Webinar: Networking the spatial structure of boreal caribou populations in western Canada



Start Date

The Alberta Regional Caribou Knowledge Partnership (ARCKP) is pleased to be hosting a free webinar, presented by Steve Wilson of EcoLogic Research, February 10th, 11 AM MST. View details below and register online to reserve your place.

Webinar Details

Title: Networking the spatial structure of boreal caribou populations in western Canada

Abstract: Delineating relevant local populations of widely distributed species is a common challenge in conservation ecology. In Canada, recovery actions for boreal caribou are stratified by local population units (LPUs), but evidence supporting their boundaries varies widely. We assembled GPS telemetry from 1,586 adult female caribou across the 19 northwesternmost LPUs, spanning northern SK, AB, NT, and northeast BC. We used a network analysis  to identify candidate local populations and subpopulations. We detected local population boundaries that in some cases were consistent with accepted LPUs but in other cases were not. Several caribou “communities” at smaller spatial extents were consistent with expert and local knowledge of caribou movements and support recovery planning and actions “stepped down” from entire ranges. These results have important implications for forecasting the population resiliency of caribou.

Presenter: Steve Wilson is a consulting biologist who works at technical and professional levels in strategic and operational planning for wildlife and other ecological values. He specializes in quantitative approaches to decision support and policy analysis. Steve holds a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.