Research project

 

The aim of our research program is to identify the factors influencing population dynamics and space use of migratory caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in a context of climate change and anthropogenic disturbances. Many populations of caribou are threatened and most of them are in decline. In Canada, migratory caribou are a fundamental element of the ecology, economy and culture of a vast territory stretching from Newfoundland to the Yukon. Many aboriginal communities are dependent on this species for food, in addition to obtaining essential economic and cultural benefits. In Quebec, sport hunting is still very present, generating several millions of dollars annually. Our new research program includes four major concerns, the first three of which are based on the interests of our private and public partners. We will determine the cumulative effects of anthropogenic activities (e.i. mines and linear structures) on the space use and survival of caribou. We will analyse caribou-predator (grey wolf and black bear) interactions that follow their large population fluctuations. We will also continue analyses on the population dynamics of caribou to ensure that socio-economic, cultural and subsistence as well as sport hunting activities may persist. Finally, we will study the impact of climate change and demographic variations on the habitat of caribou. To meet these challenges, our approach will include the monitoring of radio-collared caribou of known age as well as their predators and the analysis of historical and genetic data. We will continue to follow the space use and the survival of marked caribou. This knowledge will promote the sound management of caribou and help us to better understand the impacts of climate change, human disturbances and the role of predators on the ecology of this species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caribou Ungava, Université Laval, Département de biologie, Pavillon Alexandre-Vachon, Local 3076
1045, av. de la Médecine, Québec (Québec) G1V 0A6 Canada
Téléphone : 418-656-7769, Fax : 418-656-2043, Courriel : julien.h-richard@bio.ulaval.ca
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