WCS Canada

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Defining habitat restoration for boreal caribou in the context of national recovery
Many boreal caribou populations across Canada exist in non-self sustaining conditions. This discussion paper covers the importance and the challenges associated with the use of habitat restoration as a conservation strategy to help in the recovery of this species at risk. It presents a framework for measuring progress toward the restoration goal and objectives and each criterion can be implemented across scales- from local to the range scale.
Differential habitat use or intraguild interactions, what structures a carnivore community
Habitat use and intraguild competition are important drivers of the structure and distribution of species. Community–wide assessments of the relative strengths of these two factors is lacking in the literature. This study used mulit-scale habitat occupancy models for five carnivore taxa and compared the performance of these models against models that incorporated co-occurrences of competing carnivore species.
Diel patterns of hooking depth for active and passive angling methods for two freshwater teleost fishes
Catch-and-release angling has become more popular, leading to the need to identify best practices that minimize sublethal injuries, impairments, and fish mortality. Hooking injury, in particular deep hooking, is a major factor that impacts the viability of fish that are caught and released. This study captured bluegill and pumpkinseed fish to examine the relationship between two types of angling practices (active vs passive) on hook depth and hook location for each fish.
Environmental correlates and energetics of winter flight by bats in Southern Alberta, Canada
Winter activity of bats is very common but the extent to which environmental factors affect flight activity is still poorly understood. This study recorded echolocation calls of bats in Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada to determine the influence of environmental factors on bat winter activity.
The efficacy of assisted ventilation techniques for facilitating the recovery of fish that are exhausted from simulated angling stress
It is critical to use science-based decision making when examining angling practices to ensure sustainable catch-and-release fisheries. One technique that is used in situations where fish lose equilibrium is to provide assisted ventilation by hand until equilibrium is regained. This study uses two freshwater species that are popular for angling: largemouth bass and brook trout to examine the effectiveness of this ventilation technique in facilitating physiological, behavioural recovery and survival.
Case 3 Habitat suitability mapping, Peel watershed
This project was conducted to address a knowledge gap that was revealed in the Conservation Priorities Assessment: Criteria and Indicators report. The report recommended that habitats of a number of species be mapped across the Peel Watershed in order to inform conservation priorities. To inform land-use planning requires comprehensively mapping of the distribution of wildlife species or their habitat. Over two years, planning staff and local conservation experts at the Government of Yukon and Wildlife Conservation Society Canada developed habitat suitability and species diversity maps for the Peel Watershed. The resulting maps were used to identify areas of high conservation priority or potential land-use conflicts.
(Alces alces) predation by eastern coyotes (Canis latrans) and eastern coyote x eastern wolf (Canis latrans x Canis lycaon) hybrids
It has been widely assumed that coyotes (Canis latrans) are incapable of killing adult moose (Alces alces) and previous studies of coyote predation support this assumption. However, eastern coyotes and eastern coyote × eastern wolf (Canis lycaon) are larger than western coyotes and appear to rely on larger prey in some areas. This study uses a combination of GPS telemetry, genetic analysis, and field investigation to test the hypothesis that eastern coyotes and coyote × wolf hybrids are capable of preying on adult moose in central Ontario.
Density estimation for small mammals from live trapping grids - rodents in northern Canada
While robust estimates of population density are crucial for management agencies and quantitative ecologists, the best way to convert population estimates of livetrapped small mammals to population density is not clear. This study compares four density estimators for three boreal forest and three tundra rodent species to test for relative differences.
Using climate and a minimum set of local characteristics to predict the future distributions of freshwater fish in Ontario, Canada, at the lake-scale
Freshwater ecosystems are the most threatened on the planet, facing intense pressure from human use and climate change. In lakes, climate change will alter the quality and quantity of fish habitats by changing the seasonal availability of water at different temperatures. However, the implications for fish populations have not been well studied. Here, we predict how climate change might alter the types of fish found in lakes across Ontario. We develop models for the distribution of a cold-water species (lake whitefish), cool-water species (walleye), and warm-water species (rock bass) relative to local climate and lake characteristics. Our forecasts anticipate losses of whitefish and walleye populations across south and central Ontario, and identify Ontario’s Far North as a climate refuge for these species. The models anticipate the spread of rock bass across much of Ontario, and identify numerous lakes at risk for invasion across Ontario’s Far North.
Examining climate-biome (‘‘cliome’’) shifts for Yukon and its protected areas
Protected area networks are the foundation of conservation, even in northern Canada where anthropogenic impact on the landscape is currently limited. However, the value of protected areas may be undermined by climate change in this region where the rate and magnitude is high, and shifts in vegetation communities and associated wildlife species are already underway. Based on an existing modeled dataset from Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning (SNAP), Yukon may lose seven cliomes and gain one by the 2090s. These projections are likely to be highly informative for planning, monitoring, and management of Yukon’s protected area network.
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