Occupancy and fine-scale habitat use of five meso-carnivore prey species in the sub-boreal forests of Central British Columbia
Many forest carnivores in British Columbia (BC) meet their nutritional requirements by preying on squirrels, hares and grouse. Although considerable effort has gone into studying the predator species, there is a substantial information gap on the habitat needs of their prey items. Knowledge of prey species habitat requirements provides another important dimension to our ability to manage for both them and their predators. Staff at the John Prince Research Forest near Fort St. James, BC have operated a network of wildlife cameras in different forest types for two winters and one spring/summer season. I will use the data from these cameras and habitat data to understand the habitat associations of red squirrels, Northern flying squirrels, snowshoe hares, ruffed grouse and spruce grouse, all important prey species. Once these relationships are known, I will generate maps of the landscape that predict where these species are most likely to be detected.