Although the existence of deep-sea coral reefs has been known for centuries, it is only in the last decade that interest and understanding of these ecosystems have increased. There is a growing concern about the diversity and magnitude of anthropogenic (human) threats to these fragile habitats. Bottom trawling poses by far the largest threat. These corals are in need of protection, but a lack of basic information on the distribution and extent of deep sea corals in BC is constraining managers’ ability provide this protection.
This study seeks to work towards a restoration plan for one of the most significant coastal dune ecosystems ties remaining on Vancouver Island. The dune ecosystem at the Cordova Spit represents a unique and fragile environment that offers vital habitat to a number of plants and animals that are at-risk in BC, including several different groups and dozens of species of migratory birds. A large pt of the study site is located on the Tsawout First Nation reserve and is culturally significant to the community.
Vancity Credit Union has been a leader on the climate change issue for many years and has been actively attempting to reduce its carbon footprint since the mid-1990s. Climate change activities at Vancity were undertaken to invest in Canadian solutions to climate change, to build local knowledge about reducing emissions and to create local sources of high-quality carbon offsets. The carbon offset program, in particular, was developed under the advisement of The David Suzuki Foundation, the Natural Step, the Pembina Institute and Ecotrust.
Many fish populations have spatial structure which is not explicitly recognized in assessment or management. For example, Pacific herring are managed as five discrete stocks in BC, but there is evidence of both regional and within-stock diversity that may determine the capacity of the five large stocks to sustain themselves over time. This spatial structure is maintained by movement of fish among and between sub-populations within the greater, coast-wide metapopulation.
How do species respond to changes in habitat, and can their responses be used to set reliable management targets? The intern’s research is focused on determining whether forest birds respond non-linearly to the loss of forest habitat due to logging. For example, theoretical models show that the probability of finding forest birds within a given patch of forest declines sharply when less than 30% of forest cover remains in the patch. A point of sharp decline in a graph of a particular response to habitat loss is referred to as a 'critical threshold' or 'habitat threshold'.