Do oil and gas activities and access control measures affect the distribution, abundance and movements of grizzly bears?

Gordon Stenhouse, fRI Research
GL 15-ERPC-10

To understand how oil and gas activities and access control measures, particularly gates, influences grizzly bears and their habitats in Alberta, we used multiple data sources including spatial layers representing roads with and without gates, GPS locations from collared grizzly bears, and counts of unique bears from a recent (2014) population inventory. In the first section of this report, we inventory gates within core and secondary grizzly bear conservation areas and evaluate how the presence or absence of gated and other types of roads (road removal scenarios) contributes to the amount of sink habitat for grizzly bears. In section two, we investigate the response (habitat use, movement) of grizzly bears to roads with and without access control measures by determining whether or not bears select or avoid habitats adjacent to roads as well as the frequency of crossings associated with roads. In the third and final section, we investigate relationships between the abundance of grizzly bears and the oil and gas footprint (roads, well-sites, and pipelines).

Policy Issue
Biodiversity: Species conservation; grizzly bears

Knowledge Gap
grizzly bear responses to oil and gas development

2015 Final Report

2015 Presentation