Taimyr Wild Reindeer Spatial Fidelity

Inspiration for this project came from the Arctic Social and Environmental Systems (ARCSES) Research Laboratory.  The lab was developing a model for migration patterns of the Taimyr wild reindeer herd.  From their work, I became interested in determining the relationship between climatic parameters and spatial fidelity to calving locations.  My work and research will contribute the overall model being created by the ARCSES Lab.

Project Overview:
    The Taimyr wild reindeer herd (TRH) is the largest herd of Rangifer tarandus in
Eurasia. The 700,000 reindeer migrate over a vast habitat of 1,500,000 km2 throughout the year. Historical evidence appears to show that reindeer demonstrate spatial fidelity to specific locations, particularly during calving. However, calving locations exhibit periodic and abrupt changes that create a dramatic impact on ecosystems, population densities, and can cause conflict with other ungulates. The purpose of this study is to investigate the phenomenon of spatial fidelity and identify possible climatic factors that influence the geographic shift of calving
grounds.

This research project sponsored by the NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium was started in Spring 2011.    The research will be orally presented at the Association of American Geographers Annual Conference February 24, 2012 and at the International Polar Year Conference, in Montreal, April 22, 2012. 

Presentation from AAG Conference