Western Arctic Caribou Herd Winter Habitat Monitoring and Utilization, 1995-96


Daubenmire canopy cover transects established in 1981 were monitored in 1995 using the same methods. This data provided a comparison of range conditions over a 14-year span during which the Western Arctic Caribou Herd increased from 140,000 to 450,000 animals. Percent lichen composition declined from an average 33.3% in 1981 to 19.1% in 1995. Graminoid (primarily sedge) composition increased from 14.6% to 29.7% over the same period. The same 18 transects were also measured using point-intercept sampling, which will be used in future monitoring on both existing and newly established, permanent transects. In 1996, seven new transects were deployed in a systematic manner over caribou wintering concentration areas to bring the number of permanent transects to 25. Long-term monitoring of these transects at five-year intervals will provide managers with information on caribou winter range condition and forage utilization.

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Collection: BLM Library
Category: Report