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Late winter resource selection and the potential for competition between wood bison and woodland caribou in the Yukon

Fischer, Lisa A.





Wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) were reintroduced into southwestern Yukon as part of a national recovery program in the late 1980s. The Yukon Bison Management Plan identified potential impacts of the reintroduced bison on other ecosystem components as a priority management issue. In particular, local residents expressed concern for the indirect effects of bison on the Aishihik woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou ) herd resulting from competition for space and forage during late winter. This project assessed the potential for exploitative competition between bison and caribou by determining resource selection (i.e., use vs. availability) and overlap in resource use across 3 spatial scales: the landscape, habitat, and feeding site. Additionally, bison and caribou diets were analyzed and overlap in forage species use was assessed. Management recommendations were developed based on these findings to address uncertainties in bison and caribou late winter resource selection and overlap and to address local concerns regarding the impacts of bison. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

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