Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program:
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources


Synthesizing Ungulate Movement and Migrations Across Alaska

August 2022 - December 2025


Participating Agencies

Ungulate movements and migrations are crucial behavioral processes that have a direct impact on harvest and habitat management programs. The availability of migratory ungulates to harvest has large implications for subsistence harvest programs, and the identification of migration corridors and habitat factors associated with movements and movement barriers is a challenging but critical question in the face of changing environmental systems.

Using monitoring data from caribou and moose populations from throughout Alaska, this project will identify unifying factors related to ungulate migrations while simultaneously providing individual herd managers with the information and tools needed to appropriately manage ungulates. Existing GPS and satellite telemetry data from multiple caribou herds throughout Alaska (Western Arctic, Teshekpuk, Mulchatna, Nelchina, Fortymile) will be used to parameterize movement models that will provide a mechanistic understanding of migration paths and cues, while existing telemetry data from moose in multiple Game Management Units will be used to parameterize models to help identify seasonal movements and corridors.

Aside from improving our understanding of ungulate migrations across Alaska, this project will develop a unified data flow and analytical framework for the various collaring efforts that are ongoing throughout Alaska. The wide variety of collar manufacturers, data streams, fix rates, and data quality have thus made it challenging to develop unified analyses or data management protocols, and doing so will help improve the inference gained from myriad telemetry efforts but also decrease the turnaround time required to use these data to provide useful information to wildlife managers.