Dall sheep, grizzly bear and wolf interactions in the Richardson Project: Collar retrieval and fence removal

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: physical sciences, site remediation, wildlife, wildlife management

Principal Investigator: Lambert Koizumi, Catherine (4)
Licence Number: 14758
Organization: University of Alberta
Licenced Year(s): 2010 2008 2006
Issued: Jul 08, 2010
Project Team: Catherine Lambert Koizumi (Data analysis, project planning and logistics, University of Alberta), Kristen Callaghan (Field work, logistics, Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board), GRRB Summer Students (1-2) (Field work, Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board)

Objective(s): To retrieve the last stationary collars from this study in order to document home ranges, movements and habitat use of Dall sheep, grizzly bears and wolves & quantify the interactions between the three species; and to remove remains of fencing material (fences, posts) in the study area, which were installed in 2003-2004 in relation with a previous GRRB research project.

Project Description: The research objectives are to:
1. Retrieve the last stationary collars from this study in order to document home ranges, movements and habitat use of Dall sheep, grizzly bears and wolves & quantify the interactions between the three species;
2. Remove remains of fencing material (fences, posts) in the study area, which were installed in 2003-2004 in relation with a previous GRRB research project.

One day of helicopter flight is planned to retrieve the remaining functioning collars from the ground. No animal handling is involved. The helicopter will land and the field crew will search for the collar based on previous locations received from the satellite system, and using a VHF receiver and antenna. The flight route will be planned to minimize disturbance to wildlife (point "A" to "B", to minimize flight time, and high enough to reduce noise or harassment), and fence material will be collected along the way. If necessary, a second day of helicopter flying may be needed to bundle the material and ensure its proper removal from the mountains. Observed wildlife will be recorded on the way.

Members of the field crew will be staff of the Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board (Wildlife Biologist, and summer students). If more personnel are needed, assistants from the communities (most likely Aklavik) may be hired to help. The crew will be limited to 2-3 members because of helicopter weight limitations.

The Principal Investigator is currently in the process of analyzing data from this project in the context of a PhD program at the University of Alberta. A 2010 report will be written to summarize the progress accomplished and distributed to the GRRB, the Renewable Resources Councils, as well as the Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committees. Publications will be available on the GRRB website as soon as they become available.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 8, 2010 to September 15, 2010.