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Balogh, Gyöngyvér, 2012. Mobility and space use of moose in relation to spatial and temporal exposure to wolves. Second cycle, A2E. Grimsö: SLU, Dept. of Ecology

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Abstract

In a predator-prey system, prey species may adapt to the presence of predators with behavioral
changes such as increased vigilance, shifting habitats or changes in their mobility. Across North
America, moose (Alces alces) have shown to adapt to their re-colonizing predators, the wolves (Canis
lupus) but such anti-predator behavioral responses have not yet been found in Scandinavian moose.
The more than a century long absence of wolves in Scandinavia and the current re-colonization since
the 1980s provide unique conditions to further detail our knowledge of their effect on moose. I
analyzed travel speed, linearity of movement and seasonal home range size of GPS collared female
moose within the same moose population but with spatial (inside- / outside wolf territories) and
temporal (before- / after the re-establishment of wolves) differences in the exposure to wolves.
Differences in seasonal home range size of female moose in the study area correlated with exposure to
wolves, as home ranges tended to be larger in areas of the wolf territory with a more frequent presence
of wolves. Travel speed and linearity of movement were mostly affected by seasonal changes and
differences in reproductive status. Travel speed was highest during the calving (May – Jul.) and postcalving
(Aug. – Oct.) seasons, and was generally lower for females with calves than females without
calves in all seasons. Related to presence of wolves, a generally suppressed travel speed was observed
inside the wolf territory compared to outside, but an elevated mobility was seen in certain, more
intensively used areas of the territory. The linearity of movement was mostly affected by reproduction,
as more concentrated movement was observed at females with calves at heel, during the calving
season. Overall, the results supported that mobility of female moose was more strongly influenced by
external factors and reproductive status, than by the return of their long absent natural predators. This
can be due to a combination of several factors including e.g. lower wolf densities, higher moose:wolf
ratios and more intensive hunting harvest of the moose population than observed in North America.

Main title:Mobility and space use of moose in relation to spatial and temporal exposure to wolves
Authors:Balogh, Gyöngyvér
Supervisor:Wikenros, Camilla and Månsson, Johan and Sand, Håkan and Nachman, Gøsta
Examiner:Jansson, Gunnar
Series:Independent project/Degree project / SLU, Department of Ecology
Volume/Sequential designation:2012:15
Year of Publication:2012
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM025 EnvEuro - European Master in Environmental Science 120 HEC
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Keywords:moose, Alces alces, wolf, Canis lupus, movement pattern, mobility, home range size, GPS
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-1444
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-1444
Subjects:Animal ecology
Language:English
Deposited On:02 Aug 2012 10:30
Metadata Last Modified:02 Aug 2012 10:30

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