Mountain caribou habitat selection in the North Thompson Valley of British Columbia was studied during November and December 2001 and December 2002 and January of 2003. This period falls within the early winter season for mountain caribou. Results from this report and previous backtracking efforts in the North Thompson provide information on caribou habitat selection that is required in order to make informed forest management decisions. In the ICH, caribou foraged on shrubs, herbs, lichen litter, lichen on standing trees, and windfall. Caribou selected trees with higher lichen loads to forage at. Caribou preferred to forage at hemlock trees at most ICH sites, but also foraged on subalpine fir, cedar, Douglas-fir, spruce and pine. At ESSF sites, only subalpine fir and spruce were foraged, and caribou did not consistently prefer one species over another across sites. Windfall was preferred forage at both ICH and ESSF sites, and consistently provided large amounts of lichen at a height available to caribou. Litterfall was foraged from small trees and shrubs. Shrubs and herbs that were foraged included falsebox, false azalea, Vaccinium spp., Rubus spp. and foamflower. Caribou chose ESSF foraging paths with more lichen above 1.6m and ICH paths with relatively more trees.
Furk, Kelsey. 2003. Forest attributes associated with mountain caribou early winter feeding sites in the North Thompson Watershed of British Columbia: backtracking conducted in early winter 2001/2002 and 2002/2003.. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2003MR014
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: mountain caribou, winter habitat,
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