Canadian Section of the Wildlife Society Newsletter
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April 2016
Vol. 9 Issue No. 2


To foster excellence in wildlife stewardship through science and education among wildlife professionals in Canada

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C S T W S on F A C E B O O K
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Registration for the event is available on the CSEE conference website at Don't forget to tag CSTWS while registering so that we can keep tabs on our portion of the conference attendees! 

The deadline to submit contributed paper and posters sessions has been extended to May 13. Use CSTWS as a keyword to indicate you are a CS member and the deadline for the CSTWS student travel award applications is May 15! Check out our new website and updated page for the AGM to find out more details. 


Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society 
Student Travel Awards To Canadian Section AGM 

The Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society (CSTWS) is pleased to provide travel awards for CSTWS student members presenting a paper or poster at the Canadian Section’s Annual General Meeting to be held 7-11 in St Johns, Newfoundland in conjunction with the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution.  A minimum of 6 Travel Awards will be provided up to a maximum of $1,000 each. Successful applicants will be asked to provide an article for the CSTWS Newsletter. 

To be eligible, an individual’s paper/poster must be accepted for presentation by the Canadian Section’s Program Committee, but students should apply for the Travel Award in advance of receiving notification from the Program Committee. Applications and all supporting materials for student travel awards must be received by 15 May 2016
Applicants must:

  • not have received Canadian Section Travel Award support within the last 12 months, 

  • be a member of the Canadian Section, 

  • be a current student or recent graduate (degree received within the last 12 months), 

  • be senior author and presenter of the accepted paper or poster, 

Applicants must email the following to Evelyn Merrill ( please indicate Travel Award in the subject field): 

  1. completed application form signed by student and advisor (signed and scanned); 

  1. applicable additional information about conference travel expenses; and  

  1. abstract of paper/poster that was submitted to the Program Committee. 

Although a student’s paper/poster must be accepted for presentation by the Canadian Section’s Program Committee to receive the Award, students should apply for the award prior to being notified by the Program Committee of abstract acceptance. 


The deadline for completed applications to be received is 15 May 2016. All applicants will be notified of the outcome by early June. 

Click the title of this announcement to download the application form.

President's Message
Mark Boyce
Canadian Section President
Department of Biological Sciences, 
University of Alberta

We are finalizing plans for our Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society in St. John’s, Newfoundland at Memorial University.  We will be meeting jointly with the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution during July 7-11.  TWS member Eric Vander Wal has been helping us to coordinate with the CSEE local organizing committee.  Our President-Elect, Dee Patriquin, will be the program chair for the CSTWS meeting in St. John’s.  Rather than a conference theme, this year will have more of a conference sentiment, captured by a line from the Ode to Newfoundland: “From windswept land to spindrift swirl.”  The goal is for conference symposia and sessions to address questions that transcend systems.

The time has come to register for the meeting and to send a title and keywords for your presentation at the conference.  The “early bird” deadline is May 13 with registration at:

When registering, add the keyword “wildlife” or “CSTWS” to your keywords list to identify that you are affiliated with us.

This is the first time that we have met in Atlantic Canada and we hope that our meeting will afford an opportunity to recruit new members to The Wildlife Society.  This also is an opportunity for western Canadians to explore Newfoundland, St. Pierre et Miquelon (part of France), and other reaches that many of us have never seen.  Fogo Island comes highly recommended although accommodations are expensive!  The Great Northern Peninsula and Gros Morne National Park will surely be on many bucket lists.

At the AGM we will be presenting our Ian McTaggart Cowan Award to Dr. Kathy Martin from the Centre for Applied Conservation Research at UBC.  Congratulations, Kathy!

Mark S. Boyce, CWB 

President, Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society 

Canadian Section Representative's Report

Art Rodgers
Canadian Section Representative to TWS Council
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry

The mid-year TWS Council meeting was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 13-14 March 2016, in conjunction with the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. Here is a brief summary of some of the highlights;

  • In his report to Council, President Gary Potts stated that communications are key to his president’s theme of “Expanding the Partnerships” and that “Outreach and Partnerships” is the theme of the Raleigh conference, with a focus on efforts to improve TWS visibility and linkages throughout the conservation community.
  • Executive Director Ken Williams reviewed the 2015-16 finances of the Society that showed TWS is still on track for full recovery from previous shortfalls in the reserve fund within the next 2 years. Ken Williams also reviewed the 2015-16 operations plans and presented the proposed plans for 2016-17. His review demonstrated that with the exception of development, goals for finances, technology, conferences, membership, publications and government affairs had all achieved or exceeded expectations. Council approved the proposed operations plans for 2016-17 and an interim budget for the new 2016-17 fiscal year beginning in July that is expected to produce an even larger surplus by this time next year. The interim budget will be reviewed by Council at their fall meeting.
  • Publications and Communications Director Nancy Sasavage reported that she has been working with the Editors in Chief (EIC) of the Journal of Wildlife Management (JWM) and Wildlife Society Bulletin (WSB) to expand the journals’ outreach on TWS’ website and Wiley’s social media networks. She also announced that the EIC of the Wildlife Monographs, Eric Hellgren, will be stepping down February 1, 2017. The addition of a science writer has enabled The Wildlife Professional (TWP) to increase to 6 issues per year and post more articles to the TWS website. TWP marked its 10th anniversary by featuring wildlife students and young professionals.
  • Wiley representatives presented information on open access trends, new author support, such as Kudos software, and surveys of researchers concerning peer review and society membership. They shared statistics and trends about TWS’ journals including processing, usage, subscriptions, and marketing. They noted that the high renewal rate for WSB (100%) is above average, while the rate for JWM (95%) is more reflective of the industry norm.
  • Chief Operating Officer Ed Thompson reported that declines in membership had been arrested and the new membership goal for the 2016-17 is 9,650. He described two current efforts to improve networking among TWS members; using LinkedIn as a tool to reach out to members and enhance networking with them and a new TWS Network Online Directory that has been under development for some time and is expected to be launched in May.
  • Council approved several bylaws changes that will go forward for voting by the membership in early May. The proposed changes would provide Council with flexibility in determining the amount charged for Student and New Professional dues, while maintaining current cap levels. The other proposed change would re-establish a Life Member option that was previously available, but discontinued in 1965. The proposed changes can be found at
  • Director of Government Affairs & Partnerships Keith Norris reported that his department is now fully staffed and their current efforts include looking for opportunities to lead on issues, striving to be the outreach arm for TWS, and elevating visibility in the conservation arena and with agencies. Council approved extension of all 22 position statements due to expire prior to October 2016 until the fall Council meeting.
  • Council voted to approve a slate of 10 nominees for Fellows Awards and voted on the nominees for the Group Achievement Award. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that 2 Canadians will be recipients of the Fellows Award at the Annual Meeting in Raleigh, NC. Congratulations to both Canadian nominees and many thanks to those who made the time to nominate these deserving people, and especially to Evie Merrill who has been a driving force behind the CSTWS Awards Committee this past year.

Additional details will be provided on Council-approved actions in the eWildlifer and full minutes of the mid-year TWS Council meeting will be posted on the TWS website.
As I mentioned in the last newsletter, the nomination deadlines for most TWS Awards have changed. Although the deadlines for the Fellows Program, Group Achievement Award and TWS Wildlife Publication Awards have passed, the new deadline for all other TWS Awards is May 1. So, there is still time to consider nominating one of our Canadian colleagues for one of the many annual TWS Awards. The list of awards and nomination details can be found at If you would like to suggest a nominee for any TWS awards, or you would like assistance in preparing a nomination, please contact Awards Chair, Evie Merrill (, me, or any member of the Canadian Section Executive as soon as possible for further information.
Arrangements for the Canadian Section AGM, to be held in conjunction with the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution meeting in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador July 7-11, 2016, are well underway and I hope you are making plans to be there. It’s also time to make plans to attend the 23rd Annual TWS Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, October 15-19, 2016.
Fire season has already started in the West, Spring has finally arrived in Central Canada, but Winter is hanging on in the East. Must be Canada, eh!


The Canadian Section gets a NEW WEBSITE and LOGO CONTEST!
That right! CSTWS gets a new website! To go with our new look we also need a new LOGO! Anyone interested in drawing up a new logo for the Canadian Section can do so. Submit your logo to Laura Trout ( by July 01, 2016. The winning logo and artist will be announced at our 2016 AGM in St. John's Newfoundland, July 7 - 11 (AGM on July 9th) and the winning logo will also be featured prominently on the front page of our new website!

Official Rules for the Logo Contest: 
1. The logo must contain a reference to Canada and to the The Wildlife Society
2. The logo must be submitted as a high resolution JPEG file on or before July 01, 2016. 

Please note that the old website will continue to be operational as we finish the transition of some content, but will not be updating the old website as of March 01, 2016.
Proposed Bylaw Changes

The Executive Committee is proposing changes to the Bylaws.  The vote for the changes will occur at the July 9th AGM happening in St. John's. 

The primary change to the Bylaws is the split of the Secretary-Treasurer position to two distinct positions; "Secretary" and "Treasurer". To read more about the Bylaws, the proposed changes, and the to provide any feedback visit the new page on our website:

You can also download a copy of the Bylaws and proposed changes here
Manitoba Chapter
Last month, the Manitoba Chapter wrapped up a very busy year with a full day conference and AGM held at Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre. The day consisted of several speakers tackling interesting topics from Indigenous food sovereignty, land conservation easements, restoration of wetlands, event Grenadian birds. During the business meeting, we announced that the Chapter was receiving $13,700 from hosting The Wildlife Society Annual Conference! Based on the substantial value, the membership decided an ad hoc committee should be created to help decide how to allocate the money. Some suggestions were increased student support in the form of scholarships and travel awards and more support for early career professionals. The membership also passed several bylaw changes including changing the Conservation Affairs Committee from an ad hoc committee to a standing committee and creating a Western Representative executive position to have better representation of members from the western portion of the province. The new executive is eager to continue the momentum that was built over this past year and look forward to seeing other Chapters at the CSTWS AGM this July!

CSTWS Student Research 

Multiscale Response of Elk to Road Disturbance on their Winter Range
Christina Prokopenko, MSc
University of Alberta, Department of Biological Sciences, Boyce Lab
Energy development is rapidly changing landscapes in western Canada, bringing human activity into natural landscapes. In southwestern Alberta, natural gas extraction generates increased human presence and road use. Thus, it is important to understand the impact of this disturbance on wildlife populations.
My work was a part of the Montane Elk Project, which is a large initiative that studies wildlife in southwestern Alberta. For this project, 180 elk were collared from 2007 to 2013. Previous work on this study population by Simone Ciuti found road disturbance influenced vigilance, and elk adjusted their movement and habitat use behaviour in response to hunting pressure. Further, Dana Seidel found that proximity to roads influenced use of foraging areas in the summer. Therefore, this population is certainly influenced by human disturbance.
Winter is a challenging time for elk due to limited forage availability, high costs of movement and thermoregulation stress. In this area of Alberta, elk migrate east to west, from high elevation summer ranges to lower elevation winter ranges. This migration brings elk to areas of higher road density and traffic. Currently, there are regulations to limit activity in these areas during the winter, and many access roads are gated to limit traffic. My Master’s research stemmed from the need to assess the impact of road use on elk during the winter range.
I expected elk would perceive roads as risky and from this would avoid them and change their behaviour around them, in the same way as what we would expect from predation risk (i.e. avoidance, seek cover, increase movement). First, I looked at avoidance of road proximity at a broad migration extent and a finer within winter range extent. I found elk avoided roads when selecting their winter range at the migration extent, and within their winter ranges. Further, individual elk avoided roads similarly between scales relative to the population; elk that avoided strongly at the migration extent did so within their home range.  The signal of within home range avoidance was weaker for low use roads, and elk were closer to low use roads as these roads increased on the landscape. This may indicate that elk are to some degree capable of adjusting their space-use to low-use roads.
Further, I studied fine scale selection and movement behaviour of elk in response to road proximity and road crossing. Elk selected areas farther from roads at all times of day with avoidance being greatest during twilight. In addition, elk sought cover and moved more when in the vicinity of roads. Road crossings were generally avoided, but this avoidance was weakest during daytime when elk were both moving and closer to roads.  When elk crossed roads they did not change their speed, and instead sought open areas, likely to increase visibility.
My work demonstrated that roads have substantial and multifaceted negative effects on elk. Roads not only restricted space use across scales, but altered movement and vegetation selection. These effects could translate to negative fitness impacts in the winter. However, these effects were reduced when roads were used less intensely. Specifically, elk used low use roads more as they become more prevalent and were closer to roads during low traffic times of day. In conclusion, my work provides evidence that limiting road construction on winter ranges may be crucial in the long run, while controlling traffic on existing roads may serve as an effective secondary solution to release the pressure put on elk in their winter range.
I sincerely thank the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, Shell Canada, Northern Alberta Chapter of Safari Club International and Alberta Fish and Game Association for funding this project.

Visit the Canadian Section website to learn more about TWS awards and to nominate a deserving Canadian wildlife professional. 
2016 Ian McTaggart-Cowan Lifetime Achievement Award

Nominations are still being accepted by the CS Awards Committee for the 2016 Ian McTaggart-Cowan Lifetime Achievement Award until 15 March 2016.
The Ian McTaggart-Cowan Lifetime Achievement Award (CLAA) is awarded by the Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the understanding, conservation, and/or management of wildlife in Canada over their career. The Award is named for Dr. Ian McTaggart-Cowan, a founding pioneer of the wildlife profession, an honorary life member and former President of The Wildlife Society (TWS), and recipient of the TWS Aldo Leopold Award. 

This award is open to any wildlife professional, practicing or retired, whether or not they are a member of the CSTWS and/or TWS.

TWS Awards

Aldo Leopold Award
Caesar Kleberg Award for Excellence in Applied Wildlife Research
Diversity Award
Group Achievement Award
Special Recognition Service Award

Fellows Program
Distinguished Service Award
Jim McDonough Award
Honorary Membership
Chapter, Student Chapter and Student Chapter Advisor of the Year Award

Rusch Memorial Game Bird Research Scholarship
Excellence in Wildlife Education Award

Wildlife Publication Award

2015 Awards Committee Chair: Evelyn "Evie" Merrill
Contact Evie for more details:



Brought to you by the Education Committee of the Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society, the 2015/2016 Webinar Series is covering some excellent topics this year:


The Education committee is currently planning speakers for the 2016/2017 slate. Thanks for participating in 2015/2016!

For more information on the webinar series contact:

Puffins of the Auk family and can be seen in Newfoundland, Canada where the Canadian Section AGM/CSEE Conference will be held July 7 - 11, 2016. The puffins are not closely related to penguins (Spheniscidae family), but rather are believed to be an example of moderate Convergent Evolution, specifically referring to their white and black color. What is Convergent Evolution?

Answer at the bottom of the newsletter.
2016 CSTWS Executive Nominations
The Canadian Section is now seeking nominations for new executive board members to take office following the Newfoundland AGM in July. The following positions are seeking nomination: President-Elect, Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer. Please contact Darren Sleep ( for more information or to submit a nomination.

President-Elect (3 Yr. Term)

The President-Elect shall assist the President in all phases of Section administration and shall perform any duties assigned by the President. Gaining familiarity with the officers, committees, and overall administration of the Section shall be the major function of this office. The President-Elect is elected by the Section membership, serves for approximately a one-year term, and succeeds to the office of President upon the completion of his/her term.

Vice President (1 Yr. Term)

The Vice President shall perform any duties assigned by the President and shall assume duties of the President in the latter's absence or inability to serve. Should the Vice President be unable to serve as the President for any reason, the Executive Board shall appoint a President pro tempore. The Vice President is elected by the Section membership and serves for approximately a one-year term. The Vice President may serve no more than two consecutive terms.

Secretary-Treasurer (1-2 Yr. Term)

The Secretary-Treasurer shall be responsible for Section files, records, and funds; shall record the minutes of all meetings, maintain the membership rolls noting whether individuals are voting or non-voting members; and issue notices of meetings. The Secretary-Treasurer also shall be responsible for receipt and disbursement of Section funds and preparation of annual financial reports, including an annual calendar-year financial report that is submitted to The Wildlife Society. The Secretary-Treasurer shall report all official position statements taken by the Section to the Executive Director of The Wildlife Society within 20 days of such action, and to the Section membership in the subsequent newsletter. The Secretary-Treasurer is appointed by the Section President and serves for approximately a one-year term. The Secretary-Treasurer may serve no more than two consecutive terms.
Register Now for The 16th North American Caribou Workshop
Register Now for The 50th Moose Conference & Workshop
Want your say in Section activities?
Consider getting involved in a Canadian Section committee. 
  • Membership and Recruitment
  • Newsletter, Website, and Communications
  • Conservation Affairs
  • Education
  • Awards

Help out with the 2016 AGM in St. John's Newfoundland (July 7 - 11). 
Contact Matt Dyson for more details at


  1. Wildlife Research Scientist - Species at Risk - Ontario MNR


We have no current postings at the time of press, please contact us if you would like a position advertised in future Newsletters!
Trivia Answer...   Convergent evolution is the independent evolution of similar features in species of different lineages. Convergent evolution creates analogous structures that have similar form or function but were not present in the last common ancestor of those groups.

Do you have a great idea for a newsletter trivia question or other newsletter content? If so, email Laura Trout ( 
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