Characterizing Caribou Use of Burned Areas

Proponent

Kelsey Russell

Contract

2014-15-21

Amount Awarded

$15,000

Final Report

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My proposed graduate student research project focuses on the Klaza caribou herd located in west-central Yukon (northwest of Carmacks); a part of the Northern Mountain Population of woodland caribou, and listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) as Special Concern. The focus of this research is on the relationship between woodland caribou and fire, particularly how and why caribou use burned areas. The objective of this research is to focus on how forest fire contributes to the cumulative effects on caribou habitat by examining how burned areas are used by caribou and characterizing the attributes of both used and unused burns, and burns of differing age. By addressing this research gap, the cumulative effects to caribou can be more accurately assessed during an environmental assessment process, which will ultimately have long-term, indirect benefits to woodland caribou and their habitat.