FOCUS HUNTING HOODIEBoth research projects have a significant amount of trail cams as part of the ongoing studies.  These trail cameras require maintenance & repairs, batteries, SD Cards & bear guards!  We are asking you to give generously to support research & science of our wildlife right here in B.C.

Please donate!  Every $25 donation received will be entered to win a Focus Hunting hoodie & Hunters for BC swag!  Donate $50?  You're entered twice!  Let's support wildlife research projects!!

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SIM Deer & Southern Cougar Projects

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 2021 AT 7:00 PM PST

WEBINAR

Southern Interior Mule Deer Project (SIM Deer)

Presented by Chloe Wright, M.Sc., PhD Candidate

and

Southern BC Cougar Project

Presented by Siobhan Darlington, M.Sc., PhD Student


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Southern Interior Mule Deer Project

Southern Interior Mule Deer Project

Mule deer populations in southern British Columbia are widely believed to be in decline. However, the causes of this decline are not clear due to multiple, simultaneous changes on the landscape including increasing competition with other ungulates, human development, predator densities, and wildfire management (suppression and burned areas).

The Southern Interior mule deer project (SIMDeer) began in March 2018 to help disentangle which mechanisms are driving deer populations in southern BC using remote cameras and GPS collars in 3 study areas (Bonaparte Plateau, West Okanagan, and Boundary regions).

SIMDeer is a large-scale, collaborative research project between the BC Wildlife Federation, Bonaparte Indian Band, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Okanagan Nations Alliance, University of British Columbia – Okanagan, and the University of Idaho.

To date the SIMDeer team has deployed 151 collars on adult females, 158 collars on 6-month-old fawns, and 72 collars on neonates, which have collected >900,000 locations. The team has also collected > 1,000,000 pictures from 170 remote cameras that are placed on mule deer summer and winter range. The project will continue at least through 2022.

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Southern BC Cougar Project

Southern BC Cougar Project

Cougar predation is believed to be the largest proximate source of mule deer mortality in the southern interior BC. Building on the preliminary results from the SIMDeer project, the Southern BC Cougar Project aims to investigate cougar habitat use in response to landscape change (e.g. from forestry, roads, wildfire), predation rates, and population demographics in response to hunter harvest in three study areas (West Okanagan, Boundary, and Kootenay).

This project is a collaborative effort between the University of British Columbia Okanagan, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and the Okanagan Nation Alliance with field and technical support from local volunteers.

The project team has deployed GPS collars on 28 cougars, documented two litters, and investigated over 280 confirmed cougar kills since December 2019. This research will inform the new provincial cougar management plan and provide insight on the drivers of mule deer decline.

Funding is provided by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, BC Wildlife Federation – Okanagan Chapter clubs, BC Conservation Foundation, National Science and Engineering Research Council, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Website

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