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Establishing a science basis for recovery of woodland caribou in north-central British Columbia
Forest Investment Account (FIA)
This proposal is focused on synthesis and technical extension of existing information to support planning the recovery of threatened woodland caribou in north-central BC . A series of 10 publications are planned over a 2 yr period in a strategic and sequential pattern, which will ultimately provide a science basis for recovery actions. Collection of the existing information was initiated in 1999 as part of the Omineca Northern Caribou Project (ONCP) in response to the pending release of the Mackenzie Land and Resource Management Plan (MLRMP). Although the ONCP only addressed MLRMP strategic objectives for perpetuating caribou, data collection was coincidental with the origin of, and was therefore realigned to meet needs of, other province-wide planning initiatives (e.g., Sustainable Forest Management Plans, forest certification, recovery strategies associated with the Species At Risk Act, and strategies to meet 'objectives set by government for wildlife' in the Forest and Range Practices Act). The data have provided a strong foundation for deliberations of the Northern Caribou Recovery Implementation Group for North-central BC but have yet to be formally synthesized and reported in peer-reviewed technical publications. The information from this data also led to creation of the Caribou Habitat Assessment and Supply Estimator (CHASE) , a model used to depict and project seasonal range values for caribou. This technical step of peer-reviewed extension is essential to establishing a science basis for CHASE and for recovery planning and meets the Forest Science Program?s (FSP) strategic objective 'to achieve more effective use of forest science results'. The extension activities proposed here meet the FSP Sustainability Program Theme 4 'science information to inform policy, regulations, and FRPA practice requirements related to Species at Risk Recovery Research'. The data we have available for synthesis is quite possibly unprecedented elsewhere: ? 900 days of aerial observations involving 523 different, marked animals, conducted over 6 years in 4 herd areas extending over more than 3 million hectares; ? 62,992 relocations of radio collared animals were by VHF (13,851 caribou, 4,576 moose, and 1,678 wolf) and GPS (36,887 caribou, 5,490 moose, and 440 wolf) techniques; ? Mortality investigations were conducted on 361 animals (n = 186 caribou) ? Census within the herd areas were conducted on both caribou (n = 5) and moose (n = 2); ? Calving surveys over 4 years resulted in weekly observations of calving success with approximately 200 observations per year.
Report Number
Executive summary
Report 235 - Caribou movement 2006-2007

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