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Caribou Conservation Conundrum by Kyla M. Flanagan, Department of Biological Sciences University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and Jalene M. LaMontagne Department.

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Presentation on theme: "Caribou Conservation Conundrum by Kyla M. Flanagan, Department of Biological Sciences University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and Jalene M. LaMontagne Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 Caribou Conservation Conundrum by Kyla M. Flanagan, Department of Biological Sciences University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and Jalene M. LaMontagne Department of Biological Sciences DePaul University, Chicago, IL

2 By the end of this case study, you should be able to: 1.Synthesize biological information related to a conservation topic. 2.Apply ecological principles to a current conservation issue. 3.Assess the appropriateness of a proposed management strategy based on biological evidence. 4.Determine the pros and cons of culling a wolf population in Alberta to protect a declining caribou population. 5.Discuss potential challenges of implementing biologically focused management plans. 2

3 Economic Importance of Alberta Oil 3

4 Where is this issue taking place? “Environment Canada had to be dragged into court before it came up with a recovery strategy for Canada's endangered woodland caribou” (Max Paris, Environment Unit, VIDEO CBC News: Feb 22, 2012) 4

5 What is the concern over the caribou population? What are the threats to the caribou population? What is the management strategy being proposed? 5

6 Rachael Mercer is a biologist who has been working at Environment Canada for 6 months. She completed her undergraduate ecology degree and worked at an environmental consulting company in oil and gas for 2 years. Now, as part of the Environment Canada team, she is responsible for determining if culling wolf populations is a viable LONG- TERM strategy for the conservation of caribou. 6

7 Caribou Biology Wolf Biology Landscape changes Food web interactions 7

8 What should Rachael tell the minister? Is a wolf cull a viable long-term caribou conservation strategy? Why or why not? 8

9 What should we do? 9

10 October 10, 2012 Weber, B. Edmonton Journal. 10 Oct The Canadian Press 10

11 Wrap-up: Challenges What do you think are some challenges of implementing a management plan for caribou in this setting? Are there additional factors that need to be considered? 11

12 By the end of this case study, you should be able to: 1.Synthesize biological information related to a conservation topic 2.Apply ecological principles to a current conservation issue 3.Assess the appropriateness of a proposed management strategy based on biological evidence 4.Determine the pros and cons of culling a wolf population in Alberta to protect a declining caribou population 5.Discuss potential challenges of implementing biologically focused management plans 12

13 Image Credits Slide 1, top Description: Athabasca Oil Sands NASA Earth Observatory. Source: Image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon using EO-1 ALI data courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team, retrieved from Clearance: Public domain because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted." Slide 1, left Description: Photo of Caribou, Reindeer in Alaska. Source: Jon Nickles, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, retrieved from Wikimedia Commons, Clearance: This image is the work of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee, taken or made during the course of an employee's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. Slide 1, right Description: Photo of Canis lupus. Source: Gary Kramer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Clearance: This image is the work of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee, taken or made during the course of an employee's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. Slide 3 Description: Graph displaying comparative oil reserves. Source: Government of Alberta, Clearance: Used in accordance with terms of use as specified on last accessed 01/18/2013. Slide 4, left Description: Map displaying location of the Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River oil sands in Alberta with regulatory boundaries. Source: Alberta Geological Survey, retrieved from Slide 4, right Description: Caribou map. Source: Figure 2, page 4, of Status of Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Alberta: Update Alberta Wildlife Status Report No


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