Selection for forage and avoidance of risk by woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) at coarse and local scales

Madeleine T. McGreer, Erin E. Mallon, Lucas M.Vander Vennen, Philip A. Wiebe, James A. Baker, Glen S. Brown, Tal Avgar, Jevon Hagens, Andrew W. Kittle, Anna Mosser, Garrett M. Street, Doug E.B. Reid, Arthur R. Rodgers, Jennifer Shuter, Ian D. Thompson, Merritt J. Turetsky, Steven G. Newmaster, Brent R. Patterson, John M. Fryxell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


The relationship between selection at coarse and fine spatiotemporal spatial scales is still poorly understood. Some authors claim that, to accommodate different needs at different scales, individuals should have contrasting selection patterns at different scales of selection, while others claim that coarse scale selection patterns should reflect fine scale selection decisions. Here we examine site selection by 110 woodland caribou equipped with GPS radio-collars with respect to forage availability and predation risk across a broad gradient in availability of both variables in boreal forests of Northern Ontario. We tested whether caribou selection for forage and avoidance of risk was consistent between coarse (seasonal home range) and fine scales of selection. We found that local selection patterns predicted coarse scale selection patterns, indicating a close relationship between the drivers of selection at both spatial scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number288
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015



  • Canis lupus
  • Forage
  • Habitat selection
  • Predation
  • Rangifer tarandus caribou
  • Risk
  • Scale
  • Step selection function

Cite this

McGreer, M. T., Mallon, E. E., Vennen, L. M. V., Wiebe, P. A., Baker, J. A., Brown, G. S., Avgar, T., Hagens, J., Kittle, A. W., Mosser, A., Street, G. M., Reid, D. E. B., Rodgers, A. R., Shuter, J., Thompson, I. D., Turetsky, M. J., Newmaster, S. G., Patterson, B. R., & Fryxell, J. M. (2015). Selection for forage and avoidance of risk by woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) at coarse and local scales. Ecosphere, 6(12), [288].