Catalog Record: Population Dynamics and Ecology of Alaska Large Mammals
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Population Dynamics and Ecology of Alaska Large Mammals

The objective of this research program is to provide timely and relevant information to address wildlife management issues in Alaska and northern North America, including topics such as population dynamics, predator/prey relationships, effects of harvest, habitat relationships, and monitoring methods for large carnivores and ungulates. Because large ungulates and carnivores are long-lived and their interactions are complex, productive research in this arena is generally long-term and requires concurrent studies of individual species often on separate study areas. The research requires a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to understand species biology, interactions among predators and prey, and roles of environmental influences within large mammal communities.

The research program currently consists of four components:

  1. Population dynamics of the Denali Caribou Herd: Begun in 1986, this long-term investigation is aimed at understanding the roles of predation and climate on the vital rates of a naturally-regulated caribou herd within Denali National Park and Preserve.

  2. The decline of the Chisana Caribou Herd – assessing population dynamics and recovery efforts: This project began in 2003 to assess the population dynamics of small caribou herd that ranges across the international boundary with Canada and evaluate the effects of captive rearing program conducted by the Yukon Territorial Government to bolster calf survival in the herd.

  3. Growth and maturation of moose in Koyukuk and Innoko National Wildlife Refuges relative to population density and habitat quality: This is a cooperative effort with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, National Park Service, and University of Alaska Fairbanks to evaluate the roles of habitat quality and population density in moose nutritional performance.

  4. Evaluating the genetic structure of Dall sheep in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve: This is a new project in FY07 to assess the genetic structure of Dall sheep in the Chitina River drainage using DNA from fecal samples collected in summer and tissue samples from hunter-killed rams.


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Status: Complete
Type: Project
Primary Contacts
Name: Layne Adams
Email: ladams@usgs.gov
Primary Organizations
US Geological Survey

Other Organizations
USDA Forest Service, University of Alaska Fairbanks, National Park Service, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Canadian Wildlife Service

Alaska, North Slope

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