Grizzly Bear Research Program AGM June 2009 1
FRI Grizzly Bear Research Program
Past, Present and Future 2
Long Term Program Goal
â€˘ To provide resource managers with the necessary knowledge and planning tools to ensure the long-term conservation of grizzly bears in Alberta.
A Program based on partnerships
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)
John Boulanger – (statistician)
N Camera Collars
N Grizzly Bear Ecology
Dr. Naser El-Sheimy (U of Calgary)
Dr. Andrew Hunter (U of Calgary)
Karen Graham Terry Larsen – MSc student Karine Pigeon – PhD student
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
Research Supporting Management Our Approach â€“ Providing maps and models for all grizzly bear habitat in Alberta.
Mapping History and Expansion
Remote Sensing Products Classified Landcover map (10-class) 30m resolution
Remote Sensing Products Crown closure model 30m resolution
Remote Sensing Products Species composition model (coniferous/deciduous mix) 30m resolution
Remote Sensing Products
Classified Landcover map (15class) 30m resolution Created by combining the 10class Landcover with crown closure and species composition models.
Remote Sensing Products Agricultural mask 30m resolution
Remote Sensing Products Agricultural classes (vector)
Collection of Bear Data
Bear Habitat use data
GPS locations collected: 1999-2008 ________________ Total: 205,610
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)
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.
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
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.
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
The RSF_calculator script allows the user to choose an analysis extent and, optionally, add new roads and openings.
Similarly, the risk_calculator script allows the user to choose an analysis extent and, optionally, add new roads, trails, and cut blocks.
Grizzly Bears and Habitat Modeling Now Available!
How Good are These models? - an independent test
Provincial Grizzly Bear DNA Inventory Research results and Products used for management
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.
RSF models – BMA 3
RSF models – BMA 3
Watershed Delineation by RSF models â€“ BMA 3
Mortality Risk 1 0.9 0.8
0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 0.00
Does the Research Get Used?
Sound Science to support management decisions
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”.
Traditional Approach to Wildlife Management â€“ N!
Detecting Landscape Effects on Wildlife Health: An Approach to Monitoring Populations
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 (â€œbear stress chipâ€?)
Stress-associated protein profile
Hair Cortisol: A Relevant Measure of Long Term Stress
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
Tracking Landscape Change Human Activities and Grizzly Bears in the Kakwa- an example.
Linking Geospatial data to Bear data
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)
Meta Analysis now underway
Remote sensing and habitat mapping
- lab research Immunity
Wildlife health - field research
The challenge of studying a species that is found in remote habitats and difficult to follow or observe
Our new Approach â€“ Animal Pathfinder
Bear Path from GPS Points alone
assumed travel path using traditional approach
actual travel path using data from animal pathfinder
Movement Phases with Sensors y = ln( N f λ f e
+ 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
Nλ 1 ln s s λs − λl N l λl
= 223 m min −1
N: number of movements λ: Prob. that an event occurs in the next movement rate interval r: movement rate
Adapted from Silby et al (1990) and Johnson (2002)
Denning and climate variables: 10 years of data in place:
Habitat selection and climate: 10 years of data in place:
Mountain Pine Beetle: grizzly bear response
How will grizzly bears respond to MPB and associated management actions? 59
• • • •
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
Population Trend - Unknown
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
Collaboration Topics: Health
Dispersal of expanding populations