Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Award/Availability

Open Access Thesis

Keywords

Reindeer--Migration--Russia (Federation)--Taymyr Peninsula, Reindeer--Climatic factors--Russia (Federation)--Taymyr Peninsula;

Abstract

This study was part of a larger research effort devoted to investigation of spatiotemporal patterns and dynamics of the Taimyr Reindeer Herd (TRH) migration under changing climate and environmental conditions. The research aimed to systematize and analyze available historical (archival) data on wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus L.) migration and ecosystems change in the Taimyr Peninsula, Russia. The summer concentration patterns of the TRH as observed from 1969-2009 were investigated through the utilization of existing and innovative spatioanalytic methods and advanced GIS technologies not previously used to examine R. tarandus migration in the Russian Arctic. The project applied and tested the concepts of spatial fidelity and spatial shift as described for other R. tarandus populations, as well as mapped and identified spatiotemporal trends of summer ground selection by the TRH. An exploratory analysis of climate and ecosystem factors which influenced the spatial selection process was also conducted. Statistical and empirical results of the study generally confirmed preliminary conclusions which were largely based on field observations. Multiyear patterns within locations of summer grounds are indicative of spatial fidelity and spatial shift. The analysis contributed new findings about spatiotemporal patterns by identifying a northeast shift, not observed in the past, which significantly added to the existing knowledge base. Western concentrations are losing animals while central and eastern concentrations are developing and getting larger; however, the population of the TRH is decreasing as a whole. Distribution of summer concentration grounds formed a statistically compact, normal distribution, while simultaneously the distance between concentration grounds of consecutively observed summers is increasing. The TRH are reusing smaller percentages of their range from year to year, and summer concentrations are becoming more compact and more densely populated. Four distinct areas have been identified and as areas frequently used (i.e. more than 50% of observed summers). Summer concentration grounds are shifting to the east and to the north and rising in elevation; thereby expanding the observed range of utilized habitat. These changes may indicate adaptation to climate change and anthropogenic disturbance. Logistic regression and ecological niche modelling identified the best predictors of reindeer presence to be higher wind speed, cooler temperatures, and whether or not the areas had been previously used as summer concentration grounds. The optimal ranges of July variables for TRH ecological niche requirements have been amassed for future research and modeling techniques. Analysis of spatiotemporal patterns and identification of ecological niche requirements will allow TRH summer surveys to be more cost-effective and comprehensive. The findings may also contribute to the development of sustainable R. tarandus management strategies throughout the Artic. The methodology employed by this study may prove useful not only to R. tarandus studies, but to the development of future analysis of other migratory animals.

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Department of Geography

First Advisor

Andrey N. Petrov

Date Original

2014

Object Description

1 PDF file (x, 127 pages)

Language

EN

File Format

application/pdf

Included in

Geography Commons

Share

COinS