There and Back Again: One Caribou’s (Rangifer tarandus) Migratory Behaviour Hints at Genetic Exchange between Designatable Units

Megan Watters, Craig DeMars


Spatial overlap periodically occurs between Boreal Caribou designatable unit (DU) 6 and Northern Mountain Caribou DU7, although overlaps are thought to occur primarily in winter when the likelihood of genetic exchange is low. In May 2013, a Caribou migrated from the Parker Boreal Caribou range (DU6) to calve in the alpine area of the Muskwa Northern Mountain Caribou range (DU7). This individual calved in the Parker range in 2014, but in 2015, she repeated her 2013 migration, travelling into
the Muskwa range to calve within 700 m of her 2013 calving location. This individual’s behaviour points to possible genetic exchange between the two DUs.


Caribou; Rangifer tarandus; Boreal Caribou; northern Mountain Caribou; designatable unit; genetic exchange; calving behaviour

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