HUMAN-LIMITED WILD mammal populations

The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves. Jane Goodall

Since the Ice Age, iconic mammals have freely roamed the northern hemisphere and made important contributions to ecosystem function and development. However many mammal species have fragile population dynamics.  For example grizzly bears breed infrequently, with low success rates. 

Grizzly sow with cub, Og Meadows, Alberta, Canada

By contrast, lagomorph (hare) species breed prolifically; yet their populations can cycle, caused by predator waves or parasite loads, so they suffer periodic crashes.  

Mountain hares, Margery Hill, Yorkshire, UK

Such factors predispose mammals to population vulnerability and extinction.    Surviving in their own natural environment is hard.   

Merely falling asleep is dangerous, if predators are near

Many mammals face challenge and threat from human activity. Our society builds towns and roads which fragment mammalian habitat. We take over large areas of historic wildlife range and replace those with our own agricultural needs. We alter or pollute environments on a grand scale.  Historically we have hunted and trapped animals out of existence.  We kill animals by driving too fast. Our increasing leisure activity frequently displaces mammals from the small range that they have left. 

My studies address these matters by gathering records of mammal occurrence and comparing those with environmental, habitat and human features. I employ citizen science data, remote sensing and mapping data and conduct statistical analyses to look for patterns and insights.

Example map highlighting areas for roadkill mitigation interventions