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Title: Monitoring landscape and spatial behavioural outcomes of large scale forest management for boreal caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in upland and lowland forests of Ontario, Canada
Authors: Donovan, Victoria M.
Keywords: Boreal caribou;species conservation
Issue Date: 30-Oct-2015
Abstract: Habitat management is a key tool used to support species conservation and sustainable timber harvest on managed forests; however assessments of long-term management outcomes are rare. My study is a qualitative assessment of the outcomes of over 15 years of large scale forest management for boreal caribou in two unique Ontario, Canada landscapes: the northwestern Boreal Shield and the northeastern James Bay Lowlands. I assessed: (1) the realized outcomes of forest management direction with respect to the landscape scale structure and configuration of caribou habitat and harvested areas, and (2) changes in caribou spatial behaviour in response to forest management. I found patterns opposite to those predicted based on management recommendations in terms of harvest configuration and size, and observed no detectable changes in caribou habitat continuity or area that could be related to management application. Similarly, I observed behavioural patterns suggestive of maladaptive behavioural response to management outcomes, which could be potentially detrimental to caribou population viability. Overall, these results suggest that further investigation into the management of habitat for boreal caribou in Ontario is required. Moreover, these results highlight the importance of long-term monitoring for management practices in order to ensure management success.
Appears in Collections:Biology - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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