Quantifying community-level responses to anthropogenic landscape disturbance and management using multi-array camera trap data

Habitat loss through anthropogenic landscape disturbance is one of the leading drivers of biodiversity loss, yet activities such as resource extraction and agriculture play a vital role in the global economy. Understanding impacts of such disturbances, through robust environmental monitoring protocols, is key to maintain a balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability. Cost-effective monitoring approaches that collect data at a broad yet relevant scale for investigating species responses to disturbance is required. We propose the use of a network of multiple camera trap arrays within a coordinated distributed experiment framework to monitor and assess mammalian responses to resource extraction activities and wildlife management interventions aimed at mitigating negative impacts of such activities. We will deploy– leverage data previously collected from– a large network of standardized camera trap arrays distributed across a gradient of disturbance within Alberta and exposed to different management practices. to design, evaluate and apply a robust protocol that can be used to monitor multi-species responses to disturbance long- term. Such a program will be invaluable to land managers, both within Western Canada and beyond, by increasing our understanding of broad-scale responses to landscape disturbance and allowing better-informed wildlife management interventions.

Andrew Ladle
Faculty Supervisor: 
Jason T Fisher
British Columbia
Partner University: