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Modelling the population dynamics of the Itcha-Ilgachuz caribou herd to determine the effects of removals for translocation

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The Purcells-South mountain caribou herd in British Columbia has declined to very low numbers and is now in imminent danger of extirpation. To aid recovery, wildlife managers plan to augment the Purcells-South herd with caribou from another area. A potential donor herd is the Itcha-Ilgachuz caribou herd in west central BC. This herd is important to First Nations, resident hunters, and guide outfitters, all of whom hunt caribou from this herd. This project modelled the population dynamics of the Itcha-Ilgachuz herd in order to determine what effect the removal of 40 caribou over two years would have on the herd. I used three model variations to reflect different hypothesis about the current dynamics of the Itcha-Ilgachuz herd. I concluded that removals would have very little effect on the abundance and age and sex ratios of the Itcha-Ilgachuz herd and therefore, hunting opportunities should not be affected by removals for translocation.
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