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Woodland Caribou Conservation in Alberta: Range Delineation and Resource Selection Open Access


Other title
Woodland Caribou
Rangifer tarandus caribou
Range shift
Range delineation
Habitat selection
Species at risk
Resource selection functions (RSF)
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Slater, Simon C
Supervisor and department
Schmiegelow, Fiona (Renewable Resources)
Spence, John (Renewable Resources)
Examining committee member and department
Adamowicz, Vic (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Department of Renewable Resources
Conservation Biology
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) populations are threatened across Canada. Recovery plans are being implemented to address conservation priorities using the best available knowledge. I used animal location data to evaluate sampling requirements for estimating caribou population ranges in Alberta, and developed resource selection functions to assess caribou response to landscape change for one population over a 13-year period. Both the number of caribou and years sampled influenced population level inferences regarding range size. Data were insufficient to generate stable range estimates for several populations in Alberta. Caribou from the Redrock Prairie Creek population exhibited variable annual winter resource selection, but showed overall avoidance of both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. A shift from the historical core range to a less disturbed winter range occurred over the 13-year sampling period, in conjunction with increased anthropogenic disturbance. I provide guidelines for appropriate use of caribou location data for conservation and management planning in Alberta.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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