Multi-island Seasonal Home Range Use by Two Peary Caribou, Canadian High Arctic Islands, Nunavut, 1993-94

  • Frank L. Miller
Keywords: multi-island range use, satellite telemetry, Canadian High Arctic Islands, Rangifer tarandus pearyi


A female and a male Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi) were captured on 29 July 1993 on Massey Island, south-central Queen Elizabeth Islands, Nunavut, Canada. Each was fitted with a satellite telemetry neck-collar, released, and tracked by satellite from 1 August 1993 to 31 July 1994. The female caribou used five islands and the male caribou used six islands as seasonal and (collectively) as annual home range. They used five of the six islands (Vanier, Cameron, Alexander, Massey, and Marc) both during the same time periods and at different times. Bathurst Island was used only briefly and only by the male. The male and female occupied the same island at the same time during 54% of the 1993-94 annual cycle. Their seven periods of common occupancy ranged in length from 5 to 88 consecutive days. During the study period, the female moved from one island to another on 11 separate occasions, and the male, on 16 occasions. The female's periods of residence on each island ranged in length from 4 to 95 consecutive days, and the male's from 2 to 169 consecutive days. Their seasonal and annual range-use patterns suggest a degree of flexibility and adaptability to a variable and taxing environment and indicate the important role that relatively small islands play in the ecology of Peary caribou.