Woodland Caribou and Snow Conditions
in Southeast Manitoba

Richard R. P. Stardom

Department of Zoology,
The University of Manitoba,
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R3T 2N2

 

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Stardom, R.R.P. 1975. Woodland caribou and snow conditions in southeast Manitoba. Proc. 1st Intl. Reindeer-Caribou Sympos. 324-334.

 

Abstract

Two winters of field research was conducted to determine the effect of snow conditions on woodland caribou activity in the various vegetation types found within the project area. Bimonthly snow cover data were obtained for each vegetation type and caribou activity was recorded utilizing both aerial and ground reconnaissance. Groups of two to 22 individuals fed mainly on arboreal lichens in open bogs until the snow cover approached 60 cm in depth and possessed a crust hardness of 400 gm/cm2. This resulted in a movement to mature jackpine-lichen rock ridges where the caribou spent the major portion of their time until the open bog crust allowed travel with ease. Lakes were utilized to a greater extent during the second winter, a year of above average snowfall. The caribou demonstrated a definite response to nival conditions and preferred habitat providing several vegetation types and subsequently several snow accumulation types.

 


 

This page created March 2, 1999.

 

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