Modelling the effects of industrial disturbance and predation risk on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) seasonal habitat selection in the boreal forest of Alberta, Canada

My master’s project in partnership with InnoTech Alberta will be assessing potential effects of industrial activity from in-situ oil and gas extraction on carnivore and white-tailed deer populations in northeastern Alberta. Deer populations have been increasing for the past fifty years and two of the leading causes are attributed to climate change and human disturbance. Our objectives are to determine which industrial activities are important for deer populations and to provide management recommendations for the population in the interest of the protection of woodland caribou, a threatened species. Current management approaches include predator control as a method of reducing predation pressure on caribou; however, deer are the primary prey for wolves in this region and are an important management consideration for future caribou recovery strategies. InnoTech Alberta is a leader in wildlife modelling and will benefit from this partnership by providing informative results and management recommendations to funding agencies and to the Government of Alberta.

Faculty Supervisor:

John Volpe


Siobhan Darlington


InnoTech Alberta Inc


Environmental sciences


Environmental industry




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