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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Winter habitat selection and use by moose in the West-Chilcotin region of British Columbia Baker, Bruce Garry


Wetlands have been considered an important component of wintering moose (Alces alces andersonii) habitat in the West-Chilcotin Region of British Columbia. This study evaluates the importance of wetlands, particularly the ecotone between forests and wetlands and identifies important cover types for wintering moose. Additional baseline data regarding food habits and home range sizes are included. Two hypotheses were tested in this study; that moose habitat use was independent of cover type, and that moose habitat use was random with respect to distance from forest/wetland borders. The data in this study led to rejection of both these hypotheses. Moose used spruce (Picea glauca) wetlands and spruce forests more frequently than expected if use were random. Moose concentrated primarily within 100 m of the forest/wetland edge and virtually did not use areas greater than 200 m from the edge. The combination of food and cover in areas of spruce and edge is likely a major factor determining habitat use of wintering moose. Average home range sizes of radio-collared moose ranged from 20.7 to 45.2 km². Bog birch (Betula qlandulosa) , lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), and willows (Salix spp.) were the most frequently consumed forages.

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