The Banff National Park Project: Wildlife Corridors

Meeting Location              Calgary, Alberta
 Program Dates        Summer 2017: June 28 - July 13, 2017
 Accommodations    Primarily camping, or backpacking
 Language    English instruction
 Courses    ESCI 497 T
 Credits    5 quarter credits or 3.35 semester credits
 Prerequisites    One college level course of ecology or similar                  
   18 years of age

                                          

   Banff Program Costs, Summer 2017
   $  150      Application Fee
   $1900      Program Fee
   $  750      Estimated In-Country Group Fee
   $  500      Estimated Airfare/Visa
   $  200      Estimated Food Money/Personal Spending
   $3500      Total Estimated Cost

  Summer 2017: Program fees due by May 1, 2017 

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Banff-river-wildlife-corridorJoin us this summer in the wild mountains and glacial valleys of Canada’s Banff National Park as we examine firsthand Banff’s wildlife corridors and adjacent habitat patches and their efficacy in the overall framework of the Park’s conservation strategy. Typically narrow, funnel-shaped tracts of land through developed areas, wildlife corridors are protected routes that allow species to migrate safely between habitats, and are used to balance human development and wildlife protection. Working with Parks Canada and local land managers, we will examine on-site the intertwined scientific, cultural, and management dimensions of these corridors.

THE PROJECT

Banff National Park has more than fifty mammal species: grizzly and black bears inhabit the forested regions; cougar, lynx and wolves are the primary predatory mammals; elk and deer are common in the valleys; mountain goats, bighorn sheep and pika are widespread in the alpine regions. Movement is essential for these species to sustain populations and maintain genetic variability, and wildlife often travel long distances to take advantage of seasonal changes in food and weather, find mates and denning sites, and expand home ranges. In recent times, movement has been severely limited by human activity and the resultant habitat intrusion and alteration. Establishing protective wildlife corridors has evolved as a strategy to mitigate these consequences. There are many factors involved in a successful corridor: width, ease of travel, terrain, vegetation cover, topography, snow depth, physical barriers, and human activity. Our field study will involve quantitative and qualitative analysis of existing wildlife corridors, as well as examine the political, legal, and social dimensions of conservation in Banff National Park. By the end of the program, students will have a solid understanding of Banff National Park’s wildlife corridors and the conservation strategies required to enhance their efficacy.


PROJECT LEADER

M. TROY BURNETT
Ph.D. in Geography, UC Los Angeles, 2005
Troy is an Assistant Professor of Geography at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. He has taught numerous courses on environmental geography. His research interests involve natural resource conflicts, conservation and the role of wildlife corridors in mitigating the impacts of climate change and human habitat alteration. Troy has lived and worked in the Canadian Rockies since 2005 and taught our Banff Project since 2013.

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