Population demography of high arctic caribou on Banks and Melville Islands
AbstractCaribou numbers, Rangifer tarandus pearyi, (excluding calves) on Banks Island were estimated (standard error of the estimate) at 1005 (SE±133) in 1992, 709 (SE±128) in 1994 and 436 (SE±71) in 1998; no paired estimates were different (P<0.05). On Melville Island caribou numbers were similar in 1987 and 1997 with estimates of 729 (SE±104) and 787 (SE±97), respectively. We conducted annual sex and age classification surveys during July on Banks Island from 1994-2000 and on Melville Island from 1998-2000. The number of calves per 100 >two-year-old females ranged from 24.0 in 1994 to 74.3 in 1998 on Banks Island, and from 44.8 in 1999 to 80.0 in 1998 on Melville Island. Recruitment rate ranged from 18.6% during 1997/1998 to 27.5% during 1999/2000 on Banks Island and from 16.7% during 1997/1998 to 25.0% during 1999/2000 on Melville Island. There has been an increasing trend in the rate of recruitment on both islands during the last three years of the study.
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