Late Pleistocene Faunal Assemblages from Karst Cave Settings on Northern Vancouver Island, Canada

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

We present the results of our investigations in karst caves on northern Vancouver Island. This work focuses on late Pleistocene faunal remains and potential archaeological deposits. Our analyses of faunal remains from these caves reveal that a variety of animals have inhabited the region since the Last Glacial Maximum. Pleistocene taxa recovered include black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus), black bear (Ursus americanus), mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus), Vancouver Island marmot (Marmota vancouverensis), wolf/dog (Canis spp.), weasel (Mustela), and frog (Anura). We also report on a previously undescribed diminutive red fox (Vulpes vulpes) which no longer inhabits Vancouver Island. We present the results of sedaDNA analysis of cave sediments which demonstrates promise in supporting the morphological identification of animal remains. The results of this study, combined with previous research, help to constrain the timing of the Last Glacial Maximum and when land became viable to support land mammals on northern Vancouver Island.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)216-236
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Center for the Study of the First Americans.

    Research areas

  • archaeology, faunal communities, paleontology, Terminal Pleistocene, Vancouver Island

ID: 372832579