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Grizzly Bear Research Program AGM June 2009 1


FRI Grizzly Bear Research Program

Past, Present and Future 2


Long Term Program Goal

• To provide resource managers with the necessary knowledge and planning tools to ensure the long-term conservation of grizzly bears in Alberta.

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A Program based on partnerships

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Program Research Team

N DNA – Status and Trends

N Habitat Mapping and Landscape Change Dr. Steven Franklin (U of Saskatchewan) Dr. Greg McDermid (U of Calgary)

Dr. David Paetkau Dr. Michael Proctor N Wildlife Health

Dr. Nicholas Coops (UBC)

Dr. Marc Cattet (CCWHC)

Dr. Mike Wulder (CFS-Victoria)

Dr. Matt Vijayan (U of Waterloo)

David Laskin – RS technician & PhD student

Dr. David Janz (U of S)

Julia Linke – PhD student

Bryan McBeth – PhD student

Adam Collingwood – PhD student

Bryan Sarauer – Lab technician

N Graph Theory Modeling Barb Schwab (WLU) – PhD student N Statistical Analysis and Modeling

Ruth Carlson – PhD student Jason Hamilton – MSc student N GIS Applications - FMF

Dr. Scott Nielsen (U of A)

Jerome Cranston

John Boulanger – (statistician)

Julie Duval

N Camera Collars

N Grizzly Bear Ecology

Dr. Naser El-Sheimy (U of Calgary)

Gordon Stenhouse

Dr. Andrew Hunter (U of Calgary)

Karen Graham Terry Larsen – MSc student Karine Pigeon – PhD student

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Program Sponsors • Ainsworth Lumber • Alberta Conservation Association • Alberta SRD • Alberta Fish and Game • Alberta Newsprint • Alberta Advanced Education and Technology (Innovation and Science) • Anadarko • Anderson Exploration Ltd. • Anderson Resources Ltd. • AVID Canada • BP Canada Energy Company • Banff National Park • BC Oil & Gas Commission • Buchanan Lumber-Tolko • Burlington Resources Ltd. • Canada Centre for Remote Sensing • Canadian Hunter • Canadian Wildlife Service • Canfor • Cardinal River Operations • Canadian Forest Service • CNRL • Conoco Phillips Ltd. • Conservation Biology Institute

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Devon Canada Corp. DMI Elk Valley Coal Enbridge Inc. EnCana Corp. Environment Canada –HSP Foothills Model Forest Fording Coal FRIAA GeoAnalytic Ltd. Gregg River Resources Husky Energy Jasper National Park Komex International Ltd. Lehigh Inland Cement Luscar Ltd.-Coal Valley Manning Forestry Research Millar Western Ltd. Mountain Equipment Co-op Nexen Natural Resources Service Northrock Resources Ltd. NSERC Petro Canada Peyto Exploration Precision Drilling Ltd. PTAC (CAPP) Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation • Shell Canada

• Spray Lake Sawmills • Suncor Energy • Sundance Forest Industries • Talisman Energy Ltd. • Telemetry Solutions • Trans Canada Pipelines • University of Alberta • University of Calgary

• University of • • • •

• • •

Lethbridge University of Saskatchewan University of Washington Veritas West Fraser Hinton Wood Products Blue Ridge Lumber Sundre Forest Products Slave Lake Pulp Western College of Veterinary Medicine Weyerhaeuser Ltd. World Wildlife Fund

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Research Supporting Management Our Approach – Providing maps and models for all grizzly bear habitat in Alberta.

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Mapping History and Expansion

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Remote Sensing Products Classified Landcover map (10-class) 30m resolution

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Remote Sensing Products Crown closure model 30m resolution

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Remote Sensing Products Species composition model (coniferous/deciduous mix) 30m resolution

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Remote Sensing Products

Classified Landcover map (15class) 30m resolution Created by combining the 10class Landcover with crown closure and species composition models.

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Remote Sensing Products Agricultural mask 30m resolution

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Remote Sensing Products Agricultural classes (vector)

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Collection of Bear Data

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Bear Habitat use data

GPS locations collected: 1999-2008 ________________ Total: 205,610

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Produce RSF Maps Remote sensing is the basis for grizzly bear habitat mapping. Landsat TM5 imagery is used to create classified landcover maps of all grizzly bear range in Alberta.

The landcover maps have been combined with the GPS locations to create Resource Selection Function (RSF) models of grizzly bear distribution.

…and a map showing the probability of occurrence of grizzly bears can be created 17


Seasonal RSF models have now also been developed for the Clear Hills area (Chinchaga)

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Grizzly Bear travel corridors Graph Theory travel corridors connect areas of high-quality habitat. The darker and thicker the lines, the more likely they are to be used as travel routes.

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Mortality risk Defining mortality sites Although bears use areas with high risk, use of these areas results in lower survival rates

Human-caused mortality risk: low moderate high very high

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Safe Harbours for Grizzly Bears Where are the areas of best habitat and lowest probability of mortality for grizzly bears on the landscape? We have termed these areas - safe harbours.

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What has been provided to date: The models are GIS layers that can be overlaid with other feature layers, such as proposed developments, to determine their interaction. Graph Theory Corridors

Resource Selection Function

Classified Landcover grid Raw Landsat imagery 23


New GIS tools to support application of research findings

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The RSF_calculator script allows the user to choose an analysis extent and, optionally, add new roads and openings.

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Similarly, the risk_calculator script allows the user to choose an analysis extent and, optionally, add new roads, trails, and cut blocks.

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Grizzly Bears and Habitat Modeling Now Available!

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How Good are These models? - an independent test

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Provincial Grizzly Bear DNA Inventory Research results and Products used for management

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What is a DNA mark-recapture survey?

Bears investigating the scent leave tufts of hair on the wire, which is then collected and analyzed for DNA profiles from which a population size can be estimated.

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RSF models – BMA 3

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RSF models – BMA 3

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Watershed Delineation by RSF models – BMA 3

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Mortality Risk 1 0.9 0.8

Survival rate

0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 0.00

0.02

0.04

0.06

0.08

0.10

0.12

0.14

access density

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Does the Research Get Used?

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Sound Science to support management decisions

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Present Activities…….

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Grizzly Bear Health – different landscapes Evidence found to indicate that different grizzly bear populations in Alberta exhibit different reproductive output and show different “health characteristics”.

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Traditional Approach to Wildlife Management – N!

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Detecting Landscape Effects on Wildlife Health: An Approach to Monitoring Populations

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Stress Biomarkers In Blood Serum

Blood collection from captured bears

Separation of serum from blood cells

Measurement of stress-associated 43 substances (cortisol, heat-shock proteins, etc.)


Stress Biomarkers In Skin & Muscle

Remote biopsy collection

Custom protein array (“bear stress chip�)

Stress-associated protein profile

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Hair Cortisol: A Relevant Measure of Long Term Stress

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Tools & Techniques Applicable to Other Species of Concern E.g., Polar bears of Hudson Bay Long-term Stress as Indicated by Serum Heat-shock protein 70 Levels 95% Confidence interval for: Western Hudson Bay (WH) = 1.2-1.7 ng/ml Southern Hudson Bay (SH) = 0.7-1.0 ng/ml

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Tracking Landscape Change Human Activities and Grizzly Bears in the Kakwa- an example.

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Linking Geospatial data to Bear data

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New Geospatial datasets Annual change features Roads, pipelines, well sites, and cut blocks have been classified by year of construction in BMA 3 (1998-2005) and BMA 4 (2002 2005)

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Meta Analysis now underway

Anthropogenic Change

Habitat change/loss

Human activity

Remote sensing and habitat mapping

Long-term stress

- lab research Immunity

Growth

Wildlife health - field research

Reproduction 50


The challenge of studying a species that is found in remote habitats and difficult to follow or observe

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Our new Approach – Animal Pathfinder

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Bear Path from GPS Points alone

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assumed travel path using traditional approach

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actual travel path using data from animal pathfinder

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Movement Phases with Sensors y = ln( N f λ f e

λf r

+ N s λs e λs r + N l λl e λl r )

N f λf 1 ln rc = λ f − λs N s λs = 52 m min −1

rc =

Nλ 1 ln s s λs − λl N l λl

= 223 m min −1

Searching

N: number of movements λ: Prob. that an event occurs in the next movement rate interval r: movement rate

Locomotion

Foraging 56

Adapted from Silby et al (1990) and Johnson (2002)


Denning and climate variables: 10 years of data in place:

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Habitat selection and climate: 10 years of data in place:

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Mountain Pine Beetle: grizzly bear response

How will grizzly bears respond to MPB and associated management actions? 59


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• • • •

Classified image data; Tasseled Cap Wetness (based on image spectral values); Wombled edges (brightness relates strength); Class transitions at edge locations and combine with model input, describe outputs / trends

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The Future…………

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Population Trend - Unknown

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Time New Approaches to Monitor Population Status of 68 Grizzly Bears In Alberta. (N with health)


Grizzly Bear Foods 1. Plant Phenology 2. Energetics

Understanding the carrying capacity of the landscape for grizzly bear populations 69


International Collaboration – Scandinavian Brown Bear Project • Grizzly Bears extirpated in Norway by 1930’s • By 1970 only 140 grizzly bears remaining in Sweden •Major management activities undertaken to recover species •Currently 3500 grizzly bears in Sweden with some expansion into Norway •Sweden now has an annual well managed grizzly bear hunt

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Collaboration Topics: Health

Movements

Forestry responses

Dispersal of expanding populations

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Questions

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Gbp 2009 06 prsnttn fri agm gbp  

http://foothillsri.ca/sites/default/files/null/GBP_2009_06_Prsnttn_FRI_AGM_GBP.pdf

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