UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The productivity and distribution of fur-bearing species of the coast forest of British Columbia in relation to some environmental factors Macleod, Charles Franklyn


The yearly returns, from 1929 to 1948, of 211 registered traplines in the Coast Forest Region of British Columbia, north of Howe Sound, have been grouped into eleven sections. These data have been reduced to show the average number of square miles, or linear miles, required to produce one pelt per year. These production figures have been analysed and the reasons for differences among sections have been suggested on the basis of known variations in environmental factors. Twenty species occur in this region, of which, eighteen have been studied. These include raccoon, fox, coyote, wolf, marten, fisher, weasel, mink, wolverine, otter, spotted and striped skunks, cougar, lynx, bobcat, squirrel, beaver, and muskrat. The productivity of spotted and striped skunks, bobcat, raccoon, and otter does not appear to be indicative of the abundance of the animals in the areas where they occur. For the latter species the low catch is probably because of the difficulty of skinning the animal and preparing the pelt. The other species seem to be disregarded by the trappers because of the low value of the fur. For the remainder of the species the productivity figures seem to be indicative of abundance, at least in the areas which are accessible to the trappers. The distribution of the species within the Coast Forest has been noted. The fox, coyote, fisher, striped skunk and lynx appear to be confined largely to the inland valleys where the influence of interior forest types is greatest. The raccoon, spotted skunk and bobcat are restricted to the southern regions. The remaining species are of general distribution, with marten, weasel, mink, and otter the only ones present in any number. Insular conditions have not prevented the majority of the coastal species from spreading, except in the case of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Here only three species, marten, otter and weasel are indigenous.

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