Temporal variation and inter-relationship of movement and resource selection of red deer (Cervus elaphus) with respect to climate: a case study
Thesis DisciplineEnvironmental Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Red deer (Cervus elaphus) is one of at least 31 herbivorous exotic mammals existing in New Zealand. All of these species have the potential to affect environmentral and production values. Reducing their impacts on their values, strengthening effective managements are important issues to a variety of agencies within New Zealand including the Department of Conservation (DOC), Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), local and regional governments. This research studied animal movement pattern and habitat use of 2 GPScollared red deer in the Canterbury high country and found (1) deer movement was affected by climatic variables such as rainfall and temperature, which had positive or negative effect on it, and had seasonal variation; (2) deer had dominant landcover use categories, depending on climate, season, and individual characteristics (3) deer had different movement patterns in terms of hourly distances. The purpose of the study is to draw accurate inferences from spatially explicit data for biosecurity managers and policy-makers through: (1) using global positioning system (GPS) as a tool to elucidate the application of GPS on red deer in wildlife management; (2) Animal Movement Analysis Arc View® 3.2 Extension under Arc View® Geographic Information System (GIS); (3) Animal movement analysis which used Generalized Additive Models (GAMs) to show how the movement of red deer was affected by different periods of time, seasons months and climatic variables (for example, rainfall and temperature).