The impacts of human activity and landscape change on Rocky Mountain mammal communities
Gaining an understanding of the interacting impacts of human activity and landscape change on wildlife is an important step towards better understanding how to manage and conserve wild areas. The effects of landscape change on mammal communities have been studied, but interacting disturbances are rarely addressed. In Alberta’s Eastern Rockies, human activity is prevalent in the form of various types of recreation and harvesting activities, and landscape features like cutlines and forestry roads allow people increased access to the landscape. To understand how human activity influences species distributions, we will use camera traps to quantify species’ occurrence across the landscape and human use of trails to assess how human use impacts mammals. We will also assess how mammal occurrence is affected by level of landscape protection (unprotected to protected parks and wilderness areas). Results from this study will help inform better conservation and management of public wilderness spaces.