Woodland Caribou Conservation in Alberta: Range Delineation and Resource Selection

  • Author / Creator
    Slater, Simon C
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2013
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • 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.