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Rémi Lesmerises, Jean-Pierre Ouellet, Claude Dussault and Martin-Hugues St-Laurent The influence of landscape matrix on isolated patch use by wide-ranging animals: conservation lessons for woodland caribou Ecology and Evolution 3

Version of Record online: 24 JUL 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.695

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We propose an approach that combines the influence of landscape matrices with the intrinsic attributes of remaining habitat patches on the space use behaviour of woodland caribou using GPS telemetry surveys conducted on 51 females. We found that residual forest patch size and composition influence caribou occurrence and intensity of use within a patch, and that both the presence of anthropogenic disturbances and undisturbed areas in the surrounding environment influenced caribou use of residual forest patches. Woodland caribou clearly need large residual forest patches, embedded in a relatively undisturbed matrix, to achieve low densities as an antipredator strategy (spacing out behaviour).

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