Wolverine, Gulo gulo, Home Range Size and Denning Habitat in Lowland Boreal Forest in Ontario
Keywords:Wolverine, Gulo gulo, home range, road density, den, Ontario
We conducted the first radio-telemetry study of Wolverines in northwestern Ontario during the winter of 2003-2004 to determine whether home ranges and movements of Wolverines in lowland boreal forest were typical of this species in other ecosystems and to describe reproductive den sites in this habitat type. Seven Wolverines (3 M, 4 F) were radio-tagged and monitored for 31 to 269 (Mean ± SE = 153 ± 35) days using a combination of remotely monitored Argos satellite and conventional aerial telemetry. Male and female 95% minimum convex polygon (MCP) home ranges (±SE) during December to October were 2,563 (796) km2 and 428 (118) km2, respectively, for combined VHF and Argos locations. A lactating female had a 95% MCP home range of 262 km2. The den site for this female included large boulders and downed trees, similar to dens described for this species in montane ecosystems. Boulder complexes and downed trees may be critical features of wolverine dens in lowland boreal forests. Mean road densities (± SE) within 95% MCP and 50% MCP home ranges were 0.43 (0.13) and 0.33 (0.23) km/km2, respectively, and our results suggest that road densities may affect selection of home ranges by Wolverines. The Wolverine population was a resident, reproductive population.
Erratum for table included.
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