Distribution, activity and range use of male caribou in early summer in Northern Yukon, Canada

  • Arthur M. Martell
  • Wendy Nixon
  • Donald E. Russell
Keywords: Rangifer, caribou, activity budget, habitat selection, food habits, Yukon

Abstract

Males of the Porcupine Caribou Herd separated from females from the onset of spring migration until they joined them on the calving grounds in late June or early July, 4-6 weeks later. From late May to late June males spent an average of 50% of their time feeding and less than 2% standing and trotting/running. Males spent an average of 29% of their time lying and 19% walking, except in mid-June (40% lying, 6% walking). The average lengths of active and resting periods were 112 minutes and 104 minutes, respectively, from late May to mid-June, but decreased sharply in late June to 78 minutes and 69 minutes, respectively. Tussock meadows were selected in late May and early June, wet sedge meadows were avoided until late June, dwarf shrub heaths were avoided after late May, and alluvial willow thickets were avoided in late May and early June but were selected in mid-June and late June. Caribou fed primarily on lichens and Vaccinium in late May, lichens and Eriophorum in early June, Eriophorum in mid-June and Salix in late June.
Published
1986-06-01
How to Cite
Martell, A. M., Nixon, W., & Russell, D. E. (1986). Distribution, activity and range use of male caribou in early summer in Northern Yukon, Canada. Rangifer, 6(2), 181-189. https://doi.org/10.7557/2.6.2.644