How WildSmart are you? Speaker's Series. In the winter we hold the How WildSmart are you? Speaker’s Series to inform residents of Canmore and area of recent wildlife research and issues. If you missed our most recent WildSmart Speaker Series to learn about wildlife research and wildlife issues in the Bow Valley, you can listen to them online.

Maintaining sufficient separation between people and large carnivores is an important conservation issue in the Bow Valley and Kananaskis Country. Yet some grizzly bears are regularly seen in high human-use areas in this region. Cheryl Hojnowski, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley presents the results from a collaborative project between Alberta Parks and the University of California, Berkeley, aimed at improving our understanding of whether and how bears modify their behaviour to avoid people in front-country habitats in Peter Lougheed Park and the Kananaskis Valley.

Speaker: Cheryl Hojnowski

Local wildlife professionals, educators, and volunteers share some stories from their work in the Bow Valley. Grizzly bears, cougars, frogs, and salamanders; this group has been up close and personal with them all and wants to share some of the insightful lessons learned along the way.

Speakers: Various - Jacob Speckeen, Gian-Duri Giger, Vicki Perkins, Tyler McClure, Simon Ham, Tangle Caron, and Derek Ryder

Direct download: Dec_14th_2015_-_Various_Speakers_-_Stories.mp3
Category:WildSmart Speaker Series -- posted at: 3:26pm MST

Wildlife biologist Sarah Elmeligi and her research team present their results about how grizzly bears and people use hiking trails in our parks, and the associated human risk on the trails. This talk focuses on the research, the people who have helped make it happen, and how the research feeds directly into park management. From on-the-ground research to the managers who set the policies, we all work together to understand how people and bears share space safely for everyone.

Speaker: Sarah Elmeligi

Download Presentation Slides (PDF)

Dr. Chris Servheen has spent over 34 years working on Grizzly Bear Recovery in the United States. Part of the Western Black Bear Workshops held in Canmore, Alberta, this talk gives us the opportunity to learn about the challenges and successes of that experience and how it relates to the current Threatened population of grizzly bears in Alberta.

Speaker: Dr. Chris Servheen - US Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator with US Fish and Wildlife Service

Jay Honeyman, local Human Wildlife Conflict Biologist with AESRD, and Glenn Naylor, local District Conservation Officer with Alberta Parks, walk us through the last decade of cougar-related data in the Bow Valley. This talk is a culmination of information on the types of interactions that have been reported in and around Canmore from 2001-2013, and includes an informative overview of these impressive felines.


Speakers: Jay Honeyman & Glenn Naylor

This presentation highlights the past 10 years of research undertaken by the Calgary Coyote Project (led by Dr. Shelley Alexander) in the City, the surrounding regions, and across Canada.  The talk begins with a summary of basic coyote ecology and issues surrounding conflict, and addresses questions like: What types of food do coyotes eat in urban and rural areas? How often do coyote attacks on people occur? What types of emotional responses do people have to coyotes? How often were pets being eaten by coyotes in the City of Calgary and surrounding rural area?  Are certain pets more vulnerable than others?  What kind of actions caused or mitigated attacks? And, finally, what is the media’s role in the social amplification of risk posed by coyotes?


Speaker: Dr. Shelley Alexander

A bear rubbing against a tree may have an itchy back, but there’s more going on than meets the eye. Come hear about the messages being left by bears all over the forest, what they mean, and who they are for. You’ll also learn about how this interesting behaviour has the potential to provide valuable information on everything from population inventory and trend monitoring to understanding aspects of conflict management.

Speakers: Jon Jorgenson & Glenn Naylor

Videos during presentation:

The speakers showed a number of videos during this presentation. Most of them are available for public viewing by using the following links:  

Video #1 - Colbert Report Dancing Bears  

Video #2 - Cougar on a kill in Bow Valley Provincial Park  

Video #3 - Why you should stay in your car!  

Video #4 – Not yet available. Stay tuned to the Alberta Parks YouTube page!  

Video #5 - What goes on when you are not there…  


This presentation will highlight some of the possible effects our beloved dogs can have on various wild species in the Bow Valley, the impacts that wildlife can have on our dogs, and what we can do to ensure their safe coexistence. We’ll discuss typical responses of wildlife to dogs so you can be more prepared for any encounters you may have on trails in the valley. We’ll also talk about the work some dogs are doing to further wildlife conservation efforts at home and abroad."

Speaker: Melanie Percy

Direct download: Dogs__Wildlife_edited.mp3
Category:WildSmart Speaker Series -- posted at: 12:00am MST

The Alberta BearSmart program seeks to reduce human-bear conflicts and increase public stewardship of black bears and grizzly bears in Alberta by providing strategic information and education materials to the public, stakeholders and government agency staff dealing with bears.  This presentation will provide an overview of the main types of human-bear conflicts that occur across the province and the initiatives that are underway to resolve them.

Speaker: Nathan Webb

Direct download: 2013-11-20_Podcast_Webb_edited.mp3
Category:WildSmart Speaker Series -- posted at: 12:00am MST

WildSmart Speaker Series - Grizzly Bears and the energy sector in Alberta – new knowledge from research

Over the past 14 years the FRI Grizzly Bear Research Program has done extensive work helping with our understanding of grizzly bear habitat use and response to forest harvesting activities in the boreal forests of Alberta. More recently our research team has been investigating how grizzly bears respond to energy sector development and activities along the eastern slopes. This presentation will review some of these new research findings and discuss ongoing studies on a number of ecological questions aimed at supporting grizzly bear conservation and recovery in Alberta.

Direct download: 2013-03-21-Grizzly-Bears-Energy-Sector-STE-007.mp3
Category:WildSmart Speaker Series -- posted at: 12:00am MST