Mountain caribou are considered threatened by COSEWIC and the Species at Risk Act has highlighted the significant implications of mountain caribou conservation. This project will address mountain caribou habitat fragmentation at two spatial scales. Using existing GPS collar data and data obtained from animals collared this year with FII funding plus snow trailing data, we will test if regenerating cut-blocks or other young forests block caribou movement and if so, what management prescriptions can reduce this barrier. At a larger scale of fragmentation, we will test if mountain caribou act as a meta-population and how does the level of fragmentation affect population viability. With last years FII funding we purchased ear-tag transmitters to put on 8-month-old caribou to quantify natal dispersal as well as mortality rates and causes. We also initiated the development of a mountain caribou nDNA database that will be used to estimate recent gene flow among subpopulations.
Heiko Uwe Wittmer et al.
Furk, Kelsey, McLellan, Bruce N.; Wittmer, Heiko Uwe; Seip, Dale R.; Young, James A.; Kinley, Trevor A.; Watts, Glen S.; Hamilton, Dennis; Serrouya, Robert. 2004. Mechanisms underlying the decline of mountain caribou (Rangifer Tarandus Caribou) in British Columbia. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2004MR185