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habitat selection, distribution, polar bear, Resource Selection Function

McCall, Alysa Grace

Supervisor and department: Andrew Derocher Biological Sciences

Examining committee member and department: Nicholas Lunn Environment Canada Scott Nielsen Bioogical Sciences David Hik Biological Sciences

Department: Department of Biological Sciences

Specialization: Ecology

Date accepted: 2013-12-03T13:49:35Z

Graduation date: 2014-06

Degree: Master of Science

Degree level: Master's

Abstract: Sea ice in Hudson Bay is melting earlier and freezing later as the climate warms, resulting in declines in the condition, survival, and population size of polar bears Ursus maritimus in the Western Hudson Bay population. The objectives of this study are to analyze temporal variation in distribution and quantify patterns of seasonal habitat selection for polar bears on the sea ice in Hudson Bay to determine how they respond to changing sea ice conditions. Between 1990 and 2010, 137 satellite collars were deployed on 125 adult females yielding approximately 95 000 locations. Utilization distributions and a habitat selection model were developed. Distribution shifted seasonally and annually, and habitat selection was most affected by ice concentrations. Individual differences were most apparent during ice freeze-up and break-up. This research helps us understand how changes in sea ice alter polar bear habitat use and selection, important for predicting responses to future changes.

Language: English

DOI: doi:10.7939-R3B853Q84

Rights: Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.

Author: McCall, Alysa Grace

Source: https://era.library.ualberta.ca/


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