Changing beaver distribution and occupancy in north-west Canada

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: biology, habitat, dendrochronology, shrub, Beaver

Principal Investigator: Wheeler, Helen (3)
Licence Number: 16738
Organization: Anglia Ruskin University
Licensed Year(s): 2022 2021 2020
Issued: Aug 06, 2020
Project Team: Jeremy Brammer

Objective(s): To monitor beaver occurrence changes; to assess past beaver occupancy patterns using shrub ring analysis; and to understand how permanent and transient beaver populations impact their environment.

Project Description: This licence has been issued for the scientific research application No.4811.

The objectives of this project are to monitor beaver occurrence changes; to assess past beaver occupancy patterns using shrub ring analysis; and to understand how permanent and transient beaver populations impact their environment.

The research team will conduct canoe and boat-based visual surveys to map beaver distribution in the Jackfish creek area. The team will collect drone-based imagery to further assess the occupancy of beavers in the area and capture imagery of local habitat to facilitate analysis of habitat selection (not in 2020). Shrub core samples of both living shrubs and those cut by beavers will be collected to assess in what year beavers were present at a given locations (using dendrochronology) and analyse these data to ascertain occupancy history in different sites.

The research team plan to produce reports for Nihtat and Gwich'ya Gwich'in Renewable Resource Council’s, and would be happy to present the research at meetings where this is possible either remotely or in person and welcome requests. The team are working in partnership with Gwich'in Renewable Resource Board and will have continued dialogue throughout the project both formally through reports and informally via email.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from August 7, 2020 to September 5, 2020.