YUKON MOOSE: II. RANGE SIZES, MOVEMENT RATES, AND USE OF ELEVATION AND LAND COVER BY MALES AND FEMALES

Alice M. McCulley, Katherine L. Parker, Michael P. Gillingham

Abstract


Moose (Alces alces), as a focal species in many northern communities, are increasingly subjected to anthropogenic activities. We studied range use by moose (males and females with and without calves) to enable more effective land-use planning in south-central Yukon. We detected seasonal differences in range sizes, movement rates, and use of elevation and land cover by global positioning system (GPS)-collared individuals, reflecting the responses of individuals to changing resource availability that is characteristic of boreal landscapes. During winter, moose in the South Canol area generally used smaller ranges at lower elevations and moved at lower rates within them, presumably limited by snow depths. They moved up in elevation throughout summer, reaching maximum elevations during rut and early winter. Moose used conifer stands, which were prevalent on the landscape, more than any other land-cover class throughout the year. Their use of upland and lowland shrub classes varied with season, with highest combined use of shrub-dominated land cover in early and late winter, likely reflecting the importance of shrubs as winter forage. We were unable to identify significant differences between the sexes or relative to reproductive status (i.e., calf presence). Differences between these groups in meeting requirements for forage and cover may be more discrete at the finer scale of microsite characteristics.


Keywords


Habitat; Management

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