Space use and movements of moose hunters and wolves in the Yukon Flats, Alaska
|dc.description||Thesis (M.S.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2015||en_US|
|dc.description.abstract||Within the Yukon Flats, Alaska, subsistence communities utilize moose (Alces alces) as a primary resource (78% of households) and wolves (Canis lupus) hunt them as an obligatory prey item. Hence, understanding the potential of direct or indirect competition between wolves and humans is useful for managers. In Chapter 1, I used a novel approach utilizing spatially-linked interviews to quantify the distance subsistence users were traveling from communities and rivers to harvest moose in the Yukon Flats. My study was the first to quantify hunter access in the Arctic and may provide managers with a harvest estimation approach that may supplement the current harvest ticket system, for which reporting is considered consistently low. My final results and model may be used by game managers outside of the Yukon Flats where hunter success is linked to access to forecast the impact of creating new access on game populations or forecast the effect of access closure on game populations. In Chapter 2, I quantified wolf movement and evaluated resource selection by wolves within a low prey-density system. I used Global Positioning System (GPS) collars to characterize wolf movement. My results were the first in the literature to examine wolf movements in a low prey-density system and demonstrate that wolves travel farther to make kills. My results provided a mechanism for explaining large wolf territories, which are documented in low prey-density systems, and in our system. Within high prey-density systems, managers could expect wolf travel distances to increase if prey density decreases, resulting in larger territories within their respective systems. My results also demonstrate that similar to high prey-density systems, wolves were utilizing river corridors. By understanding that hunter access for moose and wolf travel paths both occur along rivers, we postulate possible competition along navigable waters. I used the results of my spatial analysis in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 to evaluate the likelihood of competition between hunters and wolves. I found that in a pack overlapping navigable water, 75% of its use points fall within hunter use areas. However, my spatial data of wolf and human use did not overlap temporally. I suggest that evaluating competition would require comprehensive biological and social datasets which encapsulate moose, wolf, and human behavior. It is critical that these dataset overlap spatially and temporally.||en_US|
|dc.title||Space use and movements of moose hunters and wolves in the Yukon Flats, Alaska||en_US|
|dc.identifier.department||Department of Biology and Wildlife||en_US|
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