A Review and Assessment of the Baseline Data Relevant to the Impacts of Oil Sands Developments on Large Mammals in the AOSERP Study Area

Authors
Don Thompson
Dave Ealey
K.H. McCourt
Date:
1980
Page Length
155

The available baseline data which are relevant to the documentation and evaluation of the impacts on large mammals (moose, woodland caribou, wolf) which would result from oil sands development are reviewed. An approach to the analysis of impacts was developed to provide a logical framework for the determination of what types of baseline data were relevant to the objectives of study. Baseline data for each species were discussed under three categories: seasonal population dispersion, the potential impacts of large development projects, and population dynamics. The review forms the basis of the evaluation of the state of baseline knowledge of large mammals in the AOSERP study area and a statement of the research which should be completed in order to provide the data. A critique of the state of the baseline knowledge of large mammals (moose, woodland caribou, wolf) was conducted with the objectives being to determine whether or not baseline knowledge of these species is adequate to assess the impacts of large developments on large mammal populations in the AOSERP study area, and to identify specific knowledge gaps. Major gaps in the baseline knowledge of moose were: seasonal habitat use, the effects of sensory disturbances and population density; a minor gap was identified in the knowledge of the effects of development on direct mortality of moose. Major gaps in the baseline knowledge of woodland caribou were: distribution on the AOSERP study area, seasonal habitat use, the effects of sensory disturbance, and population density; minor gaps were identified in the knowledge of the effects of development on direct mortality of woodland caribou. Major gaps in the baseline knowledge of wolf were: seasonal habitat use and population density; minor gaps were identified in the knowledge of the seasonal movement patterns, the effects of sensory disturbances, and the effects of development projects on direct mortality of wolves.