What happens when human activities conflict with wildlife and vice-versa? How do we share increasingly populated mountain spaces with the natural world? This Canadian Mountain Podcast episode focuses on human-wildlife co-existence and features experienced professionals in parks management, research and conservation. The conversation also considers how the general public can also help gather scientific data, known as ‘citizen science’, to improve our understanding of human-wildlife co-existence.
While human-wildlife coexistence has its challenges, this episode features several of the people who are hard at work to make it a reality:
Our first guest is Dr. Don Carruthers Den Hoed, who began observing the interactions between humans and wildlife and helping people appreciate and connect with nature as a parks interpreter. Carruthers Den Hoed has over 25 years of experience in parks management and is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Environmental Sustainability at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta and serves Manager at Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership (CPCIL). He also co-leads a CMN research project with the Stoney Nakoda Nations focusing on the reintroduction of bison to Banff National Park.
Our second guest is Dr. Marco Festa-Bianchet, Professor of Biology at Université de Sherbrooke. In addition to leading a CMN-funded study on mountain ungulate conservation (e.g. mountain goats and bighorn sheep), Festa-Bianchet serves as Associate Editor of the journals Ecology, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, PLOS ONE and Mammal Review.
Finally, Danah Duke, Executive Director of the Miistakis Institute, discusses citizen science, where regular people gather data to inform research. The Miistakis Institute is a conservation organization based in Calgary, Alberta that studies human-wildlife coexistence and develops practical solutions to support decision-makers.