Poster Profile – Aidan Sheppard

Our poster profiles from the 2020 ACTWS Conference continue with this great poster by Aidan Sheppard from the University of Alberta.

Poster authors: Aidan H.C. Sheppard, Lee J. Hecker, Mark A. Edwards, and Scott E. Nielsen

Poster title: The influence of snow and temperature on the movement rates of wood bison.

See a pdf of Aidan’s poster here.

The Alberta winter brings many things that our wildlife must adapt to. While snow depth is recognized as a limiting factor for bison movement and habitat selection, the combined influence of snow and temperature on bison movement rates is less understood. Aidan’s research objective was to determine the influence of winter conditions on the daily movement rates of wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) in the Ronald Lake wood bison herd, south of Wood Buffalo National Park. Aidan used GPS collar data from eight adult females and developed linear mixed effect models to determine how snow depth, temperature, and their interaction affected daily movement rates.

Aidan’s results concurred with previous research that snow depth was the primary limiting factor. Interestingly, cold temperatures did not explain variation in movement rates. However, bison movement was facilitated by warmer temperatures. Additionally, the effect of snow on movement depended on temperature.

Aidan’s poster is laid out clearly and flows very smoothly from the introduction through to discussion. His graphs are great visualizations of the results and the images of bison are eye catching. Overall, this is a great poster and definitely made me want to learn more about his research.

Aidan is an undergraduate student at the University of Alberta studying Environmental and Conservation Sciences. Aidan currently works as an Ecological Integrity Monitoring Technician in Waterton Lakes National Park. Aidan is planning on pursuing his M.Sc. in fall 2021 within the field of wildlife management and conservation.

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