Helping humans and mammals coexist
Wild mammals hold a special place in societies around the world. Iconic species here in Canada—including caribou, moose, wolf, and grizzly bear—inspire wonder throughout the country, and also provide important economic value. However, such diverse wildlife often conflict with modern societies, whether indirectly for space or through more direct interactions with people and property.
As a result, many large mammal populations are in decline worldwide. In order to help them survive, we need to better understand the effects of such human activities as industrial development, urbanization and overharvesting on the lives of mammals, as well as other threats, such as climate change, disease and invasive species.
Cole Burton, Canada Research Chair in Terrestrial Mammal Conservation, will tackle this complex issue by developing new tools to shed light on wildlife dynamics in changing landscapes. These tools will include a network of remote cameras collecting data on multiple species across large spatial scales, as well as statistical models linking the distribution and abundance of animal populations to underlying drivers of change.
Burton will work closely with wildlife managers and conservation practitioners to implement landscape experiments that have direct applications to natural resource management. His research will ultimately guide policy decisions that promote the survival of wildlife on an increasingly crowded and human-dominated planet.