Insect harassment the summer before spring calving migration plays a large role in when the migration takes place, research finds.
A new analysis of North American caribou pinpoints one reason for changes in migration and, potentially, for lower calving rates: insects.
“Insects, in the summer, are the main drivers of caribou movements and behaviors,” said Eliezer Gurarie, a researcher at University of Maryland and author of the forthcoming study. But the insects, his research found, have lasting effects on caribou throughout the year.
“A lot of insect harassment is generally an indicator of poorer condition, lower calving rates, later calving times — all of that’s linked together,” he told me. Read more at ArcticToday.
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