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

Alces
By: , and 

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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