A new study on human impact to wildlife in some of Canada's most popular national parks has identified limits at which trails can be used before ecological disturbance takes place. The study led by University of Calgary Masters graduate, J. Kimo Rogala, is published in the current online issue of the journal Ecology and Society. Rogala was a student of professor Marco Musiani in the Faculty of Environmental Design.
The research found that wolves and elk were disturbed away from high quality habitat in Banff, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks in areas where human traffic on trails was monitored. In particular, the study found that wolves and elk avoided areas within 50 metres of trail routes travelled by one person per hour or greater; and up to 400 metres from trails with human activity above two persons per hour. Such avoidance behaviours are consistent with previous scientific research; however, the identification of threshold levels at which this occurs is new.
Partially funded by Parks Canada, the research conducted on wolf and elk distributions in Banff, Kootenay, and Yoho National Parks in Canada between 2005 and 2008 also sheds light on the mechanism by which further ecological changes may be occurring. Results found that at human activity levels below two persons per hour, wolves avoided and conversely, elk were attracted to, habitat areas within 51-400 metres of trails. This suggests a refuge zone for elk from key predators, such as wolves.
"The challenge of parks and reserves is finding the balance between long term ecological integrity and providing visitors with quality experiences and learning opportunities," Rogala said. "This research increases understanding of how humans impact the national park landscape and provides a tool for park staff to better manage sensitive areas such as wildlife corridors and primary habitat."
Another recently-published research paper out of Musiani's lab by PhD graduate Tyler Muhly supports the hypothesis that high human activity displaces predators, but not prey species, creating a spatial refuge from predation. This research, performed on provincial ranchlands in Alberta, Canada, found that activity greater than 18 humans per day (also approximately one person per hour, as found in National Parks) had the potential to interfere with predator-prey interactions.
"These two independent publications from a national park area and from a ranchland area both found similar thresholds on wildlife disturbance, suggesting significant ecological consequences," Musiani said. "Nowadays, human influences are everywhere and we should learn to cope with them."
An HTML or PDF copy of Rogala and Musiani's research publication can be found at the Ecology and Society journal website: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol16/iss3/art16/
Grady Semmens | EurekAlert!
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
29.03.2017 | Trade Fair News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology