Project Title: A Frame Size Model of Caribou Abundance

In North America, and likely in Eurasia, large migratory Rangifer populations experience distinct phases in abundance (increase, stable or decrease).  However, the exact timing of the cycles and their amplitudes can vary among populations.  Various theories have been presented to explain why a Rangifer population cycles, and why some populations appear relatively synchronized in their phases of abundance.  It is generally conceded that both phenomena relate to continental-scale climatic phenomenon which influences the caribou's environment.  This project investigated whether the environment influences the populations through nutritional stress in the individual.  We use a modeling approach to explore the theoretical characteristics of frame size in Rangifer throughout a population cycle.  Using a North American data base for body condition of caribou, we examine frame size across herds throughout various stages of a population cycle with the objective to speculate on management implications of our findings.






A Powerpoint presentation at CARMA-5 Vancouver Dec. 2-4, 2008

Frame size Powerpoint (Download)







Don Russell
Yukon College
Box 10038,
Whitehorse, YT Y1A7A1
(867) 456 - 2695
don.russell 'at'


Craig Nicolson
Assistant Research Professor
Department of Natural Resource Conservation
Univeristy of Mass.,
Amherst, Mass.
(413) 545 - 3154
craign 'at'


Robert White
Emeritis, Institute of Arctic Biology
University of Alaska Fairbanks,
Fairbanks, AK 99701
(907) 277 - 3854
ffrgw 'at'