Distribution and Abundance of Insular Newfoundland Caribou and the Effects of Human Activities
In insular Newfoundland there are 13 native and 19 introduced caribou herds numbering approximately 40,000 animals. The present day distribution of native herds differs from that of the 18th and 19th centuries in that only inaccessible barrens contain caribou populations. In all insular ranges of Newfoundland caribou studied, the centers of distribution are at maximum distances from human activities. The authors postulate that three factors are responsible for this anomalous distribution pattern: (1) Harvesting eliminated caribou from formerly occupied areas, the long-term effects of which were the removal of dispersers that might recolonize accessible areas. (2) Disturbance associated with man and machine using transportation corridors conditioned animals to avoid such highly disturbed areas. (3) Densities are insufficient to induce major range expansions.