Conservation Canines program wins top Albertan environmental award

The Center for Conservation Biology's Conservation Canines program, led by Prof. Sam Wasser, was awarded the "Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Technology and Innovation Award" by the Alberta Science and Technology Leadership Foundation. This is the top environmental award for the entire province of Alberta. Check out the article here.

Exploitation of the oil sands in Northeast Alberta have led to concerns that populations of caribou are more likely to become the prey of wolves, and the Albertan government is proposing to kill up to 80% of the wolves in the oil sands to slow the rate of caribou decline. They argue that climate change and habitat disturbance are causing deer, the preferred prey of wolves, to move north into the oil sands. Wolves are said to increase in response, increasing the risk of predation on caribou. The CCB's work suggests that there may be better options. Caribou's winter diet is mostly made up of lichen, and since areas of high use human activities tend to be concentrated in lichen rich areas, the CCB's results suggest that moving activity centers away from lichen rich areas may be the best strategy for mitigating caribou declines in the oil sands.