Space use in two Norwegian ungulates: Sex-specific space use patterns in wild alpine reindeer and red deer’s use of agricultural farmland
Late Lunch Talk by Tilde Hjermann
Animal movement patterns can influence many ecological processes and have consequences for both individual fitness and their environment. In this talk, I will start by presenting some of the work I did for my master’s project on the patterns of space use of the wild alpine reindeer. I will then continue with presenting what I am currently working on for my PhD project here at CEES, working with the red deer and its use of farmland.
Part 1: Sex-specific space use patterns in wild alpine reindeer: potential consequences for disease transmission
The wild alpine reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) is a migratory cervid mostly inhabiting open habitats within the alpine tundra ecotone. For my master’s project, I investigated their annual and seasonal space use patterns and contact rate with other individuals. The spatial scale of individual movement and degree of contact with other individuals can have important fitness consequences such as impacts on disease susceptibility. I thus tried to investigate whether differences in their space use patterns could be a causal factor for the higher male prevalence of the lethal chronic wasting disease (CWD).
Part 2: Individual and landscape level variation in use of agricultural farmlands for Norwegian red deer (Cervus elaphus)
The conflict between humans and wildlife is a widespread issue, encompassing a large variety of situations and species. One such place where human-wildlife conflicts are particularly evident is in agricultural landscapes, where forage from agricultural farmlands can work as a high-quality forage subsidy for wildlife. The consumption of agricultural plants by wildlife can however lead to substantial conflict between them and humans and lead to substantial economic losses for the farmer. The red deer (Cervus elaphus) is Norway’s most abundant game species and is a species commonly found foraging on agricultural land. For the first part of my PhD project, I aim to investigate and describe the red deer’s variation use of farmland and uncover variation on temporal and spatial scale that may aid in improved management of this highly important ungulate.