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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.

Our 2012 PLoS paper uses grizzlies to assess harvest impacts of sockeye fisheries. It’s an example of how ecosystem objectives can be considered in salmon management.


Recent Papers

An infographic about the Fraser Estuary overlayed on top of an underwater photo of some salmon.

Research: Conservation in heavily urbanized biodiverse regions requires urgent management action and attention to governance

The Fraser River estuary, which once supported Canada’s largest wild salmon runs, is now home to over half of British Columbia’s human population. With this comes growing urban centers, new ...
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A Southern Resident killer whale fin above the water in the Salish Sea with graphs from a research paper in the foreground.

Research: Compliance of small vessels to minimum distance regulations for humpback and killer whales in the Salish Sea

With myriad stressors in the Salish Sea, the last thing killer whales and humpbacks need is to be approached too closely by whale watching and recreational boats. The rise of ...
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A wolf walks across the beach in the early morning light, with figure 1 in the foreground.

Research: Addressing poor statistical support for wolf control and maternal penning as conservation measures for endangered mountain caribou

A new study demonstrates that addressing potential threats from wolves has not slowed the decline of mountain caribou in British Columbia and Alberta. The scientists looked closely at the data ...
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Juvenile Spirit bear and black bear mother stand by a river with salmon strewn across the bank.

Study: Spatial patterns and rarity of the white‐phased ‘Spirit bear’ allele reveal gaps in habitat protection

Spirit bears are rarer and less protected than we thought. New research has identified that the small genetic change responsible for Spirit bears – a rare, white-coated form of black ...
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A map of disease vectors is overlayed on a photo of a Norwegian Fjord, with a headline at the bottom: Hypermobile human predators.

On the risk of pathogens carried by hypermobile human predators

There is a body of research that shows how predators can affect the spread of disease among prey. We also know that human hunters are a special variety of predator ...
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Tsawout First Nation, University of Guelph, University of Victoria, and Raincoast Conservation Foundation logos on top of an aerial photo from Fort McKay.

New research: Indigenous knowledge and federal environmental assessments in Canada

A new peer-review article by a team of non-Indigenous and Indigenous researchers identifies surmountable and deep-rooted obstacles to improving how the federal Impact Assessment Act incorporates Indigenous Knowledge and engages ...
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Three maps of human populations especially Indigenous communities, overlaid on a photo of mountains and waters of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Supporting resurgent Indigenous-led governance: A nascent mechanism for just and effective conservation

A new publication discusses how conservation actions to halt biodiversity declines will increasingly be impossible to implement without Indigenous consent and leadership. It also finds that in many cases a ...
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Southern Resident kill whale, J50, swims off, with the research figures in the top right.

Raising the bar: Recovery ambition for species at risk in Canada and the US

An estimated one million species are at risk of extinction globally. In Canada and the United states, there is legislation that is intended to protect species at risk. However, the ...
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Four wolves walk up a hill following a narrow path, research maps superimposed on top.

Ecology and Evolution: Functional response of wolves to human development across boreal North America

Previous research on how wolves are affected by human development have been limited in scope and location and the results were mixed. Wolves adapted in a range of ways depending ...
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A rhinoceros and juvenile rhinoceros stand in the brown grass of the Botswana flats.

Evidence, values, policy, and the advance of science

Last month, a group of scientists published a letter in the journal Science that advocated for trophy hunting, arguing that the practice can help safeguard biodiversity. In today’s issue of ...
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A polar bear rolls on their back with their mouth open, and there's a graph floating in the top right.

Research: Trophy hunters pay more to target larger-bodied carnivores

The behaviour of human hunters diverges from other animals. Other predators tend to target vulnerable individuals in prey populations. Human animals, often males, tend to hunt large, reproductive-aged individuals. In ...
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An expansive view of a Raincoast scientist working in the field in the Fraser River estuary.

Research: Habitat use by juvenile salmon, other migratory fish, and resident fish species underscores the importance of estuarine habitat mosaics

Pacific salmon, especially Chinook and Chum, reside and feed in estuaries during downstream migrations. But the extent to which they rely on estuaries, and which habitats within estuaries, is not ...
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