Long-term studies of demography and movements are rare but critical to understanding long-lived mobile mammals like caribou (Rangifer tarandus). We studied changes in the abundance, vital rates, body size, and timing of migration of the Buchans Plateau caribou herd in Newfoundland, Canada. From the early 1960s to 2000, the population grew at 6.5%/year, although survival and recruitment indicated a declining growth rate (1.4%) by the late 1990s. The numerical increase was negatively associated with other population attributes. Rates of parturition, survival to 6 months of age, and recruitment diminished significantly. Adults exhibited substantial decreases in body size. Spring migration was significantly later and autumn migration significantly earlier. We surmise that these responses may reflect heightened density-dependent competition for summer forage.
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