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dc.contributor.authorHarvey, Samuel Michael Walter
dc.date.accessioned2015-02-23T02:06:33Z
dc.date.available2015-02-23T02:06:33Z
dc.date.issued2014
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10182/6463
dc.description.abstractWapiti (Cervus canadensis nelsonii) were released in the head of the George Sound, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand, in 1905. There has since been little research carried out on the population and study would be beneficial, as the herd is of national importance for big game hunting. International literature was reviewed to provide a background on the key drivers of habitat choice in wapiti and red deer (Cervus elaphus). Literature suggests that wapiti movements and home ranges would be greatest during winter due to limited plant growth and forage availability. Literature also suggests that wapiti would prefer habitats at edges between forest and field, where habitat transition increases plant diversity, resulting in high forage densities. A GPS collaring study was carried out in order to estimate ranging behaviour and habitat selection by wapiti in Fiordland. Six animals were captured, collared and released in early- through to mid-2014, after which, location data was retrieved for the winter season (June, July, August). Home ranges and habitat utilisation were estimated using geographical data analysis packages. It was hypothesised that ranging behaviour would be reduced when compared to elk populations in North America due to milder winters, and better foraging, in Fiordland. Daily movement varied significantly, from 0.2-6 km, however, averages suggest that wapiti typically move little more than 500 m per day during winter. Home range size varied between animals in this study, ranging from 44-733 ha (100% MCP) or 58-1385 ha (95% KDE). These home ranges and daily movements were significantly lower than for elk studied elsewhere and were more comparable to those of red deer in Western Europe, which is consistent with the first hypothesis. It was also hypothesised that wapiti would prefer similar, forest edge, habitat composition to that which was previously observed overseas. A wide range of selection values were produced for different habitats suggesting that habitat preference varies between individual animals. 50% KDE core areas showed that transitional areas made up an important part of wapiti habitat choice which, is consistent with the second hypothesis.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherLincoln Universityen
dc.subjectWapitien
dc.subjectelken
dc.subjectCervus canadensisen
dc.subjectFiordlanden
dc.subjectred deeren
dc.subjectGPSen
dc.subjecthome rangeen
dc.subjectdaily movementen
dc.subjecthabitat selectionen
dc.subjectNorth Americaen
dc.subjectNew Zealanden
dc.subjectforage biomassen
dc.subjectwinteren
dc.subjectforest/field interfaceen
dc.titleWinter home range and habitat selection by Wapiti in Fiordland National Parken
dc.typeDissertationen
thesis.degree.nameBachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours)en
lu.thesis.supervisorRoss, James
lu.contributor.unitDepartment of Ecologyen
dc.subject.anzsrc060207 Population Ecologyen
dc.subject.anzsrc0602 Ecologyen
dc.subject.anzsrc0501 Ecological Applicationsen


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