Temporal patterns and behavioural states of mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) movements to hotspots in the Rocky Mountains

Thesis type
(Thesis) M.Sc.
Date created
Concentrated resources, or hotspots, can influence movement behaviour of many species. I studied the movement ecology of two groups of mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) and their relationship with hotspots in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. First, I investigated fidelity to two roadside mineral licks. Movement patterns to mineral licks were documented over several temporal scales and I found that mountain goats have strong trans-generational, seasonal and daily movements to these mineral licks. Second, I investigated movements to foraging, travelling, and bedding areas in summer ranges, using hidden Markov models (HMMs) and predicted behavioural states. These behavioural states were ground validated and the results showed that HMMs can be used as a proxy for habitat hotspots. Understanding how animals adjust their movement behaviour to hotspots can provide valuable information for the management of these critical habitat features and the wider conservation of mountain goats.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Hik, David
Member of collection
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