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Woodland caribou conservation in the Little Smoky: wolf management and the role of bears

  • Author / Creator
    Robichaud, Christine B
  • Woodland caribou population declines in west-central Alberta precipitated a wolfcontrol. This program to protect caribou could be compromised if (1) there are strong public pressures against helicopter gunning and strychnine poisoning of wolves and/or (2) other predators compensate to kill caribou. Because bears can be important ungulate predators, I used stable isotope techniques to reconstruct black and grizzly bear diets including contributions of caribou, caribou calves, ants, ungulates (moose, deer and elk), and 3 plant groups. Bears assimilated 2-58% terrestrial protein indicating large variation among individuals. As an alternative to current wolf-control practices, I reviewed spatial and temporal patterns of harvests (1985-2006) on registered traplines. Wolf trapping has increased during the past 2 decades, but on average trappers harvested only 10% of the provincial wolf population, well below culls required to control the population. Under the registered trapline system it is unlikely that trapping could control wolf abundance.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2009-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Masters of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3NW47
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Biological Sciences
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Boyce, Mark S. (Biological Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Boutin, Stan (Biological Sciences)
    • Hudson, Robert (Renewable Resources)