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Variations in the fur productivity of northern British Columbia in relation to some environmental factors Edwards, Roger York

Abstract

The yearly reports of 155 registered trap lines in northern and northeastern British Columbia have been analysed and grouped into seven distinct areas exhibiting physiographic and vegetational differences. The trap line data hate been reduced to production figures, indicating for each species, the number of square miles necessary to produce one pelt. For most species these production figures have been found to be highly variable among the seven sub-areas. An analysis of the region with respect to providing suitable environment for the various species has suggested reasons for production variability. The species coyote, wolf, weasel, squirrel,and muskrat appear to be taken in numbers inversely proportional to the size of trap lines. The, size of lines, in turn, appears to be an expression of the human population density, habitat modification, depletion of populations of expensive fur species, and other factors. The fur species fox, marten, fisher, mink, wolverine, lynx and beaver appear to be taken in numbers proportional to the abundance of the species concerned. Highest production appears to result from the most favourable environmental conditions. Raccoon, otter, skunk, and cougar are not abundant,and the number of pelts produced is low. In Appendix B, the value of fur is examined for a limited area about Fort Nelson. When the value is calculated to compare with wood value from a forest with a 100 year rotation, the fur has a gross value of over eight million dollars.

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