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Grizzly Bear Conservation Research in Alberta

UBC led project receives $1.4M grant to research grizzly bear populations to support recovery efforts


A multi-disciplinary team of scientists is researching grizzly bear habits, health and habitat in the Yellowhead region of Alberta to support the province’s efforts in restoration and conservation of grizzly bears.

With the award of $1.4M from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), this collaborative effort combines the talents and resources of Dr. Nicholas Coops (remote sensing) at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Gordon Stenhouse (grizzly bear biology) at FRI Research, Dr. Scott Nielsen (ecology) at the University of Alberta, Dr. David Janz (conservation physiology) at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Chris Darimont (conservation) at the University of Victoria and eleven industrial partners (Alberta Newsprint Company, Canfor, Conoco-Phillips, FRIAA, Seven Generations Energy, Shell Canada, Repsol, Teck Coal, TransCanada Pipelines, West Fraser Ltd., Westmoreland Coal, and Weyerhauser).

The research team will investigate the environment, population performance and health of the grizzly bear in west central Alberta. Using a combination of remote sensing, tracking technologies and biological markers, data collected will be used to research how changes in environmental conditions affect their movement, behaviour and physiology. A better understanding of changes and their effects will aid in the development of long term conservation strategies.

The research program will conduct studies in forestry, ecology, geography and biology at the participating universities and will involve thirteen graduate students and post-doctoral researchers.