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How grizzly bears use habitat around trails

At the end of the day, I love it. All of it, even the hard bits. I’ve been waiting a long time to write this blog post… over 3 years in fact. The entire premise of my PhD has been to answer this central question – how do grizzly bears use habitat around hiking trails of various levels of human use in the Rocky Mountain National Parks? I can now share the answers I’ve found. Attempts to answer the question To investigate this question, I used 4 years of GPS collar data from 27

Third Time’s a Charm

There might be a little snow when we get started, but that’s part of the fun! It’s nearly April and time to start gearing up for Field Season 2015. I’m so excited for the summer that lay ahead and am going to take advantage of every wonderful moment in the field this year… especially since it’s the last field season of my PhD. I’m amazed at how fast the time has gone by and am so ready to get away from this computer and have some more magical moments in the wilderness. As wit

393 Km and countless thoughts

Hiking… trying not to fall off any cliffs that were washed out from last year. From May 1 to now, I have hiked 393 kilometers (55 of those were mountain biking) to put up and take down remote cameras in Banff, Kootenay, and Yoho National Parks. I’ve hiked through hip-deep snow in early May, biked through overgrown trails with spruce branches smacking my shins, strolled along beautifully maintained and used trails along the river, hiker over mountain passes to remote valleys,

What is “low human use”

My PhD research separates hiking trails into 3 categories of human use: low (less than 100 people per month), medium (101-1449 people per month), and high (more than 1450 per month). These numbers are based on other research projects over time that have shown how animals react to human traffic or how peoples’ presence and use can change habitat values in a protected area. Research has shown that grizzly bears like to have at least 65% of their home range or territory is areas

5 days, 75Km, 22 remote cameras

My hard working volunteers hiking out on the last day. Heading in to the backcountry for 5 days takes some planning and organization. There will be challenging times ahead and glorious times too. I have to admit that heading in to the backcountry for 5 days with three men that I didn’t know was a little interesting. I wanted everything to go smoothly with the cameras, but I also knew it was important we all get along and have a good time out there. I needn’t have worried. Hik