Habitat partitioning between woodland caribou and moose in Ontario: the potential role of shared prédation risk
Keywords:habitat partitioning, Ontario, apparent competition, autocorrelation, competition, gray wolf, Rangifer, Alces, Canis, predation
AbstractThis paper explores mechanisms of coexistence for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) and moose (Akes alces) preyed upon by gray wolves (Canis lupus) in northern Ontario. Autocorrelation analysis of winter track locations showed habitat partitioning by caribou and moose. Numbers of Delaunay link edges for moose-wolves did not differ significantly from what would be expected by random process, but those for caribou-wolves were significantly fewer. Thus, habitat partitioning provided implicit refuges that put greater distances between caribou and wolves, presumably decreasing predation on the caribou. Yet, direct competition cannot be ruled out; both apparent and direct competition may be involved in real-life situations. A synthesis including both explanations fits ecological theory, as well as current understanding about caribou ecology.
How to Cite
Authors retain copyright and grant Rangifer irrevocable and non-exclusive right of publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). This means, among other things, that anyone is free to copy and distribute the content, as long as they give proper credit to the author(s) and the journal. For further information, see Creative Commons website for human readable or lawyer readable versions.