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Relative spatial distributions and habitat use patterns of sympatric moose and white-tailed deer in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Alces

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Abstract

We examined the distribution and home range characteristics of moose (Alces alces) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) at Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota. Pellet count transects revealed low densities of moose and higher densities of white-tailed deer, and provided evidence of partial spatial segregation between moose and white-tailed deer possibly due to habitat heterogeneity. There was limited interspecific overlap in the relatively large annual home ranges of radio-collared moose and white-tailed deer. Both moose and white-tailed deer exhibited significant selection for spruce (Picea spp.) and balsam fir (Abies balsamea) vegetation types at the home range scale. White-tailed deer significantly selected a 12-20 m canopy height over all others while moose significantly selected 5-11 m and 21-30 m canopy heights over the 12-20 m canopy height. Moose significantly selected open/discontinuous canopy cover and white-tailed deer selected both closed/continuous and open/discontinuous canopy covers over dispersed/ sparse canopy cover. Differential habitat selection between moose and white-tailed deer at Voyageurs National Park might be related to the differences between these species' abilities to cope with a northern mid-continental climate. Spatial segregation between moose and white-tailed deer at Voyageurs National Park may allow moose to persist despite the presence of meningeal worm (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis) in white-tailed deer.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Relative spatial distributions and habitat use patterns of sympatric moose and white-tailed deer in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
Series title:
Alces
Volume:
40
Year Published:
2004
Language:
English
Publisher:
Lakehead University
Publisher location:
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Contributing office(s):
Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description:
23 p.
First page:
169
Last page:
191
Country:
United States
State:
Minnesota
Other Geospatial:
Voyageurs National Park