 Ra and 210 Pb, is discussed

  10. Palaeolimnological assessment of lake acidification and environmental change in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergi PLA

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Exploitation of the Athabasca Oil Sands has expanded hugely over the last 40 years. Regional emissions of oxidised sulphur and nitrogen compounds increased rapidly over this period and similar emissions have been linked to lake acidification in other parts of North America and Europe. To determine whether lakes in the region have undergone acidification, 12 lakes within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Caribou Mountains were selected to cover chemical and spatial gradients and sediment cores were obtained for palaeolimnological analyses including radiometric dating, diatom analysis, isotopic analysis of bulk sediment 13C and 15N, and spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs. All lake sediment cores show evidence of industrial contamination based on SCPs, but there is no clear industrial signal in stable isotopes. Most lakes showed changes in diatom assemblages and sediment C:N ratios consistent with nutrient enrichment over various timescales, with potential drivers including climatic change, forest fires and anthropogenic nitrogen deposition. Only one of the 12 lakes investigated showed strong evidence of acidification with a decline in diatom-inferred pH from 6.3 to 5.6 since 1970 linked to increasing relative abundances of the acidophilous diatom species Actinella punctata, Asterionella ralfsii and Fragilariforma polygonata. Analysis of mercury (Hg in the acidified lake showed increasing sediment fluxes over the last 20 years, a possible indication of industrial contamination. The acidified lake is the smallest of those studied with the shortest residence time, suggesting a limited capacity for neutralisation of acid inputs in catchment soils or by inlake processes.

  11. Seasonal habitat use and selection by grizzly bears in Northern British Columbia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milakovic, B.; Parker, K.L.; Gustine, D.D.; Lay, R.J.; Walker, A.B.D.; Gillingham, M.P.

    2012-01-01

    We defined patterns of habitat use and selection by female grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Besa-Prophet watershed of northern British Columbia. We fitted 13 adult females with Geographic Positioning System (GPS) radio-collars and monitored them between 2001 and 2004. We examined patterns of habitat selection by grizzly bears relative to topographical attributes and 3 potential surrogates of food availability: land-cover class, vegetation biomass or quality (as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), and selection value for prey species themselves (moose [Alces alces], elk [Cervus elaphus], woodland caribou [Rangifer tarandus], Stone's sheep [Ovis dalli stonei]). Although vegetation biomass and quality, and selection values for prey were important in seasonal selection by some individual bears, land-cover class, elevation, aspect, and vegetation diversity most influenced patterns of habitat selection across grizzly bears, which rely on availability of plant foods and encounters with ungulate prey. Grizzly bears as a group avoided conifer stands and areas of low vegetation diversity, and selected for burned land-cover classes and high vegetation diversity across seasons. They also selected mid elevations from what was available within seasonal ranges. Quantifying relative use of different attributes helped place selection patterns within the context of the landscape. Grizzly bears used higher elevations (1,595??31 m SE) in spring and lower elevations (1,436??27 m) in fall; the range of average elevations used among individuals was highest (500 m) during the summer. During all seasons, grizzly bears most frequented aspects with high solar gain. Use was distributed across 10 land-cover classes and depended on season. Management and conservation actions must maintain a diverse habitat matrix distributed across a large elevational gradient to ensure persistence of grizzly bears as levels of human access increase in the northern Rocky Mountains

  12. HOW COFFEE COMPANIES CAN STAY COMPETITIVE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RALUCA DANIELA RIZEA

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The coffee shop industry in the U.S. includes 20,000 stores with combined annual revenue of about $11 billion. Major companies include Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Caribou, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Diedrich (Gloria Jean’s. The industry is highly concentrated at the top and fragmented at the bottom: the top 50 companies have over 70 percent of industry sales. Coffee is one of the world’s largest commodities. The top green coffee producing countries are Brazil, Colombia, and Vietnam. Many grower countries are small, poor developing nations that depend on coffee to sustain local economies. The U.S. is the world’s largest importer of green coffee beans and the largest consumer of coffee. The main objective of this study is to investigate the competitive strategies that U.S. coffee franchise companies adopt considering customers’ expectations and industry best practices. In order to achieve this objective, a best practice benchmarking analysis was performed taking into account the top U.S. coffee companies This analysis showed that product and service innovation are necessary in order to stay competitive in the market and attract new or to keep existing customers successfully. Many customers focus on the special atmosphere each store has and which is characterized by the location, music, interior design, seating or whether internet access is provided. Particularly for specialty coffee shops it is important not to sell only the beverage but the whole experience. Coffee shops have to establish a unique image that prevents customers from buying products from another shop or use home-brewing systems which are also on the rise in American households. In addressing the increased level of competition, every company’s focus should be on differentiating from the rest of the market in every possible business segment (products, atmosphere, location, image etc..

  13. Carnivore repatriation and holarctic prey: narrowing the deficit in ecological effectiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Joel

    2007-08-01

    The continuing global decline of large carnivores has catalyzed great interest in reintroduction to restore populations and to reestablish ecologically functional relationships. I used variation in the distribution of four Holarctic prey species and their behavior as proxies to investigate the pace and intensity by which responses are lost or reinvigorated by carnivore repatriation. By simulating the presence of wolves (Canis lupus), tigers (Panthera tigris), and brown bears (Ursus arctos) at 19 transcontinental sites, I assayed three metrics of prey performance in areas with no large terrestrial carnivores (the polar islands of Greenland and Svalbard), extant native carnivores (Eastern Siberian Shield, boreal Canada, and Alaska); and repatriated carnivores (the Yellowstone region and Rocky Mountains). The loss and reestablishment of large carnivores changed the ecological effectiveness of systems by (1) dampening immediate group benefits, diminishing awareness, and diminishing flight reaction in caribou (Rangifer tarandus) where predation was eliminated and (2) reinstituting sensitivity to carnivores by elk (Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces alces) in the Yellowstone region to levels observed in Asian elk when sympatric with Siberian tigers and wolves or in Alaskan moose sympatric with wolves. Behavioral compensation to reintroduced carnivores occurred within a single generation, but only the vigilance reaction of bison (Bison bison) in Yellowstone exceeded that of their wolf-exposed conspecifics from boreal Canada. Beyond these overt responses by prey, snow depth and distance to suitably vegetated habitat was related to heightened vigilance in moose and elk, respectively, but only at sites with carnivores. These findings are insufficient to determine whether similar patterns might apply to other species or in areas with alien predators, and they suggest that the presumed excessive vulnerability of naïve prey to repatriated carnivores may be ill-founded. Although

  14. Two mechanisms of aquatic and terrestrial habitat change along an Alaskan Arctic coastline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arp, Christopher D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Urban, Frank E.; Jorgenson, M. Torre

    2010-01-01

    Arctic habitats at the interface between land and sea are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The northern Teshekpuk Lake Special Area (N-TLSA), a coastal plain ecosystem along the Beaufort Sea in northern Alaska, provides habitat for migratory waterbirds, caribou, and potentially, denning polar bears. The 60-km coastline of N-TLSA is experiencing increasing rates of coastline erosion and storm surge flooding far inland resulting in lake drainage and conversion of freshwater lakes to estuaries. These physical mechanisms are affecting upland tundra as well. To better understand how these processes are affecting habitat, we analyzed long-term observational records coupled with recent short-term monitoring. Nearly the entire coastline has accelerating rates of erosion ranging from 6 m/year from 1955 to 1979 and most recently peaking at 17 m/year from 2007 to 2009, yet an intensive monitoring site along a higher bluff (3–6 masl) suggested high interannual variability. The frequency and magnitude of storm events appears to be increasing along this coastline and these patterns correspond to a greater number of lake tapping and flooding events since 2000. For the entire N-TLSA, we estimate that 6% of the landscape consists of salt-burned tundra, while 41% is prone to storm surge flooding. This offset may indicate the relative frequency of low-magnitude flood events along the coastal fringe. Monitoring of coastline lakes confirms that moderate westerly storms create extensive flooding, while easterly storms have negligible effects on lakes and low-lying tundra. This study of two interacting physical mechanisms, coastal erosion and storm surge flooding, provides an important example of the complexities and data needs for predicting habitat change and biological responses along Arctic land–ocean interfaces.

  15. Providing Climate Policy Makers With a Strong Scientific Base (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Struzik, E.

    2009-12-01

    Scientists can and should inform public policy decisions in the Arctic. But the pace of climate change in the polar world has been occurring far more quickly than most scientists have been able to predict. This creates problems for decision-makers who recognize that difficult management decisions have to be made in matters pertaining to wildlife management, cultural integrity and economic development. With sea ice melting, glaciers receding, permafrost thawing, forest fires intensifying, and disease and invasive species rapidly moving north, the challenge for scientists to provide climate policy makers with a strong scientific base has been daunting. Clashing as this data sometimes does with the “traditional knowledge” of indigenous peoples in the north, it can also become very political. As a result the need to effectively communicate complex data is more imperative now than ever before. Here, the author describes how the work of scientists can often be misinterpreted or exploited in ways that were not intended. Examples include the inappropriate use of scientific data in decision-making on polar bears, caribou and other wildlife populations; the use of scientific data to debunk the fact that greenhouse gases are driving climate change, and the use of scientific data to position one scientist against another when there is no inherent conflict. This work will highlight the need for climate policy makers to increase support for scientists working in the Arctic, as well as illustrate why it is important to find new and more effective ways of communicating scientific data. Strategies that might be considered by granting agencies, scientists and climate policy decision-makers will also be discussed.

  16. Non-invasive Investigation of Free Phase Gas Accumulation in a Northern Peatland Using GPR: Vegetation Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsekian, A.; Nolan, J.; Comas, X.; Slater, L.

    2008-05-01

    Northern peatlands are known to produce methane, although the contribution of this source to the atmospheric methane burden is still uncertain. Biogenic methane releases have become an increasingly important issue with regard to assessing the impact of northern peatlands impact on the global carbon budget. Previous workers have suggested that methane production is pronounced in a zone a few meters below the surface and that accumulation of free phase gas is encouraged by the presence of confining layers that act to hinder FPG release. We used ground penetrating radar (GPR) to non-invasively investigate (1) where free-phase gas (FPG) methane may be accumulating vertically within the peat column of a northern peatland, and (2) the dependence of methane production on vegetation type. Common mid-point (CMP) measurements were applied to investigate the likely vertical spatial distribution/ concentration of trapped methane within the peat profile within different vegetation units. The CMP data were modeled using the Complex Refractive Index Model (CRIM) to obtain a one dimensional model of interval layer velocities presumably representing the vertical distribution of gas content. CMP surveys were conducted at several locations in Caribou Bog peatland (Orono, Maine) in order to assess how peat thickness and surface vegetation communities may be impact FPG accumulation in the sub-surface. These locations include an open pool system, a low shrub heath area and a densely forested zone. As well as having variable surface vegetation communities, the total peat thickness is distinctly different at each of these sites. Preliminary results suggest that the CMP models are distinctly different between these sites and suggest a dependence of FPG accumulation on vegetation type.

  17. Geophysical monitoring of biogenic gas dynamics in a northern peatland: seasonal variability and implications for production rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comas, X.; Slater, L.; Reeve, A.; Nolan, J.

    2007-12-01

    In-situ biogenic gas dynamics and seasonal variability within a northern peatland in Maine (Caribou Bog) were investigated using a set of high resolution surface ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys. Measurements were combined with elevation rod (to monitor surface deformation) and gas flux measurements. Spatial variability in gas production was also investigated by comparing two sites with different geological and ecological attributes, and showed a striking dependence on seasonal variability. One site characterized by thick highly humified peat deposits (5-6 m), wooded heath vegetation and open pools showed large ebullition events during the summer season, emitting up to 156 g CH4 m-2 during a single event. The other site characterized by thinner less humified peat deposits (2-3 m) and shrub vegetation showed much smaller ebullition events during the same season (accounting for up to 21 g CH4 m-2). A period of biogenic gas accumulation during the fall and winter (as enhanced by the frozen surficial peat acting as a confining layer) was followed by a large FPG release after the snow/ice melt that released approximately 180 g CH4 m-2 from both sites. Gas production rates were directly estimated from the time series of GPR measurements (ranging between 0.35-1.80 g CH4 m-3 d-1 during periods of biogenic gas accumulation) and reflected strong seasonal and spatial variability. Periods of decreased atmospheric pressure showed certain correspondence with short-period increases in biogenic gas flux (including a very rapid decrease in FPG content associated with an ebullition event that released an estimated 61 g CH4 m-2 in less than 3.5 hours). These results provide insights into the spatial and seasonal variability in production and emission of biogenic gases from northern peatlands

  18. Pestivirus infection in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larska, Magdalena

    2015-01-01

    Reindeer species (Rangifer tarandus, Linnaeus, 1758) includes wild and semi-domesticated ruminants belonging to Capreaolinae subfamily of Cervidae family reared in Eurasia (reindeer subspecies) and North America (caribou subspecies). Herding of reindeer has a great historical, socio-economic and ecological importance, especially to indigenous ethnic minorities. Infectious disease threats may therefore impact not solely the animal population driving it to further extinction and irreversible alterations to the wild environments of northern hemisphere, but also add to cultural changes observed as negative impact of globalization. Introduction of new technologies to control of reindeer migration between dwindling pasture areas and intensification of reindeer husbandry may facilitate the intra- and interspecies transmission of pathogens. The role of the reindeer as a potential BVDV reservoir has been studied, however, the number of publications is rather limited. The observed seroprevalences of the virus varied significantly between different geographical regions with different epidemiological situation. Most frequently limited number of animals studied and the differences in the sensitivities and specificities of the diagnostic test used could have also influenced on the differences between the studies. No pestivirus has been ever detected in free-ranging reindeer, however, a putative pestivirus strain named V60-Krefeld has been isolated from reindeer kept at a German Zoo in the 1990's. The virus was characterized as border disease virus type 2 (BDV-2) closely related to German ovine strains. The cross-neutralization studies of the semi-domesticated reindeer sera from Sweden suggested infection with a strain related to BDV-1 or BDV-2. The available data indicates that reindeer might be infected by a endemic species-specific BDV-like strain. However, the interspecies transmission of BVDV from domestic animals should not be excluded, since the susceptibility of reindeer

  19. Measured elemental transfer factors for boreal hunter/gatherer scenarios: fish, game and berries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sheppard, S.C., E-mail: sheppards@ecomatters.co [ECOMatters Inc., WB Lewis Business Centre, 24 Aberdeen Avenue, Pinawa, Manitoba R0E 1L0 (Canada); Long, J.M.; Sanipelli, B. [ECOMatters Inc., WB Lewis Business Centre, 24 Aberdeen Avenue, Pinawa, Manitoba R0E 1L0 (Canada)

    2010-11-15

    The environmental assessment of long-term nuclear waste management requires data to estimate food chain transfers for radionuclides in various environmental settings. For key elements such as iodine (I) and chlorine (Cl), there is a paucity of transfer factor data, particularly outside of agricultural food chains. This study dealt with transfers of I, Cl and 28 other elements to foods that would be typical of boreal hunter/gatherer lifestyles, as well as being common foods for modern recreational and subsistence hunters. Food/substrate concentration ratios (CRs) and related transfer factors for eight species of widely distributed fish, whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Canada geese (Branta canadensis) and wild blueberries (Vaccinium myrtilloides) were measured and compared to the literature. Limited data were obtained for caribou (Rangifer tarandus), elk (Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces americanus). Freshwater sediment Kd values and CRs for a ubiquitous freshwater macrophyte were also obtained. The CRs for I in fish were 29 L kg{sup -1} in edible muscle (fillets) of large-bodied species and 85 L kg{sup -1} for whole, small-bodied fish. The log CRs for fish and macrophytes were correlated across elements. For several elements, the Kds for sediments in deep water were {approx}4-fold higher than for littoral samples. The elemental transfers to wild animals for some elements were notably different than the literature indicates for domestic animals. It is argued that the transfer data obtained using indigenous elements from real environmental settings, as opposed to contaminant elements in experimental or impacted environments, are especially relevant to assessment of long-term impacts.

  20. Economic and ecological outcomes of flexible biodiversity offset systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habib, Thomas J; Farr, Daniel R; Schneider, Richard R; Boutin, Stan

    2013-12-01

    The commonly expressed goal of biodiversity offsets is to achieve no net loss of specific biological features affected by development. However, strict equivalency requirements may complicate trading of offset credits, increase costs due to restricted offset placement options, and force offset activities to focus on features that may not represent regional conservation priorities. Using the oil sands industry of Alberta, Canada, as a case study, we evaluated the economic and ecological performance of alternative offset systems targeting either ecologically equivalent areas (vegetation types) or regional conservation priorities (caribou and the Dry Mixedwood natural subregion). Exchanging dissimilar biodiversity elements requires assessment via a generalized metric; we used an empirically derived index of biodiversity intactness to link offsets with losses incurred by development. We considered 2 offset activities: land protection, with costs estimated as the net present value of profits of petroleum and timber resources to be paid as compensation to resource tenure holders, and restoration of anthropogenic footprint, with costs estimated from existing restoration projects. We used the spatial optimization tool MARXAN to develop hypothetical offset networks that met either the equivalent-vegetation or conservation-priority targets. Networks that required offsetting equivalent vegetation cost 2-17 times more than priority-focused networks. This finding calls into question the prudence of equivalency-based systems, particularly in relatively undeveloped jurisdictions, where conservation focuses on limiting and directing future losses. Priority-focused offsets may offer benefits to industry and environmental stakeholders by allowing for lower-cost conservation of valued ecological features and may invite discussion on what land-use trade-offs are acceptable when trading biodiversity via offsets. Resultados Económicos y Ecológicos de Sistemas de Compensación de

  1. Evaluating gull diets: A comparison of conventional methods and stable isotope analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiser, Emily L.; Powell, Abby N.

    2011-01-01

    Samples such as regurgitated pellets and food remains have traditionally been used in studies of bird diets, but these can produce biased estimates depending on the digestibility of different foods. Stable isotope analysis has been developed as a method for assessing bird diets that is not biased by digestibility. These two methods may provide complementary or conflicting information on diets of birds, but are rarely compared directly. We analyzed carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of feathers of Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus) chicks from eight breeding colonies in northern Alaska, and used a Bayesian mixing model to generate a probability distribution for the contribution of each food group to diets. We compared these model results with probability distributions from conventional diet samples (pellets and food remains) from the same colonies and time periods. Relative to the stable isotope estimates, conventional analysis often overestimated the contributions of birds and small mammals to gull diets and often underestimated the contributions of fish and zooplankton. Both methods gave similar estimates for the contributions of scavenged caribou, miscellaneous marine foods, and garbage to diets. Pellets and food remains therefore may be useful for assessing the importance of garbage relative to certain other foods in diets of gulls and similar birds, but are clearly inappropriate for estimating the potential impact of gulls on birds, small mammals, or fish. However, conventional samples provide more species-level information than stable isotope analysis, so a combined approach would be most useful for diet analysis and assessing a predator's impact on particular prey groups.

  2. Pestivirus infection in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larska, Magdalena

    2015-01-01

    Reindeer species (Rangifer tarandus, Linnaeus, 1758) includes wild and semi-domesticated ruminants belonging to Capreaolinae subfamily of Cervidae family reared in Eurasia (reindeer subspecies) and North America (caribou subspecies). Herding of reindeer has a great historical, socio-economic and ecological importance, especially to indigenous ethnic minorities. Infectious disease threats may therefore impact not solely the animal population driving it to further extinction and irreversible alterations to the wild environments of northern hemisphere, but also add to cultural changes observed as negative impact of globalization. Introduction of new technologies to control of reindeer migration between dwindling pasture areas and intensification of reindeer husbandry may facilitate the intra- and interspecies transmission of pathogens. The role of the reindeer as a potential BVDV reservoir has been studied, however, the number of publications is rather limited. The observed seroprevalences of the virus varied significantly between different geographical regions with different epidemiological situation. Most frequently limited number of animals studied and the differences in the sensitivities and specificities of the diagnostic test used could have also influenced on the differences between the studies. No pestivirus has been ever detected in free-ranging reindeer, however, a putative pestivirus strain named V60-Krefeld has been isolated from reindeer kept at a German Zoo in the 1990’s. The virus was characterized as border disease virus type 2 (BDV-2) closely related to German ovine strains. The cross-neutralization studies of the semi-domesticated reindeer sera from Sweden suggested infection with a strain related to BDV-1 or BDV-2. The available data indicates that reindeer might be infected by a endemic species-specific BDV-like strain. However, the interspecies transmission of BVDV from domestic animals should not be excluded, since the susceptibility of

  3. Pestivirus infection in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magdalena eLarska

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Reindeer species (Rangifer tarandus, Linneus 1758 includes wild and semi-domesticated ruminants belonging to Capreaolinae subfamily of Cervidae family reared in Eurasia (reindeer subspecies and North America (caribou subspecies. Herding of reindeer has a great historical, socio-economic and ecological importance, especially to indigenous ethnic minorities. Infectious disease threats may therefore impact not solely the animal population driving it to further extinction and irreversible alterations to the wild environments of northern hemisphere, but also add to cultural changes observed as negative impact of globalization. Introduction of new technologies to control of reindeer migration between dwindling pasture areas and intensification of reindeer husbandry may facilitate the intra- and interspecies transmission of pathogens. The role of the reindeer as a potential BVDV reservoir has been studied, however the number of publications is rather limited. The observed seroprevalences of the virus varied significantly between different geographical regions with different epidemiological situation. Most frequently limited number of animals studied and the differences in the sensitivities and specificities of the diagnostic test used could have also influenced on the differences between the studies. No pestivirus has been ever detected in free-ranging reindeer, however a putative pestivirus strain named V60-Krefeld has been isolated from reindeer kept at a German Zoo in the 1990’s. The virus was characterized as border disease virus type 2 (BDV-2 closely related to German ovine strains. The cross-neutralization studies of the semi-domesticated reindeer sera from Sweden suggested infection with a strain related to BDV-1 or BDV-2. The available data indicates that reindeer might be infected by a endemic species-specific BDV-like strain. However, the interspecies transmission of BVDV from domestic animals should not be excluded, since the

  4. Preliminary cellular-automata forecast of permit activity from 1998 to 2010, Idaho and Western Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raines, G.L.; Zientek, M.L.; Causey, J.D.; Boleneus, D.E.

    2002-01-01

    For public land management in Idaho and western Montana, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has requested that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) predict where mineral-related activity will occur in the next decade. Cellular automata provide an approach to simulation of this human activity. Cellular automata (CA) are defined by an array of cells, which evolve by a simple transition rule, the automaton. Based on exploration trends, we assume that future exploration will focus in areas of past exploration. Spatial-temporal information about mineral-related activity, that is permits issued by USFS and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the last decade, and spatial information about undiscovered resources, provide a basis to calibrate a CA. The CA implemented is a modified annealed voting rule that simulates mineral-related activity with spatial and temporal resolution of 1 mi2 and 1 year based on activity from 1989 to 1998. For this CA, the state of the economy and exploration technology is assumed constant for the next decade. The calibrated CA reproduces the 1989-1998-permit activity with an agreement of 94%, which increases to 98% within one year. Analysis of the confusion matrix and kappa correlation statistics indicates that the CA underestimates high activity and overestimates low activity. Spatially, the major differences between the actual and calculated activity are that the calculated activity occurs in a slightly larger number of small patches and is slightly more uneven than the actual activity. Using the calibrated CA in a Monte Carlo simulation projecting from 1998 to 2010, an estimate of the probability of mineral activity shows high levels of activity in Boise, Caribou, Elmore, Lincoln, and western Valley counties in Idaho and Beaverhead, Madison, and Stillwater counties in Montana, and generally low activity elsewhere. ?? 2002 International Association for Mathematical Geology.

  5. Polonium-210 and lead-210 in the terrestrial environment: a historical review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Persson, Bertil R.R., E-mail: bertil_r.persson@med.lu.s [Dept. of Medical Radiation Physics, Lund University, Barngatan 2, SE-221 85 Lund (Sweden); Holm, Elis [Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, Osteras (Norway)

    2011-05-15

    The radionuclides {sup 210}Po and {sup 210}Pb widely present in the terrestrial environment are the final long-lived radionuclides in the decay of {sup 238}U in the earth's crust. Their presence in the atmosphere is due to the decay of {sup 222}Rn diffusing from the ground. The range of activity concentrations in ground level air for {sup 210}Po is 0.03-0.3 Bq m{sup -3} and for {sup 210}Pb 0.2-1.5 Bq m{sup -3}. In drinking water from private wells the activity concentration of {sup 210}Po is in the order of 7-48 mBq l{sup -1} and for {sup 210}Pb around 11-40 mBq l{sup -1}. From water works, however, the activity concentration for both {sup 210}Po and {sup 210}Pb is only in the order of 3 mBq l{sup -1}. Mosses, lichens and peat have a high efficiency in capturing {sup 210}Po and {sup 210}Pb from atmospheric fallout and exhibit an inventory of both {sup 210}Po and {sup 210}Pb in the order of 0.5-5 kBq m{sup -2} in mosses and in lichens around 0.6 kBq m{sup -2}. The activity concentrations in lichens lies around 250 Bq kg{sup -1}, dry mass. Reindeer and caribou graze lichen which results in an activity concentration of {sup 210}Po and {sup 210}Pb of about 1-15 Bq kg{sup -1} in meat from these animals. The food chain lichen-reindeer or caribou, and Man constitutes a unique model for studying the uptake and retention of {sup 210}Po and {sup 210}Pb in humans. The effective annual dose due to {sup 210}Po and {sup 210}Pb in people with high consumption of reindeer/caribou meat is estimated to be around 260 and 132 {mu}Sv a{sup -1} respectively. In soils, {sup 210}Po is adsorbed to clay and organic colloids and the activity concentration varies with soil type and also correlates with the amount of atmospheric precipitation. The average activity concentration levels of {sup 210}Po in various soils are in the range of 20-240 Bq kg{sup -1}. Plants become contaminated with radioactive nuclides both by absorption from the soil (supported Po) and by deposition of radioactive

  6. Estimating Net Primary Productivity Beneath Snowpack Using Snowpack Radiative Transfer Modeling and Global Satellite Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, D. E.; Peterson, M. C.

    2002-05-01

    Sufficient photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) penetrates snow for plants to grow beneath snowpack during late winter or early spring in tundra ecosystems. During the spring in this ecosystem, the snowpack creates an environment with higher humidity and less variable and milder temperatures than on the snow-free land. Under these conditions, the amount of PAR available is likely to be the limiting factor for plant growth. Current methods for determining net primary productivity (NPP) of tundra ecosystems do not account for this plant growth beneath snowpack, apparently resulting in underestimating plant production there. We are currently in the process of estimating the magnitude of this early growth beneath snow for tundra ecosystems. Our method includes a radiative transfer model that simulates diffuse and direct PAR penetrating snowpack based on downwelling PAR values and snow depth data from global satellite databases. These PAR levels are convolved with plant growth for vegetation that thrives beneath snowpacks, such as lichen. We expect to present the net primary production for Cladonia species (a common Arctic lichen) that has the capability of photosynthesizing at low temperatures beneath snowpack. This method may also be used to study photosynthesis beneath snowpacks in other hardy plants. Lichens are used here as they are common in snow-covered regions, flourish under snowpack, and provide an important food source for tundra herbivores (e.g. caribou). In addition, lichens are common in arctic-alpine environments and our results can be applied to these ecosystems as well. Finally, the NPP of lichen beneath snowpack is relatively well understood compared to other plants, making it ideal vegetation for this first effort at estimating the potential importance of photosynthesis at large scales. We are examining other candidate plants for their photosynthetic potential beneath snowpack at this time; however, little research has been done on this topic. We

  7. Towards improved parameterization of a macroscale hydrologic model in a discontinuous permafrost boreal forest ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Endalamaw

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Modeling hydrological processes in the Alaskan sub-arctic is challenging because of the extreme spatial heterogeneity in soil properties and vegetation communities. Nevertheless, modeling and predicting hydrological processes is critical in this region due to its vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Coarse-spatial-resolution datasets used in land surface modeling pose a new challenge in simulating the spatially distributed and basin-integrated processes since these datasets do not adequately represent the small-scale hydrological, thermal, and ecological heterogeneity. The goal of this study is to improve the prediction capacity of mesoscale to large-scale hydrological models by introducing a small-scale parameterization scheme, which better represents the spatial heterogeneity of soil properties and vegetation cover in the Alaskan sub-arctic. The small-scale parameterization schemes are derived from observations and a sub-grid parameterization method in the two contrasting sub-basins of the Caribou Poker Creek Research Watershed (CPCRW in Interior Alaska: one nearly permafrost-free (LowP sub-basin and one permafrost-dominated (HighP sub-basin. The sub-grid parameterization method used in the small-scale parameterization scheme is derived from the watershed topography. We found that observed soil thermal and hydraulic properties – including the distribution of permafrost and vegetation cover heterogeneity – are better represented in the sub-grid parameterization method than the coarse-resolution datasets. Parameters derived from the coarse-resolution datasets and from the sub-grid parameterization method are implemented into the variable infiltration capacity (VIC mesoscale hydrological model to simulate runoff, evapotranspiration (ET, and soil moisture in the two sub-basins of the CPCRW. Simulated hydrographs based on the small-scale parameterization capture most of the peak and low flows, with similar accuracy in both sub

  8. Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Goods and Services in a Melting Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Garra, T.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic region is composed of unique ecosystems that provide a range of goods and services to local and global populations. However, Arctic sea-ice is melting at an unprecedented rate, threatening many of these ecosystems and the services they provide. Yet as the ice melts and certain goods and services are lost, other resources such as oil and minerals will become accessible. The question is: how do the losses compare with the opportunities? And how are the losses and potential gains likely to be distributed? To address these questions, this study provides a preliminary assessment of the quantity, distribution and economic value of the ecosystem services (ES) provided by Arctic ecosystems, both now and in the future given a scenario of sure climate change. Using biophysical and economic data from existing studies (and some primary data), preliminary estimates indicate that the Arctic currently provides 357m/yr (in 2014 US) in subsistence hunting value to local communities, of which reindeer/caribou comprise 83%. Reindeer herding provides 110m/yr to Arctic communities. Interestingly, 'non-use (existence/cultural) values' associated with Arctic species are very high at 11bn/yr to members of Arctic states. The Arctic also provides ES that accrue to the global community: oil resources (North Slope; 5bn profits in 2013), commercial fisheries ( 515mn/yr) and most importantly, climate regulation services. Recent models (Whiteman; Euskirchen) estimate that the loss of climate regulation services provided by Arctic ice will cost 200 - 500bn/yr, a value which dwarfs all others. Assuming no change in atmospheric temperature compared to 2014, the net present value of the Arctic by 2050 (1.4% discount rate) comes to over $9 trillion. However, given Wang and Overland (2009) predictions of ice-free summers by 2037, we expect many of these benefits will be lost. For example, it is fairly well-established that endemic species, such as polar bears, will decline with sea-ice melt

  9. Forest Policy Scenario Analysis: Sensitivity of Songbird Community to Changes in Forest Cover Amount and Configuration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert S. Rempel

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Changes in mature forest cover amount, composition, and configuration can be of significant consequence to wildlife populations. The response of wildlife to forest patterns is of concern to forest managers because it lies at the heart of such competing approaches to forest planning as aggregated vs. dispersed harvest block layouts. In this study, we developed a species assessment framework to evaluate the outcomes of forest management scenarios on biodiversity conservation objectives. Scenarios were assessed in the context of a broad range of forest structures and patterns that would be expected to occur under natural disturbance and succession processes. Spatial habitat models were used to predict the effects of varying degrees of mature forest cover amount, composition, and configuration on habitat occupancy for a set of 13 focal songbird species. We used a spatially explicit harvest scheduling program to model forest management options and simulate future forest conditions resulting from alternative forest management scenarios, and used a process-based fire-simulation model to simulate future forest conditions resulting from natural wildfire disturbance. Spatial pattern signatures were derived for both habitat occupancy and forest conditions, and these were placed in the context of the simulated range of natural variation. Strategic policy analyses were set in the context of current Ontario forest management policies. This included use of sequential time-restricted harvest blocks (created for Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus conservation and delayed harvest areas (created for American marten (Martes americana atrata conservation. This approach increased the realism of the analysis, but reduced the generality of interpretations. We found that forest management options that create linear strips of old forest deviate the most from simulated natural patterns, and had the greatest negative effects on habitat occupancy, whereas policy options

  10. Remote sensing aides studies of climate and wildlife in the Arctic-on land, at sea, and in the air (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, D. C.; Durner, G. M.; Gill, R. E.; Griffith, B.; Schmutz, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    Every day a variety of remote sensing technologies collects large volumes of data that are supporting new analyses and new interpretations about how weather and climate influence the status and distribution of wildlife populations worldwide. Understanding how climate presently affects wildlife is crucial for projecting how climate change could affect wildlife in the future. This talk highlights climate-related wildlife studies by the US Geological Survey in the Arctic. The Arctic is experiencing some of the most pronounced climate changes on earth, raising concerns for species that have evolved seasonal migration strategies tuned to habitat availability and quality. On land, large herbivores such as caribou select concentrated calving areas with high abundance of rapidly growing vegetation and calf survival increases with earlier green-up and with the quantity of food available to cows at peak lactation. Geese time their migrations and reproductive efforts to coincide with optimal plant phenology and peak nutrient availability and departures from this synchrony can influence the survival of goslings. At sea, the habitats of polar bears and other sea-ice-dependent species have dramatically changed over just the past two decades. The ice pack is comprised of younger ice that melts much more extensively during summer-a trend projected to continue by all general circulation models under all but the most aggressive greenhouse gas mitigation scenarios. Studies show that by mid-century optimal polar bear habitats will be so reduced that the species may become extirpated from some regions of the Arctic. In the air, a variety of shorebird species make non-stop endurance flights between northern and southern hemispheres. The bar-tailed godwit undertakes a trans-Pacific flight between Alaska and Australasia that lasts more than seven days and spans more than 10,000 km. Studies show that godwits time their flights to coincide with favorable wind conditions, but stochastic

  11. Simulation of Streamflow in a Discontinuous Permafrost Environment Using a Modified First-order, Nonlinear Rainfall-runoff Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, W. R.; Hinzman, L. D.

    2009-12-01

    . The storage-discharge relationship is developed for each month of the summer thaw period (June-September). The monthly relationships are then combined to form a single storage-discharge relationship that changes smoothly throughout the summer period. By allowing the monthly storage-discharge equations to vary through time, the variation in runoff due to changes in the active layer thaw are represented. This simple, nonlinear equation describing the storage-discharge relationship is used to simulate streamflow from evapotranspiration and precipitation data. The simulation area is located in the Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Basin, located about 50 km north-east of Fairbanks, Alaska. The three sub-basins are underlain with approximately 3, 19, and 53% permafrost. Simulation results from each of the head-water basins are presented.

  12. Present conditions in Greenland and the Kangerlussuaq area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nielsen, A. B.

    2010-01-01

    Greenland is the world's largest island, with an area of 2.2 million square kilometres, 80 % of which is covered by the ice sheet. The climate is Arctic, but as Greenland stretches 2600 km from north to south, there is a huge variability in climate, with temperature decreasing from south to north. Due to the influence of oceanic currents, the west coast is slightly warmer than the east coast. Precipitation also decreases strongly from the south to the north, and also with distance from the coast. Kangerlussuaq is located in the dry, continental area of central west Greenland. The bedrock of Greenland is dominated by Precambrian gneisses, with sedimentary rocks occurring in some areas of East and North Greenland, and smaller areas of basalts. All of Greenland has been glaciated several times and has thus been eroded and shaped by the ice, as it still is at the ice margin. Soils are generally thin, and especially in the gneiss regions rather poor in plant nutrients. Permafrost occurs throughout the ice free areas of Greenland. It is continuous in the north, discontinuous along parts of the central east and west coast and occurs as isolated patches in the south. Kangerlussuaq is in the southernmost part of the continuous permafrost zone. The spatial variability in climate is also reflected in the vegetation zones, which range from Arctic dessert in the far north, through dwarf shrub zones with increasing plant height and density towards the south, to the arctic shrub zone in the continental parts of West Greenland and subarctic Birch forest in South Greenland. The terrestrial food chains in Greenland are generally short and with few species. Cyclic variation in population sizes has been observed in some mammal species, including lemming and caribou. Many species of mammals and birds are associated with the coastal environment, which is therefore also and important resource area for the human population. Fishery is the most economically important industry in Greenland

  13. CREST-SAFE: Snow LST validation, wetness profiler creation, and depth/SWE product development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez Diaz, C. L.; Lakhankar, T.; Romanov, P.; Khanbilvardi, R.; Munoz Barreto, J.; Yu, Y.

    2017-12-01

    CREST-SAFE: Snow LST validation, wetness profiler creation, and depth/SWE product development The Field Snow Research Station (also referred to as Snow Analysis and Field Experiment, SAFE) is operated by the NOAA Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies (CREST) in the City University of New York (CUNY). The field station is located within the premises of the Caribou Municipal Airport (46°52'59'' N, 68°01'07'' W) and in close proximity to the National Weather Service (NWS) Regional Forecast Office. The station was established in 2010 to support studies in snow physics and snow remote sensing. The Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Land Surface Temperature (LST) Environmental Data Record (EDR) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) LST product (provided by the Terra and Aqua Earth Observing System satellites) were validated using in situ LST (T-skin) and near-surface air temperature (T-air) observations recorded at CREST-SAFE for the winters of 2013 and 2014. Results indicate that T-air correlates better than T-skin with VIIRS LST data and that the accuracy of nighttime LST retrievals is considerably better than that of daytime. Several trends in the MODIS LST data were observed, including the underestimation of daytime values and night-time values. Results indicate that, although all the data sets showed high correlation with ground measurements, day values yielded slightly higher accuracy ( 1°C). Additionally, we created a liquid water content (LWC)-profiling instrument using time-domain reflectometry (TDR) at CREST-SAFE and tested it during the snow melt period (February-April) immediately after installation in 2014. Results displayed high agreement when compared to LWC estimates obtained using empirical formulas developed in previous studies, and minor improvement over wet snow LWC estimates. Lastly, to improve on global snow cover mapping, a snow product capable of estimating snow depth and snow water

  14. Application of Terrestrial Ecosystem Monitoring under the CAFF Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program: Designing and Implementing Terrestrial Monitoring to Establish the Canadian High Arctic Research Station as a Flagship Arctic Environmental Monitoring Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, D.; Kehler, D.

    2016-12-01

    monitor muskoxen, caribou, Arctic hare, wolf and Arctic fox using tracks and DNA analysis of fresh scat. 3) Ground measures will be supported by aerial flights and satellite remote sensing approaches to reach out with regional calibration-validation. Feedback is being sought at this time on project design, implementation and scope.

  15. Brigham City Hydro Generation Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ammons, Tom B. [Energy Conservation Specialist, Port Ewen, NY (United States)

    2015-10-31

    the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) concurring with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) It was determined that Brigham City’s Upper Hydroelectric Power Plant upgrade would have no effect to federally listed or candidate species. However Brigham City has contributed a onetime lump sum towards Bonneville cutthroat trout conservation in the Northern Bonneville Geographic Management Unit with the intention to offset any impacts from the Upper Hydro Project needed to move forward with design and construction and is sufficient for NEPA compliance. No work was done in the river or river bank. During construction, the penstock was disconnected and water was diverted through and existing system around the powerhouse and back into the water system. The penstock, which is currently a 30-inch steel pipe, would be removed and replaced with a new section of 30-inch pipe. Brigham City worked with the DOE and was awarded a new modification and the permission to proceed with Phase III of our Hydro Project in Dec. 2013; with the exception to the modification of the award for the construction phase. Brigham City developed and issued a Request for Proposal for Engineer and Design vendor. Sunrise Engineering was selected for the Design and throughout the Construction Phase of the Upper Hydroelectric Power Plant. Brigham City conducted a Kickoff Meeting with Sunrise June 28, 2013 and received a Scope of Work Brigham City along with engineering firm sent out a RFP for Turbine, Generator and Equipment for Upper Hydro. We select Turbine/Generator Equipment from Canyon Industries located in Deming, WA. DOE awarded Brigham City a new modification and the permission to proceed with Phase III Construction of our Hydro Project. Brigham City Crews removed existing turbine/generator and old equipment alone with feeder wires coming into the building basically giving Caribou Construction an empty shell to begin demolition. Brigham City contracted with Caribou Construction

  16. Эффективность послевсходовых гербицидов в борьбе с сорняками в посевах сахарной свеклы

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ПАМУЖАК Н. Г.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The article includes test results of herbicide tank mixtures used to control weeds in sugar beet crops in the northern region of the Republic of Moldova. It was established that weed infestation of crops was high and varied from 59 to 2,059 pcs./m˛. In 2012, the tank mixture that included Betanal Maxx Pro OD 209 + Loco, Sl + Caribou, WP + Goltix 70 SC +Aramo 45 + Trend 90 showed the greatest efficiency in weed destruction (87.5% and weed mass reduction (97.2 %. This mixture, unlike other mixtures, destroyed very well such weeds as redroot pigweed, pitseed goosefoot and hibiscus trionum. In 2013, nearly all the studied mixtures that included herbicides of the betonal group + Lontrel 300 SL + Carrera, WP + Aramo 45 + Trend 90 showed high efficiency in weed destruction (83-86% and weed mass reduction (99,2-99.5% due to the lower weed infestation and a small number of the above mentioned weeds in the field. Реферат. В статье приводятся результаты испытания баковых смесей гербицидов в борьбе с сорняками в посевах сахарной свеклы в северной зоне Республики Молдова. Установлено, что засоренность посевов была высокой и варьировала от 59 шт./мІ до 200 шт./мІ. В2012 году наибольшую эффективность, равную 87,5% по показателю гибели сорняков и 97,2% по снижению массы сорняков, показала баковая композиция, включающая Betanal Maxx Pro OD 209 + Loco,Sl +Caribou,WP+ Goltix 70 SC+ Aramo45 +Trend 90. Данная смесь хорошо уничтожила, в отличие от других десяти смесей, многие сорняки, в том числе щирицу обыкновенную, марь белую, гибискус

  17. Book Reviews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.J. Gubser

    1968-01-01

    Holthoon, P. Pierson-Mathy, La politique raciale de la République d’Afrique du Sud. Chronique de Politique Étrangère vol. XVII. Institut Royal des Relations Internationales, Brussel. 1964. - G.J.F. Bouritius, Sidonius Schoenaker, Die ideologischen Hintergründe im Gemeinschaftsleben der Pogoro. Acta Ethnologica et Linguistica Nr. 7. Wien 1965. 176 pp. - G. van den Steenhoven, N.J. Gubser, The Nunamiut Eskimos: Hunters of Caribou. Yale University Press, New Haven & London 1965. 384 pp. - J. Huizinga, R. Herrera Fritot, Nueva Tecnica para calcular la capacidad craneana. Academia de Ciencas de Cuba. Departamento de Antropologia. La Habana, 1965. 30 pag. - R.A.N. van Zantwijk, Frank Cancian, Economics and prestige in a Maya community, The religious cargo system in Zinacantan. Stanford University Press, Stanford. California, U.S.A. 1965. IX + 238 blz., geïllustreerd. - K.E. de Haan, Luc de Heusch, A la découverte des Tsiganes, Une expédition de reconnaissance (1961. Institut de Sociologie, Bruxelles 1966. 207 p., 9 zwart/wit foto’s. - C.H.M. Nooy-Palm, Margrit de la Sablonière, Staphorst; Het levenspatroon van een creatief-traditionele geneenschap. Wereld-bibliotheek, Amsterdam-Antwerpen 1966. 77 bladzijden, met kaarten, foto’s en tekstfiguren. - Richard Franke, The journal of the Papua & New Guinea Society, Vol. 1, No. 1. Port Moresby, Summer 1966-67. 82 pp.