- Olson, Sheryn J.
The Graduate School, University of Maine
Snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) respond to seasonal changes in vegetation in the northern and western portions of their range. During winter, hares use dense conifer stands that may provide thermal and predatory refuge, then during summer move to areas with more herbaceous food and cover. These movements influence hare demographics, with greater survival rates corresponding to seasonal use of dense, primarily coniferous stands. Different harvesting practices in commercial forests produce vegetative communities that may support differing hare densities among forest stand- types between seasons, but seasonal use of habitat had not been documented in northern Maine on a large spatial and temporal scale. In response to spatio-temporal availability of hares, the U.S. federally threatened Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) may shift their resource selection. Though lynx may be relatively less specialized on snowshoe hares in mid- and southwestern regions of their range? Their degree of dietary specialization had not been quantified in Maine