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Wolf responses to spatial variation in moose density in northern Ontario

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Title: Wolf responses to spatial variation in moose density in northern Ontario
Author: Anderson, Morgan
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Fryxell, John
Abstract: Forty-four wolves in 3 boreal forest sites in Ontario were monitored via GPS radiotelemetry during 2010 and 2011 to examine spatial responses to variation in prey density. Home ranges were defined using a Brownian bridge utilization distribution, and a resource utilization function was calculated for each pack in winter and summer, based on habitat, topography, and prey density. Wolf territories were smaller where moose density was higher. Third order selection (within home range) varied by pack and season. Wolves generally selected for sloping areas, areas near water, and stands with deciduous or regenerating forest, but selected against areas with dense conifer cover. Roads were most important in summer, especially in those territories with large road networks. Habitat use in a mild winter was similar to habitat use in summer. Variable resource selection among packs emphasizes the adaptable, generalist nature of wolves even in the relatively homogenous the boreal shield.
Date: 2012-04
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