Mammal Densities in a Restored Landscape, the Algar Habitat Restoration Program

Species-at-risk conservation is complex and multi-faceted. However, mitigation strategies are typically narrow in scope, an artefact of conservation research that is often limited to a single species or stressor. The ability to research an entire community of strongly interacting species would greatly enhance our ability to forge more comprehensive and effective conservation decisions. Seismic line restoration is a key management strategy for caribou conservation but little is known about the response of this restoration on boreal mammals generally, or caribou, specifically. This project will capitalize on an ongoing camera trap survey monitoring wildlife responses to seismic line restoration in Alberta’s boreal forest, which overlaps with critical caribou habitat. The objectives of this project are to use advanced spatial capture-recapture models (spatial count and spatial mark-resight) to estimate the densities of 7 focal boreal mammal species: caribou, black bear, coyote, lynx, moose, white-tailed deer, and wolves. Estimating the densities of the broader boreal mammal community will provide insight into potential predation risks of carnivores, beyond merely wolves, to caribou, and the influence of apparent competition with moose and white-tailed deer. Densities provide a common currency with which to compare the status of boreal mammals in the restored landscape to boreal mammals

Intern: 
Joanna Burgar
Faculty Supervisor: 
Cole Burton
Province: 
British Columbia
Partner University: 
Discipline: 
Program: