In this report we summarize current methods used by state, provincial, and federal agencies to monitor carnivores in the Lake Superior basin and discuss alternative techniques that could be used to monitor carnivores. Within the Lake Superior Watershed (LSW) there are now up to 20 carnivore species, ranging in size from the tiny least weasel (Mustela nivalis) to the black bear (Ursus americanus). Varied data sources help determine past and present distribution of carnivores in the LSW, such as museum records, DNR/MNR records, books, and the scientific literature. However, there is no single source for information on carnivores in the LSW. The Mustelidae has 9 species, the Canidae has 4 species, the Felidae have 3 species, the Mephitidae have 2 species, and there is 1 species in the Ursidae and 1 in the Procyonidae. We reviewed literature on the status of each species across it range, and also on status within the Lake Superior Watershed when possible. We - searched for existing records of specific locations available in on-line research collections. We also summarized harvest records of each species when it was available within a jurisdiction. Finally, we summarized the methods currently used to monitor carnivore populations that are in the peer-reviewed literature. For each species we include some data on size, distribution, and harvest when possible. This report can be used as a baseline for distribution and numbers of carnivore species in the Lake Superior Watershed. It would be desirable at some point to search museum collections online again, or in person. Collections from some of the small museums are not likely to be digitized and accessible for internet searches. For the future, it would provide background data for developing monitoring techniques to serve as a basin-wide monitoring protocol that can be adopted (and modified as appropriate) by stakeholder agencies.
University of Minnesota Duluth, Natural Resources Research Institute, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
Moen, Ronald; Potts, Kevin; Gilbert, Jonathan.
Status of Mammalian Carnivores and Evaluation of Monitoring Techniques in the Lake Superior Basin.
University of Minnesota Duluth.
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