Pöllänen, A.T., Pakanen, VM. & Paasivaara, A. Survival and cause-specific mortality in adult females of a northern migratory ungulate. Eur J Wildl Res 69, 60 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-023-01686-y
Survival and cause‑specific mortality in adult females of a northern migratory ungulate
|Author:||Pöllänen, Antti T.1,2; Pakanen, Veli‑Matti1; Paasivaara, Antti2|
1Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, PO Box 3000, Oulu 90014, Finland
2Natural Resources Institute Finland, Paavo Havaksen Tie 3, Oulu 90570, Finland
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe20230907121526
|Publish Date:|| 2023-09-07
Survival of ungulates can vary seasonally due to changing environmental conditions, e.g. weather or predation pressure. The wild forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus, “WFR”) migrate between calving and wintering grounds. The annual cycle of female WFR includes four main seasons (wintering, calving, rutting and autumn migration) during which they are subject to different conditions, but almost nothing is known about their survival or mortality patterns. We measured survival in 305 GPS-tagged female WFR in two subpopulations in Finland (2010–2022). Data were analysed for inter-annual and seasonal patterns in survival and cause-specific mortality (predation, traffic, accidents and unknown causes) with known-fate models. Inter-annual survival in Suomenselkä (mean 0.90) showed an increasing trend during the study and was higher than in Kainuu (mean 0.84) which showed a declining trend. Seasonal variation in survival was population dependent. Survival was lowest in Kainuu during the winter while in Suomenselkä, it was lowest during autumn migration. Concerning cause-specific mortality, seasonal variation mirrored variation in predation that was the primary cause of mortality (55% of cases). Wolves (Canis lupus) killed the majority of predated individuals (58%). Predation rates were two times higher in Kainuu where the wolf density was higher. We provide the first adult survival estimates for WFR and show that the seasonal variation in survival is clearly different between these two northern ungulate populations. This indicates that seasonal variation in survival is determined by site-dependent factors and cannot be generalised across populations.
European journal of wildlife research
|Type of Publication:||
A1 Journal article – refereed
|Field of Science:||
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Open Access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. This study was funded by The Finnish Cultural Foundation—Kainuu Regional Fund, WildForestReindeerLife project of European Union and partially by The Finnish Natural Resources Institute.
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