Carnivore Compensation Assessment in SW Alberta
In 2010, the Miistakis Institute was commissioned by the Chinook Landowners Association and the Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association to develop and implement a landowner survey to better understand landowner perceptions and attitudes toward carnivores in SW Alberta.
Conflicts that arise from the interaction of wildlife and private land-owners, especially with respect to depredation of livestock, are a topic of international concern. These issues are often particularly significant in the regions surrounding protected areas where permeable boundaries allow for the free movement of animals across public and private domains to meet their life history requirements. Understanding the interactions between human and wildlife components of complex social ecological systems is essential to addressing the long-term sustainability and resilience of such systems.
The eastern slopes of southwestern Alberta are home to the full complement of carnivores native to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The region is also home to vibrant communities with socioeconomic dependence on agriculture, petroleum, tourism and other natural resource-related activities. Many species (e.g., wolf, grizzly bear, black bear, cougar, coyote) rely on both the public protected areas, multiple-use public lands and productive private lands along the eastern slopes. In fact, collaborative management between public and private land managers is absolutely essential to the long-term persistence of such wide-ranging wildlife. However, livestock depredation by carnivores on private lands (or public lands utilized for agricultural production) results in economic, social and cultural issues for ranchers and other residents in the region.
The results of the survey will provide the community and land managers a better understanding of land owner perceptions and attitudes towards carnivores on the landscape. The survey has now been closed (receiving 115 submissions) and initial survey results were presented at two community presentations in Twin Butte and Mountain View in mid June 2010. Dr. M. Quinn is now undertaking a more detailed assessment of the survey results and a report will be made available to the community and land managers in the near future.
This project is funded by: Waterton Biosphere Association through the Chinook Area Land Users Association