Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alaskan caribou, ptarmigan migrations recorded

Date:
January 15, 2014
Source:
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Summary:
A ladder of 14 automated cameras has for the first time recorded the northward springtime migrations of caribou and ptarmigan in the foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska. Some 40,000 images allowed researchers to estimate the speed of the animals' movement and their behavior en route. The authors created "animations" from photographs taken every 15 minutes. Their approach, which minimizes disturbance to the animals, could be used to elucidate factors affecting migrations of other species.

In the February issue of BioScience, biologists describe the first-of-a-kind recording of caribou and ptarmigan migrations made with 14 automated cameras positioned in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska.

Related Articles


By analyzing some 40,000 images of the tundra landscape, Ken D. Tape of the University of Alaska and David D. Gustine of the US Geological Survey documented the northern spring migrations of both species. They estimated the number of individuals traveling, and made telling observations that shed light on caribou and ptarmigan behavior, without interfering with the animals by capturing and tagging them.

Tape and Gustine used cameras mounted on stakes, far enough away from a highway and from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline to reduce disturbance. Pairs of cameras, spread out over 65 miles, photographed upland sites and locations near rivers, which have different sorts of vegetation, every 15 minutes. Caribou were the easier subjects, and the researchers could estimate that they moved about 6 miles per day toward their calving sites later in the migration. They appeared to slow down to forage in areas of open ground and avoided river ice and open water. Ptarmigan, because they can fly quickly, were harder to count, and were seldom seen when snow covered all the vegetation. But they seemed to move at a similar speed to the caribou, on average. Other species, including bear, a wolf, ground squirrels, foxes, hawks, falcons, and owls, were seen occasionally, as well as a rare human.

Tape and Gustine maintain that automated cameras are a promising way for researchers to study other terrestrial migrations efficiently. The technology might thus make clearer the factors affecting migration of a wide range of species.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ken D. Tape, David D. Gustine. Capturing Migration Phenology of Terrestrial Wildlife Using Camera Traps. BioScience, January 2014

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Biological Sciences. "Alaskan caribou, ptarmigan migrations recorded." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115122209.htm>.
American Institute of Biological Sciences. (2014, January 15). Alaskan caribou, ptarmigan migrations recorded. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115122209.htm
American Institute of Biological Sciences. "Alaskan caribou, ptarmigan migrations recorded." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115122209.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) A frog noticed by a conservationist on New York's Staten Island has been confirmed as a new species after extensive study and genetic testing. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A 20-year-old competition surfer said on Thursday he accidentally stepped on a shark's head before it bit him off the Australian east coast. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The Ebola epidemic has seen Senegal and Guinea Bissau close its borders with Guinea and the economic consequences have started to be felt, especially in Fouta Djallon, where the renowned potato industry has been hit hard. Duration: 02:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) Just in time for Halloween, a glowing flower goes on display in Tokyo. Instead of sorcery and magic, its creators used science to genetically modify the flower, adding a naturally fluorescent plankton protein to its genetic mix. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins