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Scientific Literature

All of Raincoast’s published scientific papers, abstracts, and conference proceedings.


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

A Southern Resident killer whale fin above the water in the Salish Sea with graphs from a research paper in the foreground.

Published on 2020.10.06 | by Raincoast | in Scientific Literature

The rise of vessel traffic, the growth of the whale watching industry, increased interactions between whales and small vessels, and the precarious existence of Southern Residents in particular, has given rise to some regulations from the federal government that attempt to mitigate the harm these interactions pose…

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

A wolf walks across the beach in the early morning light, with figure 1 in the foreground.

Published on 2020.07.15 | by Raincoast | in Scientific Literature

The scientists looked closely at the data provided in a previous study that examined how 18 caribou populations responded to different treatments including wolf culls, maternal penning, moose reduction, and combinations thereof, as well as controls. There were important errors in the statistical methods associated with that prior study…

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

Juvenile Spirit bear and black bear mother stand by a river with salmon strewn across the bank.

Published on 2020.07.08 | by Raincoast | in Scientific Literature

New research has identified that the small genetic change responsible for Spirit bears – a rare, white-coated form of black bears – is up to 50% rarer in the Great Bear Rainforest than previously estimated. The study also indicates that geographic hotspots, where the Spirit bear version of the gene was especially prominent lack adequate protection from resource extraction…

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On the risk of pathogens carried by hypermobile human predators

A map of disease vectors is overlayed on a photo of a Norwegian Fjord, with a headline at the bottom: Hypermobile human predators.

Published on 2020.04.10 | by Raincoast | in Scientific Literature

In a recent commentary published in Nature Human Behaviour, “Hypermobile human predators,” Raincoast scientists Chris Darimont and Heather Bryan raise questions regarding potential differences between human hunters and other predators with respect to the potential for disease transmission in prey populations and point out a need for further research…

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New research: Indigenous knowledge and federal environmental assessments in Canada

Tsawout First Nation, University of Guelph, University of Victoria, and Raincoast Conservation Foundation logos on top of an aerial photo from Fort McKay.

Published on 2020.02.13 | by Raincoast | in Scientific Literature

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 with Indigenous Knowledge systems…

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

Three maps of human populations especially Indigenous communities, overlaid on a photo of mountains and waters of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Published on 2020.01.06 | by Raincoast | in Scientific Literature

A new publication finds that in many cases a resurgence in Indigenous governance can increase both the scale and effectiveness of biodiversity protections…

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

Southern Resident kill whale, J50, swims off, with the research figures in the top right.

Published on 2019.12.19 | by Raincoast | in Scientific Literature

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 majority of species are not recovering in either country.

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

Four wolves walk up a hill following a narrow path, research maps superimposed on top.

Published on 2019.11.13 | by Raincoast | in Scientific Literature

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 on contextual factors like road or cutblock density. Research undertaken by a team of conservation scientists, including Paul Paquet of Raincoast Conservation Foundation, endeavoured to […]

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Evidence, values, policy, and the advance of science

A rhinoceros and juvenile rhinoceros stand in the brown grass of the Botswana flats.

Published on 2019.10.24 | by Raincoast | in Scientific Literature

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 Science, there are six response letters, and Raincoast scientists (Drs. Kyle Artelle, Chris Darimont and Paul Paquet), contribute to three.  Our team argues that there […]

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

A polar bear rolls on their back with their mouth open, and there's a graph floating in the top right.

Published on 2019.09.18 | by Raincoast | in Scientific Literature

The behaviour of human hunters diverges from other animals. Other predators tend to target vulnerable individuals in prey populations. Humans, often males, tend to hunt large, reproductive-aged individuals. In the case of guided trophy hunting these species are likely perceived as costly, by increasing failure risk and risk of injury, and providing lower nutritional returns.

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

An expansive view of a Raincoast scientist working in the field in the Fraser River estuary.

Published on 2019.09.09 | by Raincoast | in Scientific Literature

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 well understood. We need to understand this complexity if we are going to enact effective conservation policies. This is especially important in urban systems where habitat loss is ongoing, and at different rates across the estuarine mosaic. The Fraser River estuary, for example, supports a multitude of fish species…

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Research: Publication reform to safeguard wildlife from researcher harm

A wolf rests on the beach in the Great Bear Rainforest, with a chart from Figure 1 overlaid.

Published on 2019.04.17 | by Raincoast | in Scientific Literature

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…

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