My research in the Moose research group is aimed at understanding how spatio-temporal variation in environment, human influence and life history interact to influence demography and population dynamics of moose and their movement ecology.
I use a variety of approaches to address the key issues in Management and Conservation. Most of my work has focused on three key topics –
- Multi-scale Habitat selection, behavior and long distance migrations
- Optimizing monitoring as a conservation and managementtool
- Dynamics of socio-ecological systems
Some of the key questions I aim to address within the group are:
Improving our understanding of the drivers of migration from individuals to populations
Individuals in a population can be dividedinto three main stages of their life history: pre reproductive, reproductive and post reproductive. These individuals differ in their vital rates due to the metabolic requirements at these stages. The long distance migratory behavior is an adaptation to overcome the environmental harshness, predation and resource scarcity by migrating to favorable areas. Nevertheless, even within the migratory populations, differences in migratory behavior are observed amongdifferent sexes, age classes and individuals. It is however unclear, how these differences among individuals in terms of their life history and costs and benefits of migration to them, translate into the decisions of undertaking these long perilous journeys.
Animal movement under the influence of management, land use and climate change
The Scandinavian landscape has changed remarkably in the past few decades in terms of land use, predator control, wildlife management and livestock grazing, just like any other migratory ecosystem in the world. This trend is expected to continue in future. Climate change is expected to induce major changes in migratory systems and hence raise further challenges to the management of migratory species. Especially in the case of migratory ungulates for which the timing of spring green up is tightly coupled with the onset of the spring migration and calving, climatic changes in temperature, precipitation and productivity are likely to induce major range shifts during spring and autumn. This implies that an understanding of the role of wildlife and forest management practices and their spatio-temporal dynamics, existing and predicted land use and climate change conditions, is vital for the conservation of migration systems as well as sustainable management of herbivore and predator populations.