Investigate. Inform. Inspire.
Published Scientific Literature
Raincoast is a team of scientists and conservationists that undertake primary research and publishes peer-reviewed science to inform our conservation objectives. As an evidence-based, conservation science organisation (science ENGO), that operates a research lab, research field station and a research/sailing vessel, we are unique in Canada.
Raincoast’s in-house scientists, collaborating graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors make us unique among conservation groups. We work with First Nations, academic institutions, government and other NGOs to gather information and build support for decisions that protect marine and terrestrial ecosystems, their components and processes. We conduct applied, process-oriented, and hypothesis-driven research that has immediate and relevant utility for the conservation debate and the collective body of scientific knowledge.
Research: Publication reform to safeguard wildlife from researcher harm
Scientists from Raincoast Conservation Foundation, University of Victoria, Alpha Wildlife Research & Management, and University of Saskatchewan reviewed more than 200 peer-reviewed academic journals that commonly publish wildlife research, evaluating the presence and comprehensiveness of ‘Animal Care’ requirements of authors. The study, “Publication reform to safeguard wildlife from researcher harm,” published as an open access article…
Research: Differentiating between regulation and hunting as conservation interventions
Wildlife conservation literature and public discourse, too often gloss over the important difference between hunting and the regulation of hunting. This is so common that there is a persistent, misinformed idea that extinctions have been avoided through the act of hunting. Historically, the regulation of hunting, not hunting itself, has averted extinction…
Salmonid species diversity predicts salmon consumption by terrestrial wildlife
Research by scientists at Spirit Bear Research Foundation, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, and the University of Victoria, led by Christina Service, shows that salmon species diversity – the number of spawning salmon species available – is far more important and positively related to salmon consumption in coastal black bears than biomass abundance…
Pacific herring spawn events influence nearshore subtidal and intertidal species
Although we know that herring play a pivotal ecological role in nearshore ecosystems, from a scientific perspective little is known about the amount of energy and nutrients they transfer from the ocean to the land. Therefore, researchers at Raincoast Conservation Foundation, University of Victoria, and Dalhousie University, aimed to determine if the nutrients that herring […]
Conservation Letters: The elephant (head) in the room: A critical look at trophy hunting
Writing in the scientific journal, Conservation Letters, an international team of conservation scientists argue that trophy hunting – hunting that involves the collection of animal body parts, or “trophies,” – is morally wrong. Led by Chelsea Batavia from the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University, the authors identify trophy hunting as […]
Predictions from machine learning ensembles: marine bird distribution and density on Canada’s Pacific coast
In February of 2017, a team of researchers, including Raincoast senior scientist Dr. Paul Paquet, from five research facilities published their findings in Marine Ecology Progress Series: “Predictions from machine learning ensembles: Marine bird distribution and density on Canada’s Pacific coast”…
Criteria for a good catch: A conceptual framework to guide sourcing of sustainable salmon fisheries
The proposed new framework for identifying sustainably harvested salmon suggests that individual retailers develop criteria (or adopt others) that comply with this place-based foundation. Patagonia Provisions is one retailer requesting this high standard of certification because their customers want higher standards than are currently available…
Mismeasured mortality: correcting estimates of wolf poaching in the United States
This research tests and rejects the long-held idea that data lost when known animals disappear were unbiased, under conditions common to most, if not all, studies using marked animals. Published government estimates are affected by the biases discovered. And so government estimates of systemically underestimating risks of poaching…
Applied Ecology: Hallmarks of science missing from North American wildlife management
A new study, “Hallmarks of science missing from North American wildlife management”, published by Science Advances , challenges a widespread assumption that wildlife management in North America is science-based. Scientists from Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, and the University of Wisconsin – Madison examined management documents relating to most hunted species across […]
Political populations of large carnivores
A team led by researchers from Raincoast, UVic, and Simon Fraser University reviewed the scientific literature for cases in which independent scientists scrutinized government reporting of wildlife population sizes, trends and associated policy. The findings are reported in a new paper, “Political populations of large carnivores,” ….
Intergenerational equity can help to prevent climate change and extinction
The global crises of climate change and extinction imperil all life on Earth. A new scientific publication suggests that powerful means to address these looming threats already exist but are largely overlooked…
Research: Evaluating anthropogenic threats to endangered killer whales to inform effective recovery plans
The endangered Southern Resident killer whales (SRKWs) that inhabit the Pacific Coast of Canada and the United States are balancing on a knife-edge. New research conducted by an international team of renowned scientists representing academic and conservation organizations in three countries…