FailleDussaultOuelletEtAl2010

Reference

Faille, G., Dussault, C., Ouellet, J.-P., Fortin, D., Courtois, R., St-Laurent, M.-H., Dussault, C. (2010) Range fidelity: The missing link between caribou decline and habitat alteration? Biological Conservation, 143(11):2840-2850. (URL )

Abstract

Conservation of forest-dwelling caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) is of great concern across most of its range. Anthropogenic disturbances, primarily logging activities, have been identified as the most important cause of caribou decline, although the mechanisms underlying this decline are not fully understood. Caribou commonly display fidelity to calving sites or seasonal ranges, but the potential role of this life-history trait has been largely overlooked in research and conservation planning. This is surprising because sites and ranges with high inter-annual use should have high conservation value. We investigated the relationship between habitat disturbances and home-range fidelity of forest-dwelling caribou across three study sites in Québec, Canada, using a broad range of natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Between 2004 and 2007, we tracked 47 adult female caribou using GPS collars. Home-range fidelity varied between seasons, being higher during calving and summer, and lower during winter. Caribou reduced fidelity following natural and anthropogenic disturbances, the latter having a stronger negative influence. Anthropogenic disturbances had a strong negative impact on home-range fidelity during annual, summer and winter periods, whereas natural disturbance was the dominant factor during calving. Despite this negative influence on fidelity, caribou tended to demonstrate range fidelity even in study sites most impacted by human activities. Habitat disturbances could produce two possible outcomes for caribou conservation: (1) a trend for females to reduce home-range fidelity which could translate into lower calf and female caribou survival through reduced familiarity with food distribution, escape cover and predation risk and (2) a global tendency to maintain range fidelity even in a drastically modified landscape which could turn into an ecological trap, particularly for calves when predation risk increases due to increased black bear density in early successional forests. Taking range fidelity behavior into consideration during forest management planning could direct conservation efforts toward the best available sites and therefore facilitate caribou persistence in managed landscapes.

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@ARTICLE { FailleDussaultOuelletEtAl2010,
    AUTHOR = { Faille, G. and Dussault, C. and Ouellet, J.-P. and Fortin, D. and Courtois, R. and St-Laurent, M.-H. and Dussault, C. },
    TITLE = { Range fidelity: The missing link between caribou decline and habitat alteration? },
    JOURNAL = { Biological Conservation },
    YEAR = { 2010 },
    VOLUME = { 143 },
    PAGES = { 2840-2850 },
    NUMBER = { 11 },
    MONTH = { november },
    ABSTRACT = { Conservation of forest-dwelling caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) is of great concern across most of its range. Anthropogenic disturbances, primarily logging activities, have been identified as the most important cause of caribou decline, although the mechanisms underlying this decline are not fully understood. Caribou commonly display fidelity to calving sites or seasonal ranges, but the potential role of this life-history trait has been largely overlooked in research and conservation planning. This is surprising because sites and ranges with high inter-annual use should have high conservation value. We investigated the relationship between habitat disturbances and home-range fidelity of forest-dwelling caribou across three study sites in Québec, Canada, using a broad range of natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Between 2004 and 2007, we tracked 47 adult female caribou using GPS collars. Home-range fidelity varied between seasons, being higher during calving and summer, and lower during winter. Caribou reduced fidelity following natural and anthropogenic disturbances, the latter having a stronger negative influence. Anthropogenic disturbances had a strong negative impact on home-range fidelity during annual, summer and winter periods, whereas natural disturbance was the dominant factor during calving. Despite this negative influence on fidelity, caribou tended to demonstrate range fidelity even in study sites most impacted by human activities. Habitat disturbances could produce two possible outcomes for caribou conservation: (1) a trend for females to reduce home-range fidelity which could translate into lower calf and female caribou survival through reduced familiarity with food distribution, escape cover and predation risk and (2) a global tendency to maintain range fidelity even in a drastically modified landscape which could turn into an ecological trap, particularly for calves when predation risk increases due to increased black bear density in early successional forests. Taking range fidelity behavior into consideration during forest management planning could direct conservation efforts toward the best available sites and therefore facilitate caribou persistence in managed landscapes. },
    ISSN = { 0006-3207 },
    KEYWORDS = { Boreal forest, Conservation, Ecological trap, Forest harvesting, GPS telemetry, Population decline, Range fidelity, Rangifer tarandus caribou, Woodland caribou },
    OWNER = { Luc },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2010.10.01 },
    URL = { http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V5X-50V0FB1-2/2/1acdee032314ff8791de2551fbe9e539 },
}

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