Trajectory Surveillance Tools for Boreal Caribou Conservation and Management

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PROJECT LEAD: Colin Robertson (Laurier)
PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS: Jed Long (University of St. Andrews)

James Hodeson (ENR, GNWT)

PROJECT LOCATION: South Slave and Dehcho
PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

The use of GPS collaring to track individuals and populations has grown extensively and recent years. New methods for estimating home ranges, species interactions, movement patterns, and individual behaviour modelling have proliferated in the spatial analysis academic literatures. Yet the application of cutting edge methods in applied conservation and management remains limited. This study investigates the application of new approaches for modelling individual and population parameters from trajectory data for conservation and planning of boreal caribou. Existing caribou collar data will be used for this study, covering the period 2008 to 2016 in the Dehcho and South Slave regions. While previous methods derived from telemetry data with low temporal resolution have been used for range mapping, new higher resolution trajectory data offer the opportunity for more fine-grained understanding of animal movement and space-use. We are assessing the utility of these new approaches relative to the short and medium term conservation and planning needs for boreal caribou.