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Caribou Conservation through Better Cutblock Design

Beginning in 2018, this project will investigate how cutblock design can be less favourable for deer, moose, and elk.

Converting old forest to early seral stands through forest harvesting turns good habitat for caribou into good habitat for moose, deer, and elk—and their predators. We will set up camera traps in cutblocks and fit deer with GPS collars to see how cutblock characteristics affect their use by deer. Managers can use this to design cutblocks with caribou conservation in mind.

Related Programs:

  • January 2018

    Project Begins

    Progress update: Spatial data layers assembled and field preparation underway

  • June 2018

    Fieldwork Underway

    Progress update: Crews setting up trail cameras

  • September 2018

    Trailcamera Progress and Vegetation Sampling

    Progress update: 65 trailcams deployed & vegetation assessments carried out on a subset of plots

  • January 2019

    Deer Capture Underway

    Progress update: Crews setting and checking traps to fit deer with GPS collars.

  • March 2019

    Capture Season Complete

    Progress update: 12 deer captured; 9 fitted with GPS collars.

  • June 2019

    Fieldwork Underway

    Progress update: Crews visiting cutblocks to check trail cameras

  • September 2019

    Summer Field Work Complete

    Progress update: Crews finished visiting cutblocks to check cameras and carry out vegetation surv

  • October 2019

    Data Entry and Planning for the Capture Season Underway

    Progress update: Classifying photos from the cameras and are getting ready for winter capture

  • December 2019

    Trap Site Scouting Underway

    Progress update: One month of looking for field signs and scouting for trap sites for the winter

  • March 2020

    Capture and collaring complete

    Progress update: 14 collars were deployed on deer over the winter


Predators, prey, and harvest blocks in west-central Alberta caribou ranges | Webinar

Caribou Program biologist Tracy McKay presented for the ABMI Caribou Monitoring Unit's Fall 2021 Series.

Caribou Conservation through Better Cutblock Design: Year 1 Update

2-page update of a Caribou Program project.

Infographic: How Do You Build a Better Cutblock for Caribou?

Infographic by Heather Hinam describing a Caribou Program project.

Suzanne Stevenson

Research Staff

Leonie Brown

Research Staff

Laura Finnegan

Program Lead

Tracy McKay

Research Staff

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