POSITION: Wildlife Specialist
LOCATION: Lake Louise / Yoho / Kootenay Field Unit, British Columbia
I was drawn to the Park Warden service in 1982 as a way of combining work and my love of the mountains. Working in the warden service has given me the chance to combine a lifelong interest in animals with biological study and conservation action. In 1991, I was fortunate enough to obtain one of the first biologist positions in the Rocky Mountain national parks. In my current position, I oversee our field unit’s wildlife program, which includes research, monitoring and habitat restoration, with responsibility for all terrestrial vertebrates except bears. I also provide input into environmental assessment and planning activities from a wildlife perspective.
Acquiring sound knowledge is an important first step towards species recovery because once we better understand a species’ situation, will our actions be effective. As a biologist, I have led programs to generate new knowledge about species at risk on which little was previously known, including the woodland caribou (Banff) and the rubber boa (Kootenay). I have also participated in recovery actions such as the British Columbia badger population augmentation and the ecological restoration of open forest and grassland habitat in the Columbia Valley. Currently, I work as part of a team of dedicated staff from Parks Canada and other agencies to improve communications, public education and stewardship for species at risk.
The mountain parks I work for are among the most heavily visited national parks in Canada. Support from local communities and public awareness are essential to conserving species at risk in one of the most spectacular natural settings in the world!