Unique Production Topics Projects

Introduction on nonindigenous plant’s to Alaska’s Seward Peninsula: A consequence of new reindeer management strategies?
Invasive species present a serious threat to ecosystems worldwide and are typically most effectively managed through prevention rather than eradication. Though Alaskan ecosystems are relatively pristine compared to those at more moderate latitudes, introduction and range expansion of nonindigenous plants in Alaska is expected to occur. In response to the recent and dramatic range expansion of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd (WACH) onto the Seward Peninsula, some herders have begun to use geographically isolated refugia or fenced enclosures to protect herds during times when caribou are present. Provision of supplemental feed to animals held in these areas may help to increase control of animals and mitigate localized overuse of the range. Feedstuffs can contain viable weed seeds and dispersal through fecal matter and spilled feed is one mechanism by which nonindigenous plant species could be introduced. The objective of this study is to determine whether supplemental feeding of reindeer in a tundra grazing system is likely to result in the introduction of nonindigenous plant species to the Seward Peninsula.

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Contact Information
Reindeer Research Program
Page Last Modified: 05/15/15 1:34 pm by: dsblodgett@alaska.edu