Ludovic Landry-Ducharme

Université du Québec à Rimouski
Ph.D. candidate

Supervisor: Dominique Berteaux
Start: 2022-09-01


Movement ecology of a mammalian herbivore in polar desert
Animal migration, a common phenomenon in environments characterized by strong seasonal variations, is however very rare in terrestrial mammals. In the fall of 2019, we observed by satellite telemetry a mass movement of the Arctic hare population of Ellesmere Island (Nunavut) over more than 100 km. The Arctic hare is one of the few herbivores residing year-round in the polar desert of the High Arctic, an extreme environment due to its harsh climate and the scarcity of resources. In the current context of climatic and anthropogenic disturbances affecting the Canadian Arctic, the unprecedented population movement described in 2019 constitutes an exceptional opportunity to increase our knowledge of both the vertebrate communities of the High Arctic and the role of the movement. in their survival strategies in this environment. The general objective of the project is to understand how movement allows terrestrial mammals to persist even in the most hostile environments. More specifically, my study model is the Arctic hare in the Canadian polar desert and I want to understand the movement strategies that allow this species to persist within 1000 km of the North Pole. I will adopt a 3-step approach, according to the main phases of the life cycle of the species: summer reproduction, fall and spring migrations, and winter residence. Thus, my specific objectives are: 1) To understand the space use strategies of adults and young during the polar summer, a period of reproduction and abundance of resources. 2) Identify the individual and environmental factors that explain the dates and routes of migratory journeys. 3) Describe and understand the activity level and space use of individuals during the heart of the polar winter, when environmental conditions pose the greatest challenge to survival


lièvre arctique, Arctique canadien, migration