Making conservation research accessible to communities and decision makers is complex. To focus our work effectively, Miistakis identified six research areas where our skills and expertise could have the greatest impact. Some research areas are tightly focused on a critical issue, while others reflect a common thread binding several issues. Any given project or conservation effort we support may draw knowledge from multiple theme areas.
Conservation Planning and Policy
Success in environmental conservation largely relies on being proactive. This requires developing plans of various types, catalyzing improvements in the policy process, and working with a wide variety of ENGOs, provincial agencies, local governments, and industry players. Miistakis provides support in many areas of conservation planning (wildlife management, private land securement, connectivity, municipal conservation, park management, strategic conservation, watershed management, and others), and works to catalyze innovation in policy making of various types (land use policy, fiscal policy, conservation policy, science policy, and others).
Citizens are facing complex conservation challenges. Stronger sustainable solutions engage citizens in better understanding the issue, contributing personal knowledge and experience, and implementation. Miistakis uses a citizen science approach to generate data to inform conservation challenges, and create a knowledgeable and engaged citizenry. Miistakis develops tools and frameworks that contribute to successful citizen science projects.
Human Wildlife Coexistence
In today's changing landscape it is often challenging for wildlife to coexist on the landscape with humans. Human developments including housing, agriculture, industry and recreation infringe on wildlife habitat and movement areas. Wildlife management attempts to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of people using the best available science. Miistakis is interested in examining the ways to improve the coexistence of humans and wildlife. This often includes determining wildlife needs, assessing human impacts to wildlife habitat and exploring adaptive management for both humans and wildlife.
Private Land Conservation
Much of the land that is critical for wildlife habitat, water cycling, nutrient flows and other ecological processes across the broad landscape is privately held. Land trusts and municipalities are working to ensure those parcels continue to play these important roles. Miistakis supports both the individual organizations and the private land conservation community, including landowners, by providing necessary research services, tools, resources, and planning, management and policy assistance.
Transportation infrastructure across the world poses numerous environmental challenges, affecting our air, landscapes and water. From a landscape perspective, roads and railways cause wildlife mortality through collisions and act as a significant barrier to wildlife movements. The Miistakis Institute aims to: generate awareness of the challenges that transportation infrastructure poses to wildlife; to promote workable solutions to these challenges; and to generate support for implementing these solutions.