Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Influence of Road Traffic Volume on Central Arctic Caribou Herd, Alaska

February 2023 (approx.)

Detailed Description

This is a graphical abstract for the publication by Severson et al. (2023) that investigated the influence of vehicle traffic in Northern Alaska oil fields on summer space use and road crossings of female caribou in the Central Arctic Herd. The researchers deployed traffic counters (depicted by the small white box along the road) to record hourly vehicle traffic, and then assessed caribou behavioral responses to traffic and roads using GPS collars (depicted on the caribou in the lower right image). They found that caribou generally selected for areas further from oil field roads and with very low traffic. Caribou were also generally less likely to cross roads when there was more traffic.  

Graphic by: Andres A. Aceves for USGS through the Virtual Student Federal Service program


Public Domain.

U.S. Geological Survey