In 2000, Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (CanFor) - Fort St. John Division, in cooperation with Forest Renewal BC (FRBC) and BC Environment, initiated a Global Positioning System (GPS) telemetry study to identify seasonal movements and potential migration routes of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in the Graham River watershed of north-eastern British Columbia. The Graham River watershed falls within the range of a population of northern ecotype caribou known as the Graham herd. The Graham herd, which belongs to the Southern Mountain metapopulation, is listed as threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC 2002). At the provincial level, the herd is blue-listed (i.e. vulnerable) by the British Columbia Conservation Data Centre (CDC 2002). The intent of the Graham telemetry project is to address specific questions regarding caribou travel corridors within the watershed, as originally recommended by the Graham River Integrated Resource Management Plan (GRIRMP; IFS 1997). The collection of detailed seasonal movement and habitat use data will allow better planning to reduce development impacts to caribou. The primary objectives of the study are to: identify seasonal movement patterns of adult caribou within the Graham River watershed, including potential migration corridors, investigate habitat use of adult caribou (forested and non-forested habitats) within the Graham River watershed, and identify areas of important caribou habitat that may be affected by forest development in the Graham River watershed. To achieve these objectives, 18 Televilt POSREC 600 GPS collars (Televilt Positioning, Lindesberg, Sweden) were purchased and deployed over three years. Table 1 summarizes activities completed to the end of Year III (2002/2003). Section 2 of this progress report describes fieldwork conducted during Year III (2002/2003) of the project.
Culling, Brad, Culling, Diane. 2003. Seasonal movements and habitat use of Graham River caribou: year III (2002-2003) progress report. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2003MR001
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: woodland caribou, Graham River, telemetry, threatened species
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