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Webinar – Sharing the Landscape: Ecology of Human Infrastructure

2020-06-09 @ 12:00 13:00 MDT

Speakers:

  1. Dee Patriquin (WSP Canada) – From Butterflies to Bears: Developing
    standards for road ecology across Canada.
  2. Taylor MacLeod (University of Alberta) – Effects of Flow
    Augmentation: Are species selective towards a threatened benthic fish?
  3. Colleen Cassady St. Clair (University of Alberta) – Railway Mortality
    for Several Mammal Species Increase in Areas with Poor Sight Lines and Escape Terrain

This FREE webinar was part of our monthly lunch and learn webinar series. Thank you to WSP for sponsoring this webinar!

Webinar Summary

Our first speaker, Dee Patriquin, gave an overall review of road ecology in Canada. Her meta-analysis examined best practices in road ecology from across Canada that could be applied by transportation agencies to improve connectivity. Although there are some standardized practices for design and construction, they typically focused on environmental impact assessments. Some emerging topics she introduced included roadside vegetation management, pollinator habitat, caribou management, as well as the aesthetics of crossing structures. It is clear that we are still at the beginning of understanding the multi-disciplinary impacts of crossing structures across Canada. There is, as always, so much to learn.

Taylor MacLeod discussed the plains sucker in the Milk River in Alberta and Saskatchewan. They compared the plains sucker holding ability between the Milk River, which has augmented flow based on a river diversion upstream, to control sites without man-made fluctuations in flow. With videos, they demonstrated how the plains sucker has adapted to hold station in lotic (stream) environments. Their research found that the plains sucker has an increased capacity to maintain its position during augmented flows in the Milk River, and that other fish in the same family cope with high flows in different ways. They concluded that the effects of flow augmentation are species selective towards the plains sucker, and that follow up work should look for evidence of energetic trade-offs.   

Colleen Cassady St. Clair shared the latest results from her lab’s multi-year project with Parks Canada and CP Rail examining mitigations for wildlife mortality on the railway through Banff National Park. Mitigating wildlife-train mortality is best accomplished at the site-specific level. Their model showed that mortality risk was related to the top speed of the train, distance to water, and curvature of the railway. They found different results for different guilds, suggesting that high collision locations may be species and season specific based on habitat requirements. This research highlights the importance to consider why mortality occurs. You can find out more about this large research project here: https://uofastclairlab.wordpress.com/.

Webinar Results

Sixty-seven people attend the webinar. Of those who answered our closing poll, 35% and 65% thought the webinar was very useful and useful respectively; 95% of them would attend a future ACTWS webinar.

We are happy that our webinars are being so well received!

See the Webinar!

A video of the webinar is posted in our members area.

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We are always looking for corporate sponsors for our webinar series. Call Sarah if you’d like more information.

Email us if you’re interested in sponsoring future webinars.

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