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Carnivore-Recreationalist Habitat Partitioning

Examining how outdoor recreational activities impact habitat use and temporal movement of a large carnivore assemblage in a temperate forest protected area.

 In protected areas, understanding how outdoor recreation impacts carnivore behaviour is crucial for conserving ecosystems. Large carnivores play vital roles in ecosystem regulation, and changes in their behaviour due to human activities can significantly affect ecological processes. Identifying behavioral mechanisms for human-carnivore coexistence is essential for effective ecosystem conservation within protected areas.


This ongoing research project uses remote camera trap data to analyze the behavioural strategies of black bears bears (Ursus americanus), wolves (Canis lupus crassodon) and cougars (Puma concolor) in a temperate forest protected area. This approach aims to determine the impact of habitat structure, intraguild competition, and recreational activities on carnivore spatio-temporal movement behaviour at various scales. Findings will inform conservation efforts by identifying priority habitat features and areas. This work contributes to wildlife ecology and conservation science by advancing techniques for examining coexistence, with applications for evidence-based wildlife management in multi-use landscapes broadly.

Read more about this ongoing project through the SURREAL Lab - University of Victoria.


This initiative has recently been featured in the NEWS.

Preliminary findings presented at The Wildlife Society - BC Chapter & Canadian Section 2023 Joint Conference (see poster below; Bell & Bone, 2023).


Forthcoming manuscript: Arthurs, E., Fisher, J.T., Bell, E., Bone, C. (2024). Cougar spatiotemporal response to human activities in a multi-use forest landscape on southern Vancouver Island. Wildlife Biology (submitted).

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