Data from: Caribou, water, and ice – fine-scale movements of a migratory arctic ungulate in the context of climate change
Leblond, Mathieu; St-Laurent, Martin-Hugues; Côté, Steeve D. (2017), Data from: Caribou, water, and ice – fine-scale movements of a migratory arctic ungulate in the context of climate change, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4k275
Freshwater lakes and rivers of the Northern Hemisphere have been freezing increasingly later and thawing increasingly earlier during the last century. With reduced temporal periods during which ice conditions are favourable for locomotion, freshwater bodies could become impediments to the inter-patch movements, dispersion, or migration of terrestrial animals that use ice-covered lakes and rivers to move across their range. Studying the fine-scale responses of individuals to broad-scale changes in ice availability and phenology would help to understand how animals react to ongoing climate change, and contribute to the conservation and management of endangered species living in northern environments. Between 2007 and 2014, we equipped 96 migratory caribou Rangifer tarandus caribou from the Rivière-aux-Feuilles herd in northern Québec (Canada) with GPS telemetry collars and studied their space use. We measured contemporary (digital MODIS maps updated every 8 days, 2000–2014) and historical (annual observations, 1947–1985) variations in freshwater-ice availability and evaluated the concurrent responses of caribou to these changes.