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Regional or Local Number: JNP-2013-15013

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 74 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. JNP-2013-15013 is issued.

Scientific research for the conservation of the species

The South Jasper Caribou Research Program has four main components, each of which will improve our understanding of caribou conservation in south Jasper National Park. First, we are monitoring caribou population parameters – population size, adult survival, calf recruitment and survival, and causes of mortality. Precise monitoring is needed to assess the success of management actions. Second, we are collaborating on a large-scale, multi-jurisdictional study of the predator / prey dynamic in the Rocky Mountains as it relates to caribou conservation. A realistic predator / prey model is needed o guide Parks Canada conservation efforts and will also contribute to caribou conservation on provincial lands. Third, we are helping to investigate the efficacy of non-invasive population monitoring techniques. Caribou are a sensitive, threatened species, so if our non-invasive techniques are successful, we will be able to reduce the stress that telemetry can impose. Fourth, we are quantifying the human use of caribou habitat. The research program involves capture of individuals in the winter to place collars and collect blood samples; tracking of collared individuals in the spring; collection of scat twice during the winter; and conducting necropsies on any collared caribou that die during the year and collecting tissue samples for genetic analysis. There are no impacts to residences or critical habitat.

Start Date: 2012-10-02   End Date: 2016-09-17

Issuing Authority: Parks Canada Agency

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act
  • Canada National Parks Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Alberta

Affected Species:

a)All reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted: We cannot determine any reasonable alternatives to the research itself. If we don’t measure caribou population size, management effectiveness will be unknown. If we don’t measure basic population parameters, we won’t understand trends in population size. Similarly, there is no alternative to Global Positioning System telemetry for determining kill rates, travel rates and handling rates for predators. b)All feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals: Jasper National Park animal care protocols are followed to minimize the impact on individuals during capture and handling. The duration of the chase is limited to a maximum of 3 minutes. The use of a net gun for capture and the short duration of the handling time reduce stress. Only highly experienced capture personnel are used. Unnecessarily close approaches are avoided when conducting aerial surveys or ground observations. c)The activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species: Impacts of the research on caribou vital rates are expected to be minimal. Effects on individuals may include the temporary displacement of caribou from their location and the physical stress of capture. The effects of capture will normally be transient and the caribou will adapt to the collar. Caribou movements are affected by telemetry over-flights, but only on the day of the flight (Neufeld and Bradley 2007). Any effects of the research are expected to be below levels that can be detected, and are outweighed by the benefits of monitoring population trends. Overall, the research is not expected to have population-level effects nor jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species.

Contact Person(s)
Mr. Mark  Bradley
Wildlife Biologist
Parks Canada
Box 10
Jasper, AB
T0E 1E0
Tel: 780-852-4042
Fax: 780-852-4775

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