Wildlife

The Willmore is home to a highly diverse mammalian community. Small mammals, ungulates and carnivores play key roles in this mountain ecosystem. Understanding how to conserve these species requires rigorous empirical data describing their occurrence, and the ecological factors affecting their distributions. To achieve this, we are sampling mammalian occurrence in different habitat types across the Willmore, with additional focus on high alpine and low wetland areas (known in this system to be under-sampled in both random and systematic designs). This sampling is done non-invasively using Reconyx infrared-triggered cameras baited with scent lure. Mammals (and some birds) occurring at these sites investigate the lure and are photographed. From these images, and using statistical techniques broadly referred to as “occupancy modeling”, we can quantify the frequency of animal occurrence, then model and map the probability of this occurrence across space. These are a few of our best photos from summer/autumn 2009.