BLM REA CYR 2013 Winter Forage Quality for Caribou within the Central Yukon study area

Metadata Updated: November 12, 2020

Some of the CYR rasters intentionally do not align or have the same extent. These rasters were not snapped to a common raster per the authors' discretion. Please review selected rasters prior to use. These varying alignments are a result of the use of differing source data sets and all products derived from them. We recommend that users snap or align rasters as best suits their own projects. - Rangifer tarandus have adapted a life cycle that favors nutrient and energy conservation in the winter months. Preferred forage species are highly dependent on season. Nutrient and digestible energy content in plants is linked to growth stage. Seasonal forage preferences of caribou correlate to the plants species, plant parts, and growth stage that contain the highest available nutrients and energy at the time. Vegetation communities preferred by R. tarandus are thus seasonally dependent. To assess forage availability for potential reindeer herds, we related seasonal caribou forage quality to existing vegetation landcover classes using the Vegetation Map o Northern, Western, and Interior Alaska (AKVM). We identified caribou diet and forage preferences with a thorough literature review of peer-reviewed papers and management reports. The Vegetation Map of Northern, Western, and Interior Alaska was the best available existing vegetation classification because it was the only landcover map available that provided full coverage of the study area with detail and accuracy sufficient to delineate caribou forage. The AKVM map was developed by mosaicking the best available regional landcover datasets by priority of accuracy and detail. Because the AKVM map was developed by mosaicking regional landcover datasets, detailed landcover classes were not consistently applied throughout the study area. The standardized coarse landcover classes were considered for caribou forage classes but were too generalized to assign forage quality values. Detailed landcover classes from the AKVM map were therefore assigned a score of low, moderate, or high for each season based on prevalence of preferred caribou forage. Forage quality is assessed here independently of caribou distribution. Only forage quality within the Central Yukon study area, rather than within the total herd ranges, was considered for this analysis. Moderate and good quality winter forage was most dense west of the Koyukuk River and in the southern Brooks Range. Localized areas of dense forage occurred in upland areas in the eastern and central portions of the study area, except for the stretch just west of Fort Yukon south to just west of Fairbanks where most cells were classified as open to closed spruce, deciduous, or mixed forest. Lowland areas of high quality forage were spruce woodlands or open spruce forests classified as having lichen dominant in the understory. Spruce woodlands with lower lichen covers were classified as moderate quality.

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Metadata Date October 13, 2017
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) January 25, 2016 (publication)
Frequency Of Update notPlanned

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI Open Data

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Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date October 13, 2017
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) January 25, 2016 (publication)
Responsible Party Alaska Center for Conservation Science, University of Alaska Anchorage (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
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Bbox East Long -137.454587
Bbox North Lat 69.369222
Bbox South Lat 61.998256
Bbox West Long -164.582207
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update notPlanned
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Metadata Language
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True

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