Good wildlife management starts with good research. By studying wildlife interactions, distributions, populations and habitat use, research biologists are able to make sound recommendations for wildlife management.
Without a clear understanding of the biology of our wildlife species, we cannot plan or predict the effects of management strategies. Many research projects include a field component designed to collect data on specific wildlife species and to test specific hypothesis about factors regulating wildlife populations.
Research results are used to make recommendations to wildlife managers within the Wildlife Division, as well as to other provincial and federal government agencies such as Environmental Assessment and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
The Wildlife Division’s Research Section is responsible for collaring and monitoring caribou and conducts research involving other big game, small game, furbearing and fish species, and the interactions between these species and their habitats. We collect, process and analyze wildlife samples including jawbones, coyote carcasses and bear skulls, and provide support to the entire division for the analysis of wildlife-related data
Our Habitat Management Section participates in government processes designed to maintain ecosystem health. We provide recommendations to the executive of the department on all matters pertaining to Environmental Assessment referrals, and review Crown Lands referrals with an aim to maintain the integrity of wildlife populations, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and rare flora and fauna. Our GIS support team uses spatial data to identify important areas for wildlife.
The Wildlife Division’s Game and Fur Management Section monitors the status of wildlife populations by monitoring population, biological components and hunter trends of each species. Whenever possible monitoring projects are completed to provide population estimates or relative abundance estimates, and this information is coupled with trend data gathered from hunter/trapper returns.
This information is used to develop annual and long-term management plans for the province’s wildlife species, covering issues related to quota allocation, animal-human conflict issues, hunting and trapping seasons, zone boundaries, and other specific recommendations made by staff and the public.