Information for researchers
The extraordinary geophysical, cultural and ecological setting of Kluane National Park and Reserve (KNPR) provides many opportunities for scientific research. The information provided here will help you navigate the permitting process to conduct research in the Park. Prospective researchers should understand that KNPR is cooperatively managed with Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) and Kluane First Nation (KFN). As such, research in KNPR will only be permitted if there are no concerns from Parks Canada and CAFN and/or KFN, depending on whose traditional territory the research is to take place.
The review process takes time
All applications (new or renewal) for an upcoming field season must be submitted by April 1 and at least three months in advance of your anticipated fieldwork start date. Any applications received between April 1 and August 1 may not be processed as staff time is limited during the operational season at the park.
Talk to us first
Researchers should also contact the First Nation(s) in whose traditional territory their proposed study area lies in order to discuss their research proposal and how it may dovetail with the research priorities of the First Nation. Additionally, any unique opportunity for local youth to experience and participate in science are always welcome.
Research and Collection Permits
All researchers must apply for a Parks Canada Research and Collection Permit (RCP). Applications should be made three months in advance of the anticipated work. Certain research activities may also require an impact assessment under the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA). Examples include if you propose working with a species at risk or your total person days in a field camp exceeds defined thresholds. This requirement will be identified during the review of your RCP application and you will be directed to submit a separate application through the YESAA assessment process.
Your application will be reviewed by the Research Coordinator, and if necessary, by subject experts. All applications will be sent to the relevant reviewers for CAFN, KFN and WRFN governments. If research on animals is proposed, then your proposal must also be approved by an Animal Care Committee, either at a university or within Parks Canada.
In addition to national park permits, anyone entering Yukon for research purposes is required to apply for a Scientists and Explorers License, issued by Yukon Territorial Government.
Park permits for your fieldwork
Fieldwork-specific permits are issued based on the location and types of activities involved in your research. This can include permits for aircraft access, mountaineering, backcountry camping, restricted activities (e.g.: drone-use), as well as filming and photography.
It is important to discuss the full range of your activities with park staff so that all appropriate permits are arranged well in advance. All correspondence for these permits is done through the Kluane Research email. Pertinent forms will be provided to you once your RCP has been approved.
Researchers are expected to operate in a professional manner that complies with the Canada National Parks Act and the terms set out in their permits, including:
Duty Officer meeting
All researchers must meet with the KNPR Duty Officer prior to entering the park to finalize field permits, review logistics, view the bear safety video, and validate methods of securing wildlife attractants. This meeting is also required for researchers doing day trips.
All overnight trips in KNPR require registration prior to entering the park. Any changes to your itinerary once your field work has begun, must be communicated to the KNPR Duty Officer.
Immediately upon exiting the park, all researchers must deregister by phone, email or in-person with the KNPR Duty Officer. Please report any significant discoveries or concerns, including large carnivore sightings/interactions.
Securing wildlife attractants
It is mandatory to ensure that all wildlife attractants, including food, toiletries and garbage, are secured using bear-resistant food containers, and/or an electric bear-proof fence approved by the International Grizzly Bear Committee. Your method of food storage and frequency of garbage removal must be agreed upon with the KNPR Research Coordinator and will form a separate condition that must be adhered to during your fieldwork.
Conditions of your research permit will require you to keep the specific location of sensitive resources in KNPR confidential. Sensitive resources include, but are not limited to, threatened, endangered or rare species; denning or nesting sites, mineral licks, fossils, archaeological and other types of cultural heritage sites and special places, and First Nations traditional-use sites and travel routes. Any new locations must be documented and reported to KNPR.
All aircraft must be operated in a manner that minimizes disturbance to wildlife, visitors and harvesters. Please review Flying in and around national parks and historic sites in Yukon and northern British Columbia.
Sharing your research
Parks Canada, its collaborative partners, and the local communities are eager to learn about your research findings. Please consider all the reporting requirements of your RCP as part of this sharing process. In addition, Parks Canada also has different avenues to help share your research with the public, such as displays in the park visitor centres, venues for public talks and social media.
Holders of a Parks Canada Research and Collections Permit are required to file with Parks Canada:
- A short field report within 60 days of completion of each field season
- An investigator’s annual report
- A final report and all publications resulting from any research in KNPR within one month of publication
Parks Canada will ensure that all reports are shared with each First Nation.
Kluane National Park and Reserve is remote, which presents special challenges when dealing with emergencies. Although Parks Canada staff are trained in emergency response, the potential for delays in search and rescue response means that researchers must be prepared to deal with emergencies themselves until help arrives. Researchers should be familiar with hazards and safety preparedness considerations for their work.
Researchers should be familiar with bear safety and equipped with appropriate deterrents. Please note that the use of bear bangers is not allowed.
Any wildlife incident such as threatening encounters, damage to property, use of deterrents or injured/dead large mammals is considered an emergency and must be reported immediately.
In the event of a safety or wildlife emergency within KNPR, contact Parks Canada’s 24 Emergency Dispatch (1-780-852-3100) or press the SOS button on a satellite signalling device.