EWC January 23' Update

The Exposed Wildlife Conservancy
January 31, 2023

In This Newsletter

Your January Conservation Newsletter edition is filled with tons of information and updates relating to bears to bobcats to cougars and everything in between. For instance, a bobcat named Bobby has finally received veterinary care after wandering through Calgary for weeks with a trap on her paw and a study has found that predator-reduction strategies do not increase prey populations. Also, did you know that wolverines are classified as the largest land-dwelling member of the weasel family?

Continue reading to learn more!

From the Field

Cougar Coexistence Project Update

Earlier this month, we were onsite at the Village of Waiparous to install our first new batch of trail cameras as part of our Cougar Coexistence Project, which is Alberta's first community-focused cougar management project!

During the course of this winter season, we will be installing more trail cameras throughout backcountry trail systems and within communities living in cougar territory. We cannot wait until spring 2023 when we begin to reveal what our trail cameras have captured! It is sure to be magical and surprising!


In the News

Bobby the Bobcat

If you think trapping happens only out in the wild, think again. A bobcat named Bobby has finally been safely caught and given veterinary care after spending weeks traveling and limping around Calgary with her front paw caught in a trap. It is believed that Bobby has had her paw caught in the trap since December.

Photo | Trevor Pinkster

This raises important questions such as:

  • Why are traps still being used today?
  • Are traps, as claimed by trappers, actually humane?
  • What are the regulations governing trapping in Canada?
  • What if your pet or child was caught in this trap instead?

Questions such as this, and more, will be answered in our Trapped In the Past Campaign coming soon! To learn more about Bobby's story, click the button below.


New Data

Predator Reduction Study Proven to Not Increase Prey Populations

A 40 year long study was originally set to prove that predator-reduction strategies, such as wolf culling, led to an increase in moose populations for hunters during harvest season. As it appears to be evident through this study, this is not the case. In fact, their study has shown that there is a negative correlation between predator reduction and prey populations.

As noted in the study, these discoveries “clearly demonstrate that additional information regarding factors influencing moose abundance and harvests should be more fully considered before predator control is applied as a general management procedure on large geographic scales”. What does this mean? It means that factors (most likely industry and the subsequent habitat loss of prey) is having a bigger long-term effect on moose populations than predation from bears and wolves.


Study Finds That Grizzly Bears Are The Top Umbrella Species In The Canadian Rockies

Another recently conducted study has found that grizzly bears are the top umbrella species in the Canadian Rockies! As an umbrella species, grizzly bears have the largest widespread impact on the most species within its environment; protect grizzly bears and their habitat and by default, you protect everything else underneath that umbrella. Although this is similar to the definition of a keystone species, conservation decisions are often based on umbrella species as they are the best representatives of their ecosystem in a designated geographical area.

Figure created by E. Harrington.

This study used nearly 700 trail cameras that were strategically placed in the Canadian Rockies and the eastern foothills of Alberta to gather data. During their analysis, the researchers found that cougars and wolves had a stronger food-web connection to species than grizzly bears. This means that cougars and wolves “contribute to the conservation of ecosystem resistance, resilience, and network integrity” while grizzly bears reflect the richness and health of the ecosystem.


Join the Exposed Team!

Exposed Ambassadors have a special role in advocating for bears, wolves, and cougars. They harness the power of storytelling through visual mediums to bring awareness to current critical wildlife challenges, solutions, and efforts. Although this is not a new program at Exposed, we have recently updated this program to create more value for both apex predators and Ambassadors alike.

The Ambassador Program is dedicated in memory of Lee Horbachewski. Lee was one of our first volunteers and Ambassadors. Her passion and dedication to wildlife inspired this program and helped grow us into what we are today. Lee is immensely missed but we strive to keep her legacy and passion alive through the Ambassador Program.

Follow the button below to learn about this program and apply to join our community of Ambassadors alongside John E. Marriott, Colleen Gara, and Tim Osborne.


Did You Know?

Did you know that the wolverine is classified as the largest land-dwelling member of the weasel family? This may be surprising as wolverines are known to be one of the fiercest animals in North America! A wolverine's habitat is primarily Northern boreal forests and subarctic and alpine tundra of the Northern Hemisphere. With a diet consisting mostly of scavenging and a thick underhair and guardhair, this elusive mammal is built for winter survival.

Book Recommendation

The Kootenay Wolves | John E. Marriott

On August 24, 2012, professional wildlife photographer and Exposed Co-Founder and Ambassador John E. Marriott received a phone call that would dramatically alter the course of his career for the next half decade. A friend of his had witnessed gray wolves eating a moose carcass on the side of a highway at dawn that day in Canada’s Kootenay National Park. By the time Marriott arrived hours later, the moose was gone, hauled away by Parks Canada staff, but a lone wolf remained. Marriott’s first magical encounter with that member of one of the Rocky Mountain national parks’ most secretive wolf families spawned an incredible five-year project by the photographer to learn more about these wolves.


Thank You

We hope that you enjoyed this month’s newsletter! If you have any conservation or wildlife topics that you would like to learn more about send us a note at info@exposedwc.org or reply directly to this newsletter to let us know.

Every effort makes a difference. Thank you for giving wildlife a voice.


The Exposed Wildlife Conservancy

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