By Chris Genovali, Executive Director, Raincoast Conservation Foundation
As Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s senior scientist, Dr. Paul Paquet plays a crucial role in our research and conservation efforts. In fact, more than any other single individual in the history of the organization, Paul has influenced the vision and mandate of Raincoast with his emphasis on rigorous science, informed advocacy and a ‘wildlife welfare’ ethic.
A true mentor for the other biologists at Raincoast, Paul generously lends his considerable expertise and experience to our up and coming scientists. With Paul working for Raincoast it is tantamount to having a professor on staff as he has an extensive teaching background at the university level with associations at numerous academic institutions. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary, at Brandon University, University of Manitoba, University of New Brunswick, and a Faculty Associate at Guelph University in Ontario.
Paul worked as a biologist for the Canadian Wildlife Service for many years and is a long-time fellow of World Wildlife Fund Canada. He was one of the architects of the World Wide Fund for Nature and European Union’s Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe. An internationally recognized authority on mammalian carnivores with research experience in several regions of the world, Paul has written more than 100 scientific articles and reports. He has also published several books on the behavior, ecology, and management of wolves, including co-authoring two recent books on wolves; The World of Wolves: New Perspectives on Ecology, Behaviour and Management and A New Era for Wolves and People: Wolf Recovery, Human Attitudes, and Policy.
Paul has been the driving force behind Raincoast’s championing that animal welfare considerations be applied to wildlife and their habitats.
For instance, the direct killing of wolves, whether by trophy hunting, trapping, or lethal control, is a harsh addition to the numerous and significant challenges Canis lupus already faces in a human-dominated landscape.
In their seminal new paper, Wildlife conservation and animal welfare: two sides of the same coin?, published earlier this year in the journal Animal Welfare, Paul and fellow Raincoast scientist Dr. Chris Darimont write that “In most parts of North America where wolves persist, human disturbance has already, or is now, displacing wolves from favourable habitat. Additional disturbances, additive to current background disruption, may surpass the level of habituation or innate behavioural plasticity that allows wolves to cope with human encroachment.”
Infusing an intellectual rigor and a can-do attitude into the organization, Paul empowers the Raincoast team to succeed.