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Final Wildlife Management Project

Samantha Line, Dominic Simard, Eli Desautels, Shanleigh Forsyth

PREFACE
It is of the utmost importance that readers of this document understand that predation is a natural part of any ecosystems mechanics.

Healthy populations of caribou should be able to support some amount of predation. In the case of Manitobas boreal woodland

caribou, there is a realistic threat of extirpation due to factors other than predation. Management of mortality factors including

predation, should be considered with the goal of maintaining caribou populations for a long enough period that scientific research

regarding the reason for decline can be conducted. Managing for factors such as mortality can increase the period of time available for

long term management strategies, such as the improvement of habitat quality and quantity to take effect.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Goal
Goal 1:
1: assess
assess
the
the extent
extent of
of
black bear
black bear
Main Objective
Main Objective predation on
predation on
woodland
woodland
caribou
caribou

Goal
Goal 3:
3: suggest
suggest
Goal 2: explore
Goal 2: explore strategies
strategies ofof
natural
natural and
and data collection
data collection
human enduced
human enduced to fill the
to fill the
factors causing
factors causing information
information gapgap
predation
predation on
on predation
predation

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Introduction 5.1.3. Phase 3: Collaring of Black Bears and Kill Site
2. Changes to the Landscape of Manitoba Investigation
3. Stake holders 6. Budget
4. Species Ecology 7. Funding
4.1.1. Boreal Woodland Caribou 8. Legislation
4.1.1.1.1. Physical Description 8.1.1. Endangered Species Legislation
4.1.1.1.2. Dietary Habits 8.1.2. Black Bear Hunting Regulations
4.1.1.1.3. Population Size and Density 8.1.3. Provincial Parks Act
4.1.2. Black Bears 8.1.4. No Fly Zones
4.1.2.1.1. Physical Description 8.1.5. First Nations Rights and the Duty to Consult
4.1.2.1.2. Life Cycle 9. Evaluation of Management Strategies and
4.1.2.1.3. Dietary Habits Recommendations
4.1.2.1.4. Population Size and Density 9.1.1. Predator Culling
4.1.2.1.5. Reproductive Success 9.1.2. Increase Tags to Non-Resident Hunters
4.1.2.1.6. Seasonal Distribution 9.1.3. Negative Reinforcement
5. Proposed Data Collection Methods 9.1.4. Maternal Penning/ Predator Fencing
5.1.1. Phase 1: Preliminary Data Collection 9.1.5. Linear Corridor Rehabilitation
5.1.2. Phase 2: Collaring of Boreal Woodland Caribou 9.1.6. Supplementary Feeding
9.1.7. Diversion Feeding

Introduction is theorized that numerous anthropogenic activities have led to


Boreal Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) are the decline of this population. Activities associated with
listed as threatened at both the federal and provincial level. It development have led to increased habitat fragmentation.
Habitat fragmentation and linear corridor development may is to critically evaluate current proposed predation mitigation
lead to increased predation rates. strategies for boreal woodland caribou. The final goal of this
project is to make recommendations on predation mitigation
In Manitoba the two main predation threats to boreal woodland
strategies that are believed to be the most feasible and viable
caribou are wolves (Canis lupus) and black bear (Ursus
options for the province of Manitoba.
americanus). The relationship between wolves and caribou in
the province of Manitoba has been study in more detail than
the relationship between bears and caribou. In other province Changes to the Landscape of Manitoba

such as Alberta studies have indicated that black bears have The Province of Manitoba is often recognized as a prairie
region, the landscape is however incredibly diverse and
accounted for up to 94% of caribou calf mortality (Leblond et
consists mainly of forested regions. Manitoba had 57% of its
Al 2016). Little is known about the effect that bears are playing land covered in a combination of boreal and mixed wood
on caribou calf mortality in Manitoba; our project is designed forests from 2004-2005, according to the state of Canadas
to fill this information gap. forests. Many of the large impacts to the landscape in Manitoba
come from resource extraction, such as mining, forestry, and
The primary goal of this project is to outline a detailed data hydroelectric development (Dryer et al 2001). Hydro-electric
development such as the instalment of the Bipole 3 line has the
collection methodology to determine black bear predation rates
potential to impact the woodland caribou species.
on boreal woodland caribou. The secondary goal of this project

Stakeholders
In the case of the management methods discussed in this proposal, the stakeholders involved are based off of current interests in the
northern region of Manitoba. Some of the identified stakeholders are First Nations groups, Manitoba Hydro, researchers, the
Government of Manitoba, and the Government of Canada.
Primary stakeholders Secondary Stakeholders Tertiary Stakeholder

First Nations: hold spiritual relations to Government of Canada: responsible for Manitoba Hydro: involved in
the wildlife, and the landscape, any First Nations well-being, including the development, and is one of the major
control measure must be discussed in responsibility for consultation, also funders of research across Manitoba
consultations through the federal responsible for their species at risk
government legislation

Researchers Government of Manitoba: holds the


resource rights for all goods in the
province, sets resource extraction limits
(hunting licenses), as well as having the
most control over the endangered species
act.

Species Ecology

Boreal Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou)


The caribou is an iconic symbol of Canada, so much so that it is found on the twenty-five cent coin. There are several different

ecotypes of caribou found throughout Canada. Each ecotype differs in location and behaviours. This project focuses specifically on the

boreal woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou). Boreal caribou are the only caribou ecotype found exclusively in the boreal

ecoregion on a year-round basis. This subspecies has developed unique behavioral traits to increase survival of adults and calves.

(COSEWIC 2011).

Physical Description Dietary Habits

Boreal woodland caribou when mature weigh approximately Caribou are herbivores with a diet the differs seasonally.

100 to 200 kg. The woodland caribou has a brown coloured During the winter months caribou forage primarily on lichen.

coat, which may lighten in winter, with distinctive cream During the summer their diet becomes slightly more diverse

markings on neck, mane, shoulder stripe, underbelly, underside incorporating some grasses and broadleaved plants.

of the tail, and patch just above its hooves. Caribou are the only

cervid family where both sexes have antlers (Lincoln, 1992).


Lincoln, G. A. (1992). Biology of antlers. Journal of Zoology, Population Size and Density

226(3), 517-528.
Manitobas boreal woodland caribou population estimate was ends as far North as Lynn Lake (Manitoba's Boreal Woodland

between 1,500 and 3,100 animals in 2006 (Manitoba Caribou Recovery Strategy 2015). See Figure XXX for

Conservation, 2006). This estimated population range for clarification.

woodland caribou begins slightly north of Lac du Bonnet and

Black Bears (Ursus americanus)

Physical Description Alberta, 1993). Male bears are typically larger, being in the
Black bears found in the wild grow to be 5-6 feet long, and can 100-227 kg range, while females weigh 45-136 kg on average
weigh from 90-272 kg, although it is rare for a bear to weigh (Government of Alberta, 2015).
more than 227 kg (National Geographic, n.d.), (Government of
Seasonal weight change occur to the semi-hibernating black McKinnon, D. (n.d.). All Colour Phases. Hunting Northern
bear species. In the spring when bears begin to emerge from Alberta for Black Bear. Available from:
their dens, they are thin, and may not gain weight until the http://www.albertabear.com/color_phases.html
summer months. As the summer progresses, black bears begin
Life Cycle
to increase their body weight, preparing for the denning period
(Government of Alberta, 1993). Additional changes occur in Black bears can live up to 30 years of age however the majority
the breeding season, both male and female individuals are of bears will only reach their early 20s.
known to lose weight (Government of Alberta, 1993).
Cub mortality is typically associated with the fitness of the
Black bears, are said to come in more colours than any other sow. Larger bears have the body mass required for the high
mammal found in North America, with colour phases that energy expenditure associated with gestation and cub rearing.
range from white to black (North American Bear Center, n.d.).
The greatest threat to adult survival is the pressure of human
Each bear is uniform in the colour phase they have, with the
hunting behaviour. Natural causes of death are rare with the
exception of common markings on the muzzle and chest
greatest proportion of deaths resulting from legal hunting and
(Government of Alberta, 1993). Their fur is suggested to be an
illegal poaching.
adaptive feature to habitat, for example, lighter phases such as
blonde, cinnamon and light brown are found in warmer Sows with decreased reserves may not sufficiently provide
climates. The lighter colour phases are thought to offer fatty milk to newborns resulting in cub mortality. Cubs are
protection from the heat, and provide some camouflage into born in January and February and stay in the den with the sow.
their habitat (North American Bear Center, n.d.). Risk of spring flooding in the natal dens is a possible threat to
newborn cubs.

Dietary Habits
Black bears are an omnivorous species, with a diet that changes
seasonally (government of Alberta, 2016). Their diet is thought
to be mainly plant based, with approximately 15% thought to
come from carnivorous methods (Hatler, 1967).
Upon leaving their dens in the spring, black bears are in need The black bear population is estimated to be in range of
of food that will provide the highest nutrient level, while 30,000-35,000 in Manitoba (Hank). This population is
utilizing the least amount of energy. Foods high in cellulose are considered to be sustainable enough to support societal uses of
not beneficial to the bears in the spring as they are not able to the bear, such as harvesting and observation, while being a
extract the highest amount of nutrients from the foraged plants minimal risk to humans (Government of Manitoba, n.d.).
(Government of Alberta, 2016). Their diet, and movement
Black bears are an incredibly versatile species, able to thrive in
patterns often are reflective of patches of food with the highest
many ecosystems. The density of the bear population in any
caloric return at that time. In the spring months bears opt for
given area depends on the food quality, and the availability of
early vegetation, such as grasses and forbs, but are known to
cover. (Rudis, Tansey, 1995) Within Manitoba, black bears are
consume animal matter such as insects and kill site remnants
known to range the province, with lesser densities noted in
(Government of Alberta, 2016) (Hatler, 1967). As the seasons
agricultural areas, especially south-west Manitoba
progress, the bears will continue to consume the most
(Government of Manitoba, n.d.).
nutritious foods, such as fruits and berries. Predation is known
to occur throughout these periods, with insects and small
mammals being the most frequent in scat samples (Hatler,
1967). Food sources are typically sought within the home range
during the summer months, however nearing hibernation there
is a need to increase fat reserves, potentially causing an
extended range to find adequate food sources. Examples of
food sources include ant pupae, carrion, graminoid vegetation,
berries and small mammals (Raine, 1990). Non-natural foods
are highly attractive to black bears as they provide a relatively
easy and consistent source of high fat foods. It is more
common to see bears consuming human wastes in the spring,
or in other situations of food scarcity. (Hatler, 1967)

Population Size and Population Density


size and natality success increase while interbirth intervals
decrease (Elowe, 1989). Poor body condition results in
abandoned litters. Based on the strong relationship between
body size and reproductive success, body condition is a strong
indicator for reproductive fitness (Bartareau, 2012).

Litter sizes can range from 1 to 6 cubs although the average is


2 to 3. Interbirth rates have an average of 3.2 years.

Seasonal Distribution
(Government of Manitoba, Wildlife Branch. n.d. Wild Animals
of Manitoba Black Bear Fact Sheet. Available from: Female and male bears stay within their home ranges during
http://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/wildlife/mbsp/fs/blbear.html?print) the summer months, however there is increased movement
during mating season, and prior to hibernation (Noyce, 2011).
Before Hibernation it is important, more so for females, to find
sufficient food sources. Increased movement to higher food
Reproductive Success
regions occurs. Subadult male black bears have the largest
Female bears typically breed between May and June. Female
home range at 506.4 square km in comparison to adult females
bears may mate every two years, once cubs are mature enough
with a home range of 29.1 square km and subadult females
to leave. Reproductive success of female black bears is largely
with 35.2 square km. It is observed that subadult male home
dependent on body size. As female body size increases litter
ranges overlap female home ranges (Klenner, 1982).

Proposed Data Collection Methods


Phase 1 Preliminary Data Collection
Before undergoing an extensive and costly collaring project, it is necessary to attempt to gather evidence of black bear consumption of

woodland caribou calves, whether through predation or scavenging. This can be achieved through collection and analysis of black bear

scat samples in previously determined caribou calving areas during the calving season (April- June). Using scat analysis as the

primary data collection method has some limitations. Typically black bears avoid consumption of fur when feeding on animals; this is

why scat analysis is likely to underestimate the abundance of animals consumed by black bears (Davenport, 1953).

If the preliminary data collected shows evidence of caribou calf hair in black bear scat occurring with a frequency of 1/8, it is highly

advised that we proceed with the succeeding phases of data collection. This would indicate that 12.5% of the scat samples contained

evidence of woodland caribou consumption.

Phase 2: Collaring of Boreal Woodland Caribou


Phase 2 requires the collaring of breeding age female woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus). Funding is likely to be the limiting factor

on sample size. This project intends to use both Video Collars and GPS Collars. (WILL ADD PICTURES AND INFO LATER THIS

WEEK) Video collars are utilized for their potential to pick up predation events. It is believed that video collars hold the greatest

promise of gathering empirical evidence of black bear predation on woodland caribou calves. Footage from video collars will be

analyzed for predatory sightings as well as determining the duration that calf spends at heel. Standard GPS collars are used partially as

a contingency plan for video collars. It is assumed that standard GPS collaring technology is more established and reliable than

emerging video collar technology. GPS collars are also used for their ability to collect data over longer time periods. Both types of
collars will be adjusted for more frequent GPS fixes and video collection from April 30th July 30th. This adjustment is done to

provide fine scale data during the critical calving period, in which the majority of predatory mortality is expected to take place

(Kotchorek, 2002). One of the studys goals is to determine calving sites. Calving sites will be determined by movement rates less

than 50m/h for a minimum of a week (Dupount, 2012). Once one year of calving site data has been collected phase 3 of the project

will begin.

Phase 3: Collaring of Black Bears and Kill Site Investigations


Phase 3 is the collaring of black bears, utilizing both video and camera collars similar to that of phase 2. This phase of study will

utilize the calving site data gathered in phase 2 to determine the geographic boundaries in which to target bears. It is crucial to have a

representative amount of male bears in the sample, because larger male bears are thought to be more capable of successful predation

on ungulates (Patterson et Al, 2013). The study will target bears within the geographic boundaries established under the assumption

that caribou have fidelity to calving sites (Gunn & Miller, 1986). Similar to phase 2 it is crucial to have a frequent fix rate during the

April 30th July 30th time frame. There is an underlying assumption that bears are predating on calves, which would take less time to

consume, a less frequent fix rate could result in missing predation events (Kindschuh et Al, 2016). Accessing cluster sites quickly

increases the likelihood that usable evidence will be found. Collars are capable of being programed to send a notification when a bear

enters a predetermined location, such as a known calving area. Collars also have the ability to communicate with each other and send a

proximity signal when predator and prey are within close proximity. The combination of location notifications, proximity signals and

increased fixed rates, should prove crucial to the success in monitoring predation events. Once the bears are collared, the study will
use an algorithm (all locations within x hours and y metres) to generate cluster sites. Site investigations will be performed on a

proportion of the clusters. Through the site investigation the study will attempt to determine if the clusters are kill sites, and if so,

which species is being preyed upon. Cluster sites may occur for other reasons, such as scavenging sites, den sites, and resting sites.

Being able to access clusters quickly will be crucial to the success of this phase.

All animals in this study should be captured and handled with the highest ethical standards and an experienced and professional

certified animals capture crew should be utilized. If deployment of traps for black bear capture is feasible, the recommendations made

in the Kotchorek doctoral dissertation should be considered, as they apply specifically to trap deployment for black bears in Manitoba.

This research model will advance in successive years, as new calving sites are generated, and geographic boundaries shift. It is hoped

that in concluding this project some of the first baseline data on the role black bears are playing in woodland caribou calf mortality

will be established.

Budget
For the purposes of conducting further research into bear behaviour on caribou calf predation, a research grant proposal is as follows.

The components of the budget for consideration will include the following direct costs:
1. Salaries/wages
2. Key personnel
3. Other personnel
4. Compensation
5. Benefits
6. Equipment
7. Transportation
8. Supplies and materials
9. Tuition
10. Contracted services

Indirect costs, such as depreciation or damage, will be assessed as modified total direct costs.

Funding
Further research is required to fully understand the interaction made in predator avoidance involving more than one predator.
between woodland caribou and the increase in black bear In the case of the woodland caribou, both the wolf and black
predation pressure. Little research shows the spatial changes bear are predatory threats. Studies have indicated that a female
caribou with a calf will choose habitat more favorable to a bear
in the attempts to avoid wolf predation whereas a lone female
A means by which the studies can be funded may include:
caribou will remain in habitat more favorable to wolves. This
inherently increases the risk for calf bear predation (Leblond, Federal and Provincial Government appropriations
Environmental damage mitigation costs
2016). For this reason, further research is required to
NSERC funding through collaboration with academic
understand the spatial changes caribou make in attempts to
institutions
protect their young and how that correlates to the spatial Collaborative research grants to promote industry involvement-
boundaries of predators. Example of such a collaboration is the forestry industry
quantifying the impacts of forestry on caribou and the impacts
This research can be conducted with a focus on the spatial
to birth success and predation.
movement of pregnant and lactating female caribou, in SARA FUND
conjunction with observing the spatial boundaries of both Canadian Wildlife Fund
Habitat Stewardship
wolves and black bears in the immediate regions of known Aboriginal Species at Risk
woodland caribou habitat. A third stressor of human activity
may also influence the movement of caribou and possible
predators and should be considered in any study.

Legislation

Endangered Species Legislation extirpated species (Sewchuk 2015). The Boreal Woodland
The provincial government of Manitoba has the Endangered Caribou of Manitoba are listed as threatened under this act
Species and Ecosystems Act. This act works to protect and since June 2006. Whenever a species is listed as threatened or
enhance quality of life for threatened and endangered species, endangered under the act, the department must come up with a
and their habitat. The act also allows for the reintroductions of recovery strategy that explains the steps that need to be taken
in order to prevent further reduction of the species, as well as Black Bear Hunting Regulations
promote the recovery of the species (Sewchuk 2015). It is currently legal to hunt black bears in Manitoba due to their
Once a species such as the caribou has been listed under the bountiful numbers. It is required that any person that wishes to
act, it becomes illegal to kill, injure, disturb, or interfere with hunt black bears purchase a license to do so at a $10 to $230,
species. This includes the disruption or destruction of habitat depending on age and residency (Government of Manitoba,
and natural resources that are essential to the species (Sewchuk 2016). Only one license may be purchased per person per
2015). hunting year, and only one bear may be harvested per year per
person. There are also set restrictions and regulations on black
At the federal level there is a parallel law to the Endangered bear hunting. For example: it is illegal to kill a bear cub or a
Species and Ecosystems act known as the Species at Risk Act female with cubs; it is illegal to kill any black bears within 100
(SARA) (Sewchuk 2015). The SARA has three main goals meters of clearing surrounding garbage dumps; this number
which are to prevent endangered or threatened species from increases to 300 meters from a garbage dump (Government of
becoming extinct or extirpated, to help in the recovery of Manitoba, 2016); there are also rules on baiting for black bears.
endangered, threatened and extirpated species, and finally to Baits may not be placed within 200 meters of a road or
manage species of special concern to help prevent them from dwelling, within 500 meters of a cottage subdivision or Crown
becoming endangered or threatened. Caribou were also listed Land campground, or within 100 meters of Riding Mountain
as threatened under SARA in 2003 (Government of Manitoba, National Park (Government of Manitoba, 2016).
2003).

categories. The first being the wilderness category, with the


goal to protect representative or unique natural landscapes in
Provincial Parks Act an undisturbed state. The second category is resource
The Provincial Parks Act contains 3 main goals which are: to management; this categorys permits commercial resource
conserve ecosystems and maintain biodiversity; to preserve development or extraction in a manner that does not
unique. representative natural, cultural and heritage resources; compromise the main purpose of the park classification
and to provide outdoor recreational and educational (Sewchuk 2015). Other categories exist within the act,
opportunities and experiences in a natural setting (Sewchuk including heritage, and back country categories. The first two
2015). Land usage within the provincial parks is set up in
categories mentioned are especially relevant to the protection The flight restriction is problematic as data collection from
of caribou within Manitoba. By maintaining healthy habitats May could be key to understanding Caribou. This data being
and creating ideal living conditions for caribou, the species can missed in May includes, how the populations are doing, how
begin to recover. In any area of a wilderness/provincial park the calves are doing, and disturbances to the caribou.
that is categorized under the wilderness, heritage or back
A solution to this problem could be to come up with alternative
country land use categories various commercial activities are
methods of overhead data collection. A potential solution
prohibited. These include mining, the development of oil,
would be using higher flight planes that would not disturb the
petroleum, natural gas or hydro-electric power. Logging and
caribou, and are equipped with thermal cameras that are able to
the commercial development of peat. Through other legislation,
identify the caribou from a high altitude.
such as The Forest Act and the Peatlands Stewardship Act
(Sewchuk 2015). Provincial Parks of Manitoba provide areas
of undisturbed lands for boreal woodland caribou. Undisturbed
land is an area of land in which there is little to no human First Nations Rights and the Duty to Consult
influence and the environment is in its most natural state. Perhaps one of the most important parties that needs to be
Caribou rely on undisturbed old growth forest to maintain a taken into consideration for any management plan is the First
healthy lifestyle. With Manitoba being home to 54 provincial Nations Peoples of Canada. One of the biggest legal
parks, it helps to provide more ideal living environments for regulations that needs to be taken into consideration is The
the provinces caribou (Government of Manitoba, 2016). Duty to Consult and Accommodate. What this means is that if
there is an action or decision being made that may affect the
No Fly Zones
First Nations of Canada and their treaty rights, they need to be
In Manitoba, beginning May 1st of each year, a no flying consulted as well as accommodated (M. Udin 2016.)
restriction comes into effect. This is because the month of May Recognition of Aboriginal rights in Canadian legal history
is the calving period for caribou (McCance 2016). The no fly dates back to 1763 with the Royal Proclamation. The Royal
restriction comes into effect because planes cause significant Proclamation implicitly recognized First Nations interests in
disturbance and stress to the pregnant caribou. The stress ideal lands in North America as well as protected First Nations
from the fear, confusion, and excessive running may be a factor possession and use of land reserved to First Nations (M. Udin
in miscarriages. 2016.) Aboriginal interests and customary laws were presumed
to work with sovereignty, minus a few exceptions. These
exceptions were if they were incompatible with the Crowns resources need protection and management, it does hold the
assertion of sovereignty, they were surrendered voluntarily via Crown to a substantive promise. (R.V. Sparrow 1990.)
the treaty process, or if the government dismissed them (M.
These legal documents have significant importance, especially
Udin 2016.) Another major act that has relation to First Nations
when it comes to the various First Nations reserves of Northern
rights is the Constitution Act of 1982. Section 35 of the
Manitoba. The First Nations peoples of Manitoba have just as
Constitution Act involves First Nations rights in Canada. A
much of a right, if not more to have a say on what actions and
main point of section 35 is the existing aboriginal and treaty
decisions are being made on the land. The First Nations
rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby affirmed
peoples not only have an inherent right to the land and its uses,
(Gov Canada 1982.) Section 35 aldo states in this Act
but there is also the legal obligation that comes with it. It is
aboriginal peoples of Canada includes the Indian, Inuit and
imperative that the First Nations peoples be continuously
Metis people of Canada (Gov Canada 1982.) The meaning of
consulted throughout the management plan in a cooperative
Section 35 goes as follows: The constitutional recognition
manner. Working synergistically can lead to an enhanced result
afforded by section 35 gives a measure of control over
for the plan. As the First Nations peoples live on the land in
government conduct and a strong check on legislative power.
which the plan may be implemented, they may have a better
While it does not promise immunity from government
understanding of the environment and the various events that
regulation in a society that, in the twentieth century, is more
take place.
complex, independent and sophisticated, and where exhaustible

Evaluation of Management Strategies and Recommendations

Management Maternal Predator Increase tags Negative Linear Maintain Diversion


Strategy Penning Culling to non Reinforcement Corridor Habitat Feeding
resident Rehabilitation
hunters
Economic Cost High Moderate Low to None Moderate Moderate to Unknown Low
High

Ecosystem Moderate High Moderate to Moderate High Positive High


Impact to Low High

Duration Indefinite Indefinite Temporary Indefinite Temporary Indefinite Indefinite

Social High Low Moderate Low Moderate High to Moderate


Acceptance Moderate

This link could prove useful for this section: http://cmiae.org/wp-content/uploads/Mountain-Caribou-review-final.pdf

Predator Culling
Predator culling as a method of dealing with the loss of another species has been shown to be ineffective as a whole. In specific cases
of problem individuals, elimination can be beneficial for human interactions.

Culling of a predatory species is often done out of fear and a lack of understanding. Predatory species play a large role in ecosystems
as a population control of smaller animals, that potentially pose a greater threat to the area or species of concern.

In the specific case of woodland caribou calf mortality, once the true impact that black bears pose is understood, management methods
can fully be explored to best protect the endangered species. If the black bear predation rates on caribou calves in Manitoba are found
to be comparable to the rates of domestic animal predation events in Wisconsin, a significant proportion of mortality will be attributed
to predation by the black bear. In the 10 year period of the study in Wisconsin, black bears were the cause of 429 livestock mortalities,
while the more frequently vilified wolves were only known to be responsible for 164 livestock mortalities. The animals which are
targeted as prey, are frequently the sick, elderly or least fit individuals. Predation of these individuals is a population control, as well as
a selection against undesirable genes in the prey population. (Treves & Karanth, 2003)

Pros: Cons:

Increase Tags to Non-Resident Hunters


The current black bear population in Manitoba is said to be at a sustainable level for harvesting, observation, and other societal uses,
while being a minimal risk to humans. (Government of Manitoba, n.d.) The current rate of harvest is one bear, per license, and one
license per person annually. The season is open both spring and fall. Some of the regulations are as follows: cubs or females with cubs
may not be harvested; baits sites must be clearly identified, and may not be within 200m of roads, 500m from cottage areas or
campgrounds, or within 100m of Riding Mountain National Park; Foreign hunters must book their hunt with an authorized outfitter;
other regulations as per the guidebook. (Government of Manitoba, 2016)

The majority of tags filled annually are by non-resident hunters. Upon speaking with outfitters in proximity to Wabowden woodland
caribou range, the amount of tags given to Wekusko Falls Lodge and Wildwood Outfitters annually are 26 and 40 respectively. They
fill 22 and 30 of their tags respectively, with a guaranteed chance to see a bear, and a near guarantee to harvest a bear.

If black bears are found to be a major cause of mortality for the calves, an option would be to allow the outfitters more tags to
encourage a greater harvest, while still monitoring the species population to maintain a viable, healthy population.

Pros: Cons:
high interest in hunting from non-residents Potential to create a misunderstanding of the importance black
bears hold in the ecosystem

Inexpensive to advertise an increase in tags Hunting of black bears is not always considered socially
acceptable

Can be applied to specific GHAs if the bear population is Releasing more tags to non-residents could be seen as
deemed too large detrimental to resident hunters

Negative Reinforcement
Negative Reinforcement is a strategy that can be utilized to deter bears from continuing inappropriate behaviour. Current negative
reinforcement models used in bear management include the animals being withheld from food in isolation and hazing techniques to
deter bear activity in regions of human activity. Applying negative reinforcement is much easier in this setting as the bear can easily be
identified as the perpetrator and handled by professionals. The use of negative reinforcement to deter caribou predation may prove
difficult to implement and further studies should explore the effectiveness of such bear deterrent strategies.

Management Technique: Maternal Penning/Predator Fencing

Description:
Maternal penning involves the capture of parturient caribous predation there for maternal penning will lead to greater
and transfer to an enclosure, in which they are held until and recruitment.
intended to give birth in. In the enclosure the mothers and
newly born calves are provided with food and water. The Predator Fencing Predator fencing is similar to maternal
intention of maternal penning is to allow development with penning and is a large-scale captive breeding program. Predator
reduced risk of predation. The mothers and calves are released fencing is where large area is designated to hold captured
later at a designated time period. The assumption behind caribou captive. Caribou are contained by fences for extended
maternal penning is that older calves are less susceptible to periods of time and intending to live and reproduce without the
pressure of predation as the fence is designed to exclude all
predators.

Pros Cons

There is a high social acceptance for maternal Increase risk of disease within pen
penning/predator fencing Risk injury when transporting parturient caribou
Maternal Penning has relatively minimal harm to Caribou may not learn behaviours such as foraging and predator
the ecosystem as compared to other management avoidance
strategies High cost (Manitoba does not have the oil industry to front this
cost)
Permanent commitment

Linear Corridor Rehabilitation

Description
Linear corridor rehabilitation involves the restoration of linear features such as access roads, railways, power lines, etc. Typically these
features were put on the landscape for resources extraction such as mining, forestry, and electricity. Linear features cause
fragmentation between caribou habitat and provide pathways for predators. Linear corridor rehabilitation intends to reverse this
fragmentation and reduce easy access for predators.

Pros Cons
Reduction in predator access Potential for resistance from population that benefits from access
roads (hunters, campers, locals)
Reduce predatory abilities (Sight/Scent)
Results will not be seen quickly
Beneficial to ecosystem
Applicability to bears is less understood (Mainly Wolves)
Reverses fragmentation
Certain types of corridors will rarely be rehabilitated as they are
Does not require continued work once a corridor has been consistently used ie. Transmission Lines
restored

Potential for industry to endure majority of cost

Supplementary Feeding

Description:
Supplementary feeding is the process of providing additional food to caribous natural diets. Supplementary feeding is done typically
done using commercial pellets and feeding troughs. The goal of supplementary feeding is to increase body fat of parturient caribou in
hopes of greater birthing and survival rates.
Pros Cons

High Social Acceptance Disease transmission

Gut Microbes ability to digest

Permanent Commitment

Potential to Increase Predatory Success

Diversion Feeding

Description:
Diversion feeding is a strategy that can be used to divert black bears from predating on caribou calves. Diversion feeding is done by
providing accessible additional food sources for black bears (S. Gilman 2013). These food sources can include roadkill, and plants
favoured by the bears (S. Gilman2013). The hope is that the black bears will opt to take the additionally provided food source, become
satisfied and in turn reduce the need for predation on caribou calves.
Pros Cons

High Social Acceptance Bears may become dependent

Also Potential Diversion From Human Additional Cost


Interaction

It Gives Roadkill a Purpose

Provides Bears With Essential Calories


During Spring
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