Notice of permit

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Regional or Local Number: JNP-2009-4052

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 74 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. JNP-2009-4052 is issued.

Purpose:
Scientific research for the conservation of the species

Description:
The Jasper Caribou project has four components: 1) monitoring; 2) research; 3) recovery; and 4) communication. Monitoring: we are monitoring population size, adult survival, and calf recruitment using radio-telemetry, aerial surveys, and DNA mark/recapture techniques. Research: we are researching the ecological relationships between caribou, elk, and wolves through a project involving the Universities of Calgary and Montana, and the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, as well as several industrial partners. We aim to determine population densities, species-specific kill rates, and predator/prey habitat selection to understand the ecological conditions necessary for caribou persistence, and to therefore guide us in determining appropriate recovery actions. We are also researching the feasibility of non-invasive methods of caribou population monitoring (fecal DNA) in conjunction with the University of Manitoba and Trent University. Our involvement in smaller research projects, such as caribou parasitology and rutting behaviour, also continues. Recovery: we are currently implementing some recovery actions recommended through a collaborative process involving Jasper residents, local business owners, and Parks staff in 2005. Actions include reduced speed limits in caribou habitat, eliminating ski track-setting in caribou habitat, banning dogs from caribou habitat, establishing aircraft flight guidelines, establishing fire management guidelines, and changing visitor behaviour through education and awareness. We are entering a new phase of caribou recovery planning within the mountain parks that will be established in conjunction with park management planning. Communication: we are communicating our monitoring, research, and recovery results through direct contact with the public, media releases, and by participating in public events organized by Parks Canada and the Friends of Jasper organization.

Start Date: 2009-10-01   End Date: 2012-10-01

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:

Pre-Conditions:
A.There are currently no feasible alternatives to radio-telemetry when it comes to monitoring population size, survival, and recruitment of caribou. We decided in conjunction with the Parks Canada veterinarian and the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre that a professional aerial net-gunning company with an excellent record would be the safest way to capture our caribou. We follow strict protocols that have been approved by Parks Canada’s animal care committee. We capture only enough caribou to provide us with the data we need to manage our population (approximately 20 animals). We are now using VHF collars almost exclusively, because of their lighter weight and longer battery life (therefore less stress for the caribou and fewer captures per year). If our current research on non-invasive population estimation techniques is successful, we will evaluate reducing or eliminating the capture and collaring of caribou. B.When conducting aerial counts, we strive to minimize stress on the caribou. When possible, we count and classify caribou by landing the helicopter and using a spotting scope from a distance – without causing the caribou to run. In heavily treed areas, observation from a distance is impossible, so we must fly over the caribou to count and classify them. Recent advances in camera design make it possible to fly high, photograph the caribou quickly and classify them later, resulting in minimal disturbance for the caribou – a significant development in conducting surveys with minimal stress on the caribou. C.When conducting ground-based fieldwork (e.g. collecting scat, behavioural observations), every attempt is made to evade detection by the caribou, and thus reduce disturbance.

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

Date modified: