Coexistence with large carnivores is one of the greatest conservation challenges across the globe, in part because mechanisms of coexistence are unknown or contested.
In North America, grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) typify the human struggle to conserve and coexist with large carnivores amongst a matrix of competing land uses. While grizzly bears are a symbol of wildness to society, the management of this species can divide communities, derail collaborative conservation initiatives, and are the focus of high-profile media coverage and lawsuits. At the centre of this controversy is scientific uncertainty around population dynamics of the species, primarily relating to population size, limiting factors, and the ecology of conflict. The goal of Clayton’s work was to test the factors limiting grizzly bear population dynamics across ecosystems, update local population estimates, and to identify the mechanisms promoting carnivore coexistence and those exacerbating it. In this webinar, Clayton provides insight into the response of bear density to mitigation measures for reducing road density and highlight several cases where evidence from this dissertation lead to meaningful conservation actions that will benefit bears, a variety of wildlife inhabiting similar areas, and people.
Clayton Lamb is a postdoctoral researcher at the Universities of British Columbia and Montana and attained his PhD from the University of Alberta. His work focuses on identifying the factors driving changes in wildlife populations — both those that increase and decrease abundances. He has worked on diverse, international projects that range from the small, climate-change threatened American pika, to inter-provincial wolverine DNA analyses, through to grizzly bear population ecology across five mountain ranges. When not collecting grizzly bear hair, he spends his time in the backcountry biking, fishing and hiking. His fervent passion for wildlife and mountainous places originated with his love for backcountry recreation and has evolved into dedicating his career to the conservations and preservation of wildlife and their habitat in these environments.