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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The role of Parks Canada in the management of large mammal populations in Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay… Morgan, Michael John 1977

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i THE ROLE OF PARKS CANADA IN THE MANAGEMENT OF LARGE MAMMAL POPULATIONS IN BANFF,JASPER, YOHO AND KOOTENAY NATIONAL PARKS (THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN PARKS) by MICHAEL JOHN MORGAN B.Sc, University of London, 1946 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF * THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE i n THE FACULTY OF SCIENCE (DEPARTMENT OF INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA AUGUST, 1977 © MICHAEL JOHN MORGAN, 1977 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Depar tment o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Depar tment o f INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date 1 AUGUST, 1977 ABSTRACT Thisothesis examines the role and activities of Parks Canada in the management of large mammals in the Rocky Mountain Parks (Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks). It also assesses the suitability of these parks as wildlife reserves in which a viable programme of mammal management can be undertaken. The method involves f i r s t a review of some of the important c r i t e r i a necessary for a mammal management programme,; and second, an outline of the type of wildlife reserve in which such a programme could be undertaken. The thesis then reviews the mammal management activities of Parks Canada in these parks, and compares them against the c r i t e r i a established for both mammal management and wildlife reserves. It finds that the Rocky Mountain Parks, bear l i t t l e resemblance to wild reserves in which a sci e n t i f i c programme of large mammal management might be undertaken. The conclusion is drawn that there i s l i t t l e s c i e n t i f i c mammal management being undertaken in these parks. The emphasis i s much more on the management of people and their recreation oriented a c t i v i t i e s . Recommendations are made as to how the situation could be improved. INDEX Introduction Why should we be concerned? Research Methods H i s t o r i c a l Review the f i r s t national park i n the U.S.A. Canada's f i r s t parks The S c i e n t i f i c approach to Mammal Management Population s t a t i s t i c s Range Conditions D i s t r i b u t i o n and Movement - Mortality Patterns Ecosystem Integrity Reserves for Mammal Preservation and Management Boundaries of W i l d l i f e Reserves Ecological Management - Access for the Public Investigation of Management Practices i n the Rocky Mountain National Parks Focus of Questions Results Population Records Warden's W i l d l i f e Observation Cards Annual Animal Counts A e r i a l Surveys Range Conditions i v - D i s t r i b u t i o n and Movement 52 Mortality Patterns 5;2> Ecosystem Integrity Manipulation of Populations Sty Mammal-Hanitat Relationships 61 Discussion and Conclusions 6:61-Recommendations 7Bi Warden's W i l d l i f e Observation Cards 811 Bibliography 8:3? V ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The author would l i k e to express his sincere appreciation to Professors W.E.Rees, A.R.E.Sinclair, I.K.Fox and C.Walters for th e i r guidance and many suggestions during the long process t h i s study went through from i t s inception to the f i n a l conclusions and recommendations. Sincere thanks are also due to the Park Superintendents and Chief Park Wardens of Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks who made so much information available to the author and fr e e l y gave of th e i r personal knowledge of the a c t i v i t i e s i n the i r respective parks. Thanks are also due to members of the s t a f f of both the Canadian W i l d l i f e Service i n Edmonton and the Regional Headquarters of Parks Canada i n Calgary. The author would also l i k e to thank Lyn S i n c l a i r for the many hours of e f f o r t she put into typing, retyping and checking t h i s thesis so that i t f i n a l l y reached a presentable form. F i n a l l y , I would l i k e to acknowledge the encouragement given me by my wife, Inge, during the many moments when I wondered i f I would ever complete t h i s thesis. Without her patience and support i t might not have happened! - 1 -INTRODUCTION The depradations of man have brought about the near extinction of a number of large mammal species i n North America (Mathiesen, 1959). Ever since the white man appeared on the scene and started his drive to expand and develop across the continent, many species have been reduced i n numbers, and some such as the buffalo have been driven close to extinction. As^their numbers diminish, concern grows i n the mind of the public. This thesis explains why action should be taken to calm t h i s concern, some of the means whereby these actions can be implemented, and the j u s t i f i c a t i o n s for doing so. This thesis then examines: 1. public perception of the role of Parks Canada respecting the management and preservation of large mammal populations i n the Rocky Mountain Parks (Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho). 2. the potential r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s which Parks Canada might develop from an interpretation of the National Parks act. 3. the actual management practices of Parks Canada regarding these large mammal populations i n the Rocky Mountain Parks. - 2 -Samples of threatened species could be preserved in zoos, but t h i s would serve l i t t l e purpose, for by then t h e i r numbers would be such that disease or catastrophe could wipe them out at any time. More important, t h e i r presence i n zoos would not maintain for future generations the esse n t i a l s o c i a l and aesthetic values of a wilderness experience with i t s f u l l complement of w i l d l i f e , and the s p i r i t u a l and emotional impact of t h i s experience. Some form of natural reserves must, therefore, be set aside for the express purpose of preserving w i l d l i f e i n i t s natural state (Russel 1968, Terborgb 1975, Diamond 1975). The type of a c t i v i t i e s permitted within these reserves would be s c i e n t i f i c study and limi t e d educational and recreational observation. A s i g n i f i c a n t proportion of the Canadian public believe that Parks Canada have a role to play i n providing t h i s form of reserve i n the national parks, where populations of large mammals should be preserved and protected. - 3 -WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED? It i s not unreasonable to ask why we should be concerned with the preservation of w i l d l i f e . We have managed very well with greatly reduced populations of many birds and mammals and the extinction of a few. Do we have to be concerned with protecting what i s l e f t ? In the short-term we could manage without much of our w i l d l i f e but there are educational, s o c i a l , s p i r i t u a l and moral reasons why an e f f o r t should be made to preserve and conserve i t (Robbins 1963). The s c i e n t i f i c reasons for preserving w i l d l i f e are equally important. Myers (1976) suggests that "unless better conservation measures are implemented, society stands to lose a substantial part of i t s heritage i n species and genetic resources within a few decades". F i r s t l y , the birds and animals add greatly to the interest, richness and beauty of l i f e (Ise 1961). W i l d l i f e has an inherent fascination for many people, seen i n a natural s e t t i n g i n parks and reservations. It provides educational value and l i v i n g evidence that nature i s more than plants, trees and the changing seasons. Wilderness without animals i s mere scenery ( C r i s l e r , 1958). The birds and animals are an essential part of nature, and many men have a deep seated love of nature. - 4 -But for a l l the people, the preservation of w i l d l i f e and w i l d l i f e habitat means also the preservation of the basic resources of the earth, which men, as well as animals, must have i n order to l i v e . W i l d l i f e , water, forests, grass-lands - a l l are parts of man's essential environment; the conservation and e f f e c t i v e use of one i s impossible except as the others also are conserved". (Carson, 1948) "Trees, plants, s o i l , water and w i l d l i f e are mutually interdependent, and the loss of any one element w i l l i n the end mean the disruption of them a l l " . (Matthiesson, 1959) . Second, the conservation of a l l our resources, including w i l d l i f e , i s a far truer sign of c i v i l i z a t i o n than t h e i r exploitation, which has come to be associated with progress. Our conquest of nature carries with i t a moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the perpetuation of the threatened forms of w i l d l i f e (Leopold, 1933). W i l d l i f e , whether harvested as a renewable resource or subjected to human interference, must be preserved for future generations to enjoy. It i s a real and v i t a l part of our Canadian way of l i f e (Mair, 1963). It i s a part of our heritage. In t h i s regard i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to quote a decision from the Washington State Supreme Court which said: An unwritten compact between the dead, the l i v i n g and the unborn requires that we leave the unborn something more than debts and depleted natural resources". (Coleman,1964) - 5 -Third, w i l d l i f e i n i t s natural state i s essential for research r e l a t i n g to succession, d i v e r s i t y , the relationship of trophic l e v e l s , and the ecosystem concepts i n general. Every species has i t s place i n the great scheme of nature and the loss of some might bring i l l e f f e c t s which are unpredictable. Nature i t s e l f must be the most important laboratory within which to study a l l these complex i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p s . (Robins, 1963; Cowan, 1965, 1968; Geist, 1972; Myers, 1976). Fourth, Leopold (1966) suggested that "A science of land health needs, f i r s t of a l l , a base datum of normality, a picture of how healthy land maintains i t s e l f as an organism". Jenkins and Bedford (1973) expand on this idea and suggest that every country needs to set aside a series of natural areas large enough to display a l l the natural dynamic features of the organisms i n them. These would act as baselines against which to measure changes imposed on surrounding areas by human a c t i v i t i e s -areas to which we can turn for information on why things went wrong outside. They believe that to do so has a sound l o g i c a l and s c i e n t i f i c basis and i s an ecol o g i c a l necessity. Ecosystems are highly complex and involved structures. They have evolved over long periods of time and are made up of numerous organisms inter a c t i n g with each other and with t h e i r environment. The greatest destructure influence on - 6 -these ecosystems are the environmental changes engendered by man. Jenkins and Bedford (1973) suggest that, "Such events can disrupt the i n t e r n a l cohesion of the entire system and destroy the very processes which our intrusion was intended to maintain. The r e s u l t s can be seen i n the history of past c i v i l i z a t i o n s and the deserts and dust-bowls which have so frequently been created". Jenkins and Bedford (1973) define the baseline as "an accurate description of the status and workings of an ecosystem i n the absence of a r t i f i c i a l human disruptions" and suggest that national parks and w i l d l i f e reserves should be used to es t a b l i s h these environmental baselines. S i n c l a i r (1977) i s more emphatic i n urging that "The establishment of unexploited baseline or control areas i s an insurance policy for the ecological v i a b i l i t y of a country". Accepting that the preservation of w i l d l i f e as an i n t e g r a l part of any ecosystem provides important s o c i a l benefits, we must now consider where and how t h i s might be done. Canada i s thought, of as a vast country with thousands of square miles of untouched wilderness i n which w i l d l i f e i s secure. In only a small measure i s t h i s true because an expanding economy presents constant threats to the land, the r i v e r s and lakes, and the atmosphere. - 7 -P r i s t i n e environments may be rare, but during the l a s t hundred years, some areas of land have been set aside i n Canada as reserves of nature. Some of these are on such a scale in terms of size that they would be suitable for the type of ecosystems management that we have been discussing. Most of them are either national or p r o v i n c i a l parks. We should expect that there would be provision i n these areas, i f nowhere else, for the protection, preservation and management of the w i l d l i f e , so that i t w i l l continue to survive. - 8 -RESEARCH METHODS This thesis i s based upon a review of the relevant l i t e r a t u r e r e l a t i n g to the development of national parks in the U.S.A. and Canada with p a r t i c u l a r reference to provisions for w i l d l i f e . This i s followed by a discussion of the esse n t i a l elements of a w i l d l i f e management ,:: programme i n order to derive c r i t e r i a against which to judge the actual management a c t i v i t i e s which take place in selected national parks i n Canada. In addition there follows a summary of the esse n t i a l c r i t e r i a for w i l d l i f e reserves for a viable programme of large mammal management. The foregoing provides c r i t e r i a against which to judge the current status of large mammal management as exercised by Parks Canada i n the Rocky Mountain national parks. The research then investigates the actual management a c t i v i t i e s carried out by Parks Canada i n these parks i n respect of the large mammals. This i s followed by an assessment of these a c t i v i t i e s i n the l i g h t of the c r i t e r i a for s c i e n t i f i c mammal management i n w i l d l i f e reserves established previously. From t h i s assessment conclusions w i l l be drawn and recommendations made. In the body of t h i s thesis the author refers to both national parks and w i l d l i f e reserves. Confusion exists as - 9 -to exactly what these terms mean. The l i t e r a t u r e which provided the background and material for the h i s t o r i c a l review makes many references to national parks being wilderness reservations and w i l d l i f e reserves. The 1933 Convention referred to on Page 36 of t h i s thesis, considered "the constitution of national parks, s t r i c t natural reserves, and other reserves'* (Treaty Series No. 27 (1936) pub. by H.M.Stationery O f f i c e , Page 3). The d i s t i n c t i o n between national parks and reserves was that the public would be excluded from the l a t t e r , but even in national parks, f a c i l i t i e s would be provided only for the public to observe, the f l o r a and wildlife'. No reference was made to recreation. The IUCN d e f i n i t i o n of:national parks (See Page 38 ) e f f e c t i v e l y opens them up to the public by encouraging t h e i r use "fo r recreation, education or c u l t u r a l purposes". In Curry-Lindahl (1972) reference i s made to the United Nations .List of National Parks and Equivalent Reserves. Equivalent reserves are defined on Page 9 as " protected areas o f f e r i n g the same ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s of severe status as the national parks but where (1) the authority in charge of th e i r creation and.administration i s not the central government and (2) wherein some tourism i s not permitted ( s t r i c t l y s c i e n t i f i c reserves) and only n a t u r a l i s t s are allowed." - 10 -Canada's national parks are included i n the United Nations L i s t , even though t h e i r purposes and rationale are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t from those expressed or implied by the 1933 Convention or the I.U.C.N. Moreover, none of them meets the c r i t e r i a for an "equivalent reserve" according to the d e f i n i t i o n quoted above. The author accepts that there are many w i l d l i f e reserves throughout the world established s p e c i f i c a l l y for that purpose, and from which the public i s excluded completely. However, he argues that a national park as defined by international agencies can also be a reserve for w i l d l i f e , or w i l l at le a s t contain w i l d l i f e reserves which are protected from public use. - 11 -HISTORICAL REVIEW The F i r s t National Parks In The U.S.A. The f i r s t national park in North America was established at Yellowstone, Wyoming, U.S.A. The area in which i t i s located was one of great scenic beauty and contained many geysers and other naturall.features. The area had been explored early in the nineteenth century, but i t was not u n t i l 1870 that any move was made to set i t aside as a park. In that year the Washburn-Langford-Doane expedition, comprised of several i n f l u e n t i a l Montana c i t i z e n s , v i s i t e d the area and were awed by the great aesthetic impact of the scenery. Two men i n p a r t i c u l a r , lawyer; Cornelius Hedges and explorer Nathaniel Langford, urged the others that they should j o i n t l y persuade the government to set aside the area as a park to preserve i t s outstanding beauty for a l l the people for ever. From t h i s momentous and h i s t o r i c decision the concept of national parks was born. In 1871 Professor F. V. Hayden, a geologist, led another expedition to the Yellowstone area. Their findings were assembled i n a geological and descriptive report, published as a government document. Hayden, l i k e Langford and Hedges, thought the area should be established as a national park. They were successful i n e n l i s t i n g support - 12 -from newspapers, magazines and the public. As a result of t h e i r lobbying i n Washington, they were instrumental in having a b i l l for the creation of Yellowstone park passed by both the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Grant on March 1, 1872. Among the provisions of the Yellowstone Act, j u r i s d i c t i o n was given to the Secretary of the Interi o r to " .provide against wanton destruction of the f i s h and game found within said park, and against t h e i r capture or destruction for the purposes of merchandise or p r o f i t . " Under the provisions of t h i s Aet, the Secretary of the Interior published rules i n 1877 pro h i b i t i n g hunting, trapping or f i s h i n g i n the park except for recreation or to supply food for v i s i t o r s or actual residents, and pro h i b i t i n g sales of f i s h or game taken in the park, to . anyone outside the park. There were undoubtedly large numbers of game animals in the park; i n 1880 Superintendant Norris reported an abundance of bison, moose, elk, deer, antelope and bighorns, bear and wolverines. However, he also reported that the animals were being slaughtered in vast numbers, esp e c i a l l y antelope, elk and beaver (Ise, 1961). Concern increased to the point where i n 1880 Secretary Schurtz prohibited the k i l l i n g of a l l game, but the implementation of t h i s order was hampered for two reasons. F i r s t , the park was without funds to pay rangers to police the rules. Second, there were no penalties - 13 -against breaking the rules. Poachers could be ejected from the park, but they would return the next day and i t was d i f f i c u l t to argue that the hunting was not "for recreation, or to supply food for v i s i t o r s or actual residents". A law s p e c i f i c a l l y for the protection of w i l d l i f e and known as the "Act to Protect the Birds and Animals in Yellowstone Park" was introduced i n Congress i n 1894. It passed through both houses and was signed into law by the President within two months. This act prohibited a l l hunting and k i l l i n g , except where necessary to protect human l i f e or to protect from injury, as well as the possession or transportation of dead animals. There was an awakening b e l i e f that w i l d l i f e had to be protected to be preserved. The s o c i a l value of the presence of thi s w i l d l i f e i n the park was beginning to take hold i n the minds of men. Canada's F i r s t Parks By contrast, national parks i n Canada were developed as a direct consequence of a conscious government policy to use the resource base of the country to further i n d u s t r i a l development and to populate the West. An essen t i a l part of t h i s national p o l i c y was the building of the railways, and the public was encouraged to t r a v e l - 14 -on them by the development.of areas of great scenic beauty through which they passed. Thus, when S i r Sanford Flemming was surveying one of the proposed routes for the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway through the Rocky Mountains, he was so impressed with the magnificence of the scenery that he recommended the establishment of one or more national parks i n the area. He went on to suggest that.when rendered accessible by the railway and equipped with suitable comforts these areas (or parks) would become world-famous health.and recreation  resorts. Again, when the survey crews were exploring an alternative route for the railway, they discovered warm mineral springs i n the area now known as Banff. The pote n t i a l for t h e i r exploitation quickly became apparent. In order to avoid t h i s happening, and conscious of the steps taken to preserve the geysers and.other natural features at Yellowstone i n the U.S.A., William Pearee, a superintendant of mines, urged the Federal Government to take action. This i t did by passing an Order i n Council on the 25th November, 1885, se t t i n g aside an area of ten square miles and providing that: " Whereas near the station of Banff on the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway, i n the p r o v i n c i a l D i s t r i c t of Alberta, North West.Territories, there has been discovered several hot mineral springs which promise to be.of great sanitary - 15 -advantage to the public, and i n order that proper control of the lands surrounding these springs may remain vested i n the crown, the said lands i n the t e r r i t o r y including said springs and t h e i r immediate neighbourhood be and they are hereby reserved from sale or settlement or squatting." Again, at the i n s t i g a t i o n of William Pearce, a b i l l was introduced i n the Federal Parliament and was enacted in 1887 as the Rocky Mountain Park Act. This increased the Banff Hot Spring Reserve as i t was then known, from 10 square miles to 260 square miles and established i t as the Rocky Mountains Park with the sole authority for i t s operation vested i n the Minister of the Inte r i o r . Whilst i t s purpose was elevated from that of being "of great sanitary advantage to the public" to being established as "a public park and pleasure ground for the benefit, advantage and enjoyment of the people of Canada", the development of a p r o f i t a b l e , fashionable resort was s t i l l the main object. No consideration was given to the preservation of wilderness apart from an acknowledgement of the beauty of the scenery. It i s int e r e s t i n g to note that the Act made no mention of w i l d l i f e , whereas the Yellowstone Act i n the U.S.A. had acknowledged that w i l d l i f e required protection against destruction and expl o i t a t i o n . Herein l i e s the i n i t i a l divergence between American and Canadian concepts of the purpose of national parks. In the U.S.A. preservation was paramount, whereas i n Canada exploitation dictated - 16 -policy, a l b e i t under the control of the Dominion Government and for the benefit of the Canadian people. In fact the commercial tone of early Canadian park policy was the direct r e s u l t of the influence of both the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway and the Grand Trunk P a c i f i c Railway who were interested i n preserving wilderness only so far as i t contributed to the promotion and development of the parks and brought t o u r i s t s to t h e i r hotel resorts. P a r a l l e l with the development of the parks as t o u r i s t resort areas, came a r e a l i z a t i o n on the part of the park o f f i c i a l s that the w i l d l i f e i n the parks was threatened by unanticipated abuses. But like, t h e i r counterparts in the U.S.A., they lacked both finance and public support to be able to take any protective steps. There was no warden service e f f e c t i v e l y , to police the parks, apart from part time help i n the summer, and not u n t i l 1907 was the f i r s t permanent game guardian appointed with the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of supervising a l l the parks then i n existence - an impossible task! In that same year the then Superintendant of Parks, Howard Douglas, appreciating the complete incompatability of i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t y with the preservation of w i l d l i f e recommended i n his annual report (1906-1907) that "no further mining or timber leases should be granted i n the park because large camps of men invariably led to trapping, snaring and other breaches of the protection laws". - 17 -The f i r s t evidence of a move towards a national park policy i n Canada was the passage of the Dominion Forest and Reserves Park Act i n 1911. U n t i l t h i s time only Rocky Mountain Park had been created by an Act of Parliament, whereas Yoho Park (1888) and Jasper Park (1907.) had been created by Orders i n Council. The establishment of Kootenay Park followed l a t e r i n 1920. This new Act of 1911 provided that: " The Governor i n Council may from time to time, designate such reserves or areas as he sees f i t , to be and be known as Dominion Parks, and subject to the provisions of t h i s Act, they s h a l l be maintained and made use of as public parks and pleasure grounds, for the benefit, advantage and enjoyment of the people of Canada." This Act marked the o f f i c i a l acknowledgement of Dominion Parks in Canada, and provided for a reorganised administration, separated from the Dominion Forestry Branch, under the authority of the f i r s t Commissioner of Dominion Parks, J.B. Harkin. E x i s t i n g leases were to be respected but s t r i c t e r controls would be placed on the exploitation of resources. In addition, a small park warden service was created. Unfortunately, the accent on t o u r i s t and recreational use remained predominant due to Harkin's need to counter c r i t i c i s m of government expenditures by tr y i n g to make the parks self-supporting. In his 1913-1914 annual report he said i n part: - 18 -" National parks provide the chief means of bringing to Canada a stream of t o u r i s t s , and t o u r i s t s ' gold. With the national attractions and wonders possessed by Canadian parks i n p a r t i c u l a r and Canada in general, i t seems obvious that a proper and adequate development of Dominion parks means that m i l l i o n s of do l l a r s annually w i l l be brought into Canada by t o u r i s t s " . (Annual Report, Dept.of the Interior, 1913-14, Part V, Page 4) It was t h i s constant and pressing need to j u s t i f y the parks economically which was in.large measure responsible for the emphasis on the commercial aspects of the development of the parks. However, there was a growing b e l i e f that national parks should also be wilderness preserves. In his annual report to the Department of the Interior for 1926, Harkin said: " The preservation of the wilderness s p i r i t , of untouched and unspoiled conditions generally, i s not easy, but i t i s of f i r s t importance - a fundamental necessity to which a l l other considerations are subordinated." (Annual Report, Dept. of the Interior, 1926, Page 90) Again i n his annual report for 1928 he said: The value of great wilderness reservations such as are found i n the national parks must become even greater and the importance of set t i n g them aside while there i s yet time i s c l e a r l y seen A constant vigil a n c e w i l l be required to preserve t h e i r wilderness and unspoiled character - 19 -to develop a po l i c y which w i l l permit of the freest use but which w i l l jealously guard what i s perhaps, t h e i r richest endowment". (Annual Report, Dept. of the Interior, 1928, Page 80) Nevertheless, the record indicates l i t t l e evidence in Canada of an understanding of the importance of wild l i f e and i t s preservation beyond i t s value for recreational purposes. The general park, regulations introduced i n 1890 had prohibited hunting of a l l animals i n the parks except mountain l i o n s , bears, wolves, lynx, wolverines and coyotes and as a consequence there, was a considerable increase i n the ungulate populations. This was looked on with favor by the general public because i t provided a s p i l l o v e r of game into areas outside the parks where hunting was permitt Harkin expressed his own approval of hunting i n a l e t t e r written to the Superintendant of Yoho on A p r i l 28th, 1925 in which he said: " One of our arguments i n connection with our game sanctuaries i s that we maintain a supply of b i g game for the outlying areas i n the overflow from the parks. I think big game hunting should be encouraged a s . i t i s a source of considerable revenue to the country and a sport which i s highly enjoyed by some of our very best people" (Van Kirk 1974). The increase i n ungulate populations also brought about a reconsideration of the po l i c y of predator extermination which up to that time had been a c t i v e l y - 20 -pursued i n the parks. Realizing that t h i s p o l i c y was i n some way upsetting the natural balance between predators and t h e i r prey, Harkin stated i n his annual report for 1925: " In order to make the national parks represent, so far as possible, normal wild l i f e conditions, the superintendents have been instructed to proceed with caution i n co n t r o l l i n g various forms of w i l d l i f e usually considered destructive. Superintendents have f u l l authority to control predatory animals without damaging property but no wholesale, campaign against any mammal merely because i t has u t i l i z e d some other w i l d l i f e i n maintaining i t s e l f w i l l be undertaken". (Annual Report, Dept. of the Interior, 1925, Page 95) Predator control was continued even after t h i s statement but on a greatly reduced scale and lim i t e d mainly to wolves and coyotes. The whole r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for taking action was l e f t i n the hands of the in d i v i d u a l superintendents. There was no o v e r a l l management po l i c y towards the control of ungulate and predator numbers, because the relat i o n s h i p and interdependence of these trophic l e v e l s was not understood. By 1930, with the passing of the National Parks Act, i the National Parks were established as a direct administrative entity, and they were firmly recognized as areas where the protection of nature including the w i l d l i f e was paramount. This new Act set out the - 21 -provisions under which the parks were to be managed, and i t also f i n a l i z e d the areas of the e x i s t i n g parks and ensured that they could not be interfered with, by providing that the creation of new parks and any addition to or deletion from the area of parks would require an Act of Parliament. This Act as amended i s the legislation:, under which the parks are administered i n Canada today. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to compare the frequently quoted purposes of the National Parks Act as stated i n Section 4 with the s i m i l a r statement of purpose i n the Congressional Act of 1916 creating the National Park Service i n the U.S.A., and note even now the lack of reference to wild-l i f e i n Canada. In Canada we read: " The Parks are hereby dedicated to the people of Canada for t h e i r benefit, education and enjoyment, subject to the provisions of t h i s Act and the Regulations, and such Parks s h a l l be maintained and made use of so as to leave them unimpaired for the,enjoyment of future generations." (Statutes of Canada, 1930, Chap. 33, Sec. 4) Whereas in the U.S.A. we read: " ..which purpose i s to conserve the scenery and the natural and h i s t o r i c objects and the wild l i f e therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same i n such manner and by such means as w i l l leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." (U.S.Statutes at Large, Sixty Fourth Congress, Sess. 1, Chap. 408, Sec. 1) - 22 -These two statements are s i m i l a r only i n that they both agree that the parks s h a l l be l e f t unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. In other respects they are quite d i f f e r e n t . The Canadian statement makes no mention of w i l d l i f e , but stresses that the parks are for the benefit, of the people, which provides an almost unlimited opportunity for inter p r e t a t i o n . The U.S. statement emphasises conservation and includes conservation of the w i l d l i f e . Conservation and preservation come f i r s t , use by the public comes second. A detailed study of the. National Parks Act i n Canada shows only one reference to w i l d l i f e which would include the large mammals. This appears i n Section 7 (1) (6) where we read: " The Governor i n Council may, as he deems 1'expedient make regulations for the protection of wildLanimals, and disposal of noxious, predatory or superabundant animals for s c i e n t i f i c and propagating purposes." This indicates that the Governor i n Council may,  as he deems expedient, make regulations for the protection of w i l d l i f e but the Act does not i n any way require the protection of the w i l d l i f e as i s found i n the Congressional Act of 1916 i n the U.S.A. If, therefore, we wish to f i n d some j u s t i f i c a t i o n for the protection of w i l d l i f e we have to look at the general purposes of the Act where we read i n part in Section A that: - 23 -" such parks s h a l l be maintained and made use of so as to leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations". Preservation of w i l d l i f e therefore becomes a matter of interpretation. A more important question i s whether the w i l d l i f e i s considered an i n t e g r a l part of the parks. If i t i s , then the Act requires that i t s h a l l be maintained unimpaired. Was i t the intention of the Act to turn the clock back as far as the w i l d l i f e was concerned to the state that existed before man appeared on the scene, or was the w i l d l i f e to be maintained unimpaired i n the condition that existed at the time the Act was passed? Did the Act i n fact demonstrate any concern for the w i l d l i f e i n the parks? These questions demonstrate c l e a r l y that the Act in no way recognised that the parks are l i v i n g , dynamic and constantly changing e n t i t i e s which include the w i l d l i f e . There was no suggestion that they were reserves of land i n which preservation and protection, p a r t i c u l a r l y of the w i l d l i f e , would be incompatible with e x p l o i t a t i o n . There i s ample evidence that exploitation was s t i l l anticipated, the the powers given the the Governor i n Council, to make regulations under the new Act, were open to the broadest possible i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . The idea that the parks might be set aside for the preservation of the w i l d l i f e was not r e f l e c t e d i n management p o l i c y . - 24 -In retrospect, we can see that the National Parks Act as passed i n 1930 was too broad i n i t s scope and too open to varying interpretation. Some t h i r t y years after i t s passing, the inadequacies of the Act were becoming so obvious that i t became necessary for the Government to c l a r i f y i t by a public policy statement. This was tabled i n the House of Commons i n September, 1964 and was ultimately published as a declaration of National Parks Poli c y i n 1969. It acknowledged that there had been no clear p o l i c y guidelines to guide the administration, but rather p o l i c i e s had been developed to correct s i t u a t i o n s instead of to avoid them. But more important and of greater concern, i t s t i l l recognised recreation as the main purpose of national parks. Thus: " National Park purpose i s associated with the recognition of recreation as a major resource use. Each unit of the National Park system was established because, defining recreation in the broadest possible terms, i t represented a major recreation resource worthy of preservation by the nation for public enjoyment" " Like other resources, the National Park resource i s valuable to man only when he can u t i l i z e i t " (National Parks Policy, 1969, Page 4) There was now, however, a recognition that w i l d l i f e had to be preserved and managed, as i n the following statements: - 25 -" It i s part of the National Park purpose to maintain the quality and beauty of w i l d l i f e i n National Parks, i . e . to maintain healthy populations of native animals i n balance with t h e i r environment. In a completely natural s i t u a t i o n t h i s would be accomplished by the steady pressure and persistent a t t r i t i o n of predators on animals of poorer condition Where game populations exceed the carrying capacity of the range t h e i r numbers should be reduced by a sel e c t i v e k i l l of the poorer specimens carried out by park s t a f f under s c i e n t i f i c d i r e c t i o n . " (National Parks Po l i c y 1969, Page 5) and again: " National Park planning should give f u l l consideration to character, siz e , shape and location of park areas i n order to provide for year-round ecological requirements for the indigenous animal species, e s p e c i a l l y those with migratory habits." (National Parks Policy, 1969, Page 5) In an e a r l i e r chapter we have seen that there are good and v a l i d reasons why we should be concerned for the preservation of populations of large mammals i n Canada. Since there are few places where those mammals can range free!of human interference, they must be preserved i n areas where they can be protected and managed. One place where t h i s might be done i s i n the national parks. The above statements are the only indicat i o n that t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for management i s accepted by Parks Canada as a matter of pol i c y . They do not i n any way suggest how th i s should be done except to agree to the killiner. of - 26 -surplus animals by park s t a f f as a substitute for control normally exercised by predators. This h i s t o r i c a l review of the national parks i n Canada demonstrates that the early emphasis i n t h e i r development was on resource exploitation and recreational use. Ideas of preservation and protection developed l a t e r . There has in fact been a gradual s h i f t i n National Parks Policy towards t h i s end, lagging behind both the preservationist movements i n the U.S.A. and public opinion in Canada. The 1969 Po l i c y statement acknowledges that this change was retrospective and not the res u l t of conscious management decisions. Thus: " p o l i c i e s have been developed piece-meal and have not been adequate to ensure that the re a l objectives w i l l be maintained or reached. Often p o l i c i e s were developed to correct a s i t u a t i o n rather than to avoid it'.'. (National Parks Policy, 1969, Page 3) It i s clear that over the years a r e a l dilemma has been developing for those responsible for the implementation of the National Parks Act and the p o l i c i e s that have developed from i t , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n respect to the four parks about which t h i s paper i s concerned. I n i t i a l l y these parks were developed as major t o u r i s t attractions with great commercial po t e n t i a l , and i n 1930 the parks o f f i c i a l s were pleased with the many thousands of people that v i s i t e d them. - 27 -Now these same v i s i t o r s number i n the m i l l i o n s and are a d e f i n i t e threat to the preservation of the parks for future generations. The 1969 Policy statement recognized a s h i f t towards the need to preserve natural areas and w i l d l i f e , but i n the Rocky Mountain Parks i t may already be too l a t e . - 28 -THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO MAMMAL MANAGEMENT The management of populations of large mammals in a natural or near natural state requires s c i e n t i f i c knowledge, and the p r a c t i c a l application of t h i s knowledge. To be able to use t h i s knowledge i n a r e a l i s t i c manner, managers must have available certain basic information which may be summarised as follows. Population S t a t i s t i c s Robbins (1963) and Russell (1968) both stress the es s e n t i a l need for good population records i f mammal populations in national parks are to be successfully managed. These records provide the baseline information from which future trends can be predicted, and meaningful management decisions can be made (see also Jenkins and Bedford 1973). A regular census should be taken of a l l large mammal populations. An e s s e n t i a l feature of t h i s census i s that i t should be taken on a regular basis, preferably annually and at the same time each year. It should also be taken i n the same locations so that there i s a basis for comparing r e s u l t s . The intimate knowledge which the park wardens have of the whereabouts and movements of the mammals should be used i n s e l e c t i n g the census locations. Techniques of census taking frequently change, - 29 -and park authorities should not be a f r a i d to try new ideas, always recognising that there must be an overlap i n techniques to allow c a l i b r a t i o n of r e l a t i v e counts. While they w i l l have s c i e n t i f i c a l l y trained observers on t h e i r s t a f f , park authorities should take advantage of any outside technical assistance which i s available. Due to a variety of reasons population counts w i l l always be estimates of population numbers because i t i s rarely possible to count,every animal. The most common, methods used are mark and, recapture, and counting from a e r i a l photography. A variety of techniques have been developed to extrapolate these estimates and get a judgement on what the population t o t a l s are of the various mammals. Population records should be broken down into sex and age groups and knowledge should be obtained of f e r t i l i t y , b i r t h rates, and mortality of both adults and young. If then there i s a.change in\the population th i s information w i l l indicate what part of the population i s changing. Thus lack of recruitment, heavy reduction i n numbers of males from poaching, rapid increase i n births and so on, w i l l quickly show up. It i s e s s e n t i a l that t h i s sort of information be monitored on a regular basis.to detect s i g n i f i c a n t trends (Russell 1968) - 30 -Range Conditions The central, even v i t a l thread that runs through a l l discussions and ideas about w i l d l i f e management i s the need to maintain and preserve suitable habitat. Aldo Leopold (1933) recognised t h i s when he said "creation of a favourable environment i s the f i r s t concern of management". Again the Leopold committee recognised th i s when i t said " I t i s now an.accepted truism that maintenance of suitable habitat i s the key to sustaining animal populations, and that protection, though i t i s important i s not of i t s e l f a substitute for habitat." (Leopold 1963). Thereafter t h i s theme has been repeatedly stressed as being the key to the maintenance, of viable populations of mammals in our National Parks (Cowan 1968, Houston 1971, Geist 1972, Owen 1972) summarized by Dr. H. F. Lamprey, Director of the Serengeti Research In s t i t u t e , i n h i s address to the Second World Conference on National Parks in 1972 when he said: The truth i s that the. greater part of w i l d l i f e management; l i e s in the conservation of the animals' habitats. Given reasonable freedom from disturbance, animal populations w i l l require l i t t l e or no management, provided the natural vegetation of t h e i r habitats remains in t a c t . The management of animal l i f e i n national parks i n most aspects i s so closely associated with the management of the vegetation which supports i t , that i t i s unprofitable to discuss one without the other." (Lamprey 1972) - 31 -Park Authorities must have a good knowledge of the range conditions i n t h e i r parks, and the range requirements of the animals. "A range i s habitable for a given species when i t furnishes places suitable for i t to feed, hide, nest, sleep, play and breed, a l l within reach of i t s c r u i s i n g radius". (Leopold 1933). An adequate food supply i s es s e n t i a l but there must also be protection against weather conditions - ra i n , wind and snow (Geist 1972). Predators i n turn must be able to f i n d refuge from disturbance.. For example, human interference with the denning s i t e s ofwo Ives can have a p a r t i c u l a r l y serious e f f e c t on t h e i r population numbers (Carbyn 1974). Again, i t i s es s e n t i a l that habitats be monitored on a regular basis, not just to assess food supply, but also to ensure that they continue to provide protection from interference, predators and climate (Cowan 1968). As Geist (1972) points out, the capacity of a range to provide food i s only one of the factors c o n t r o l l i n g the s i z e and quality of any population of large mammals. Distribution: and Movement For e f f e c t i v e management park authorities must have a knowledge of how the populations of the various mammals.are di s t r i b u t e d throughout t h e i r parks and how they move about. This includes a knowledge of t h e i r - 32 -migratory patterns between summer and winter ranges, which could include movement across park borders (Houston 1971). It must also include the movement of mammal populations from one area to another as range conditions change, brought about by overbrowsing, f i r e or successional growth. Accumulation of t h i s knowledge i s obviously long-term but nevertheless e s s e n t i a l . Its c o l l e c t i o n may be done by a e r i a l survey or physical checking on the ground. Regular monitoring of the movements of mammal populations and the condition of the ranges they occupy i n a consistent s c i e n t i f i c manner, provides good background information against which to assess the cause and e f f e c t relationships between the various mammals, and between them and t h e i r habitats. Mortality Patterns Mammals die for many reasons. Predation, disease, bad weather, starvation, infant mortality take the greatest t o l l , p a r t i c u l a r l y on young. Old age i s also important i n unharvested populations. It i s important that information be c o l l e c t e d on mammal mortality, and t h i s information should be regularly monitored. Having these records from a variety of sources provides valuable background information with which to assess i n t e l l i g e n t l y the problems causing the mortality. There have been many die o f f s and fluctuations i n population numbers of large - 33 -mammals i n the Rocky Mountain Parks (Flook 1962, Stelfox 1974 b). Accurate mortality records would be of great assistance i n studying these die of f s to decide the causes, and what management practices should be implemented i n the future, always recognising that die o f f s can supply a natural and essential balancing mechanism i n any system. Ecosystem Integrity In addition to focusing the foregoing studies on the p a r t i c u l a r mammals which we wish to manage, i t i s important to understand t h e i r niches and r e l a t i v e roles in the c o l l e c t i o n of plants and animals which constitute the ecosystems that are present i n the parks. This w i l l include a knowledge of the interactions between the various trophic l e v e l s . Thus, for example, purely from observation, we can see that predators such as wolves feed on such prey as elk. The elk i n turn feed on plants, grasses and shrubs which are part of th e i r normal habitat. However, observations of a system i n i t s undisturbed state w i l l not ass i s t us i n evaluating the relationship between the predator and prey populations, or provide the data from which predictions might be made (Haber 1976). If we detect a downward trend in the prey population we have no means of knowing whether i t has been caused by excessive - 34 -predation, or lack of suitable food, or both, or some other reason. An e f f e c t i v e way to f i n d t h i s out i s to set up a manipulation of the prey population by, say, c u l l i n g out a number of animals. Observations are then made of the response of the predators to t h e i r prey, and the interactions of the prey with the plants on which i t feeds. These observations are then compared with those obtained from a controlled, undisturbed population. Walters et a l . (1975), Gaughley (1976) and Haber et a l . (1976).have a l l shown that.positive manipulation of mammal populations i n this manner may provide meaningful data which can be used to predict future trends. S c i e n t i f interpretation of t h i s type of data may enable management to make decisions which are predictive of what could happen, and i n many cases avoid having to t r y and solve a problem when i t i s already too late (Jenkins and Bedford 1973). However, i t should be understood that manipulation i s not the panacaea of mammal management. It w i l l t e l l us some i f the relationships among mammal populations and the i r habitat, but the data obtained does.not necessarily contribute to our understanding of why a population i n nature i s r i s i n g or f a l l i n g . This could be caused by climate, the density of the species,, disease, hunting pressures, human interference, and many other reasons. - 35 -The essential need i s to monitor both what i s present i n the various ecosystems of the parks - the habitats, the animals and what they are doing - but more important the interaction between the various animal species, and between the animals and t h e i r habitat (Jenkins and Bedford 1973,, Caughley 1976). We must know how one species a f f e c t s another, whether i t i s through predation or competition, and what factors affect these relationships including those introduced externally. Thus, repeated harassment by back country users, whether on foot or horseback, w i l l disturb prey species such as deer and elk. This disturbance might make i t more d i f f i c u l t for t h e i r predators to catch them, and therefore lower t h e i r success r a t i o . This may be s u f f i c i e n t to reduce the food the predators can supply t h e i r young, and there could be a decline i n the predator population. Such a decline w i l l allow a b u i l d up in the prey population and an ungulate explosion may occur. A simple explanation of a complex problem, but i t demonstrates how a l l aspects are i n t e r r e l a t e d and cannot be viewed i n i s o l a t i o n . - 36 -RESERVES FOR MAMMAL PRESERVATION AND MANAGEMENT Boundaries of Wild L i f e Reserves If populations of large mammals are to be preserved i n t h e i r natural wild state, for future generations to enjoy, suitable reserves for t h i s purpose must be set aside. One of the early steps taken i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n was the outcome of an International Convention on National Parks held i n London i n 1933. This convention was concerned with the establishment of w i l d l i f e reserves on the continent of A f r i c a and, as part of i t s recommendations defined a National Park as an area (a) placed under public control, the boundaries of which s h a l l not be altered or any portion be capable of alienation except by the competent l e g i s l a t i v e authority. (b) set aside for the propagation, protection and preservation of wild animal l i f e and wild vegetation and for the preservation of objects of aesthetic, geological, p r e h i s t o r i c , h i s t o r i c a l , archaeological or other s c i e n t i f i c interest for the benefit, advantage and enjoyment of the general public (c) i n which the hunting, k i l l i n g , or capturing of fauna and the destruction or c o l l e c t i o n of f l o r a i s prohibited except by or under the d i r e c t i o n and control of the Park authorities. In accordance with the above provisions, f a c i l i t i e s s h a l l , so far as i s possible, be given to the general public for observing the fauna and f l o r a of the National Parks" (Treaty Series No.27 (1936) Pub. by H.M. Stationery O f f i c e , Page 6) - 37 -By t h i s d e f i n i t i o n of National Parks, everything that i s natural takes f i r s t place and the public comes second. The primary obligation of the park authorities in accordance with t h i s d e f i n i t i o n would be preservation. Opinions have changed l i t t l e when we note that Terborgh (1975) points out that " w i l d l i f e preserves should remain i n v i o l a t e for the express purpose of preserving w i l d l i f e . " However, there i s a secondary obligation on the park authorities to provide f a c i l i t i e s for the general public to observe the fauna and f l o r a i n the parks, but doing so confronts them with t h e i r most c r i t i c a l problem. Russell (1968), Houston (1971), Jenkins and Bedford (1973), Myers (1973) and many others have recognised that human a c t i v i t i e s within w i l d l i f e reserves have the poten t i a l for the greatest environmental damage. A study of the f u l l statement from the convention indicates only one reference to the means whereby the size of any national park should be established. Thus: " The choice i n respect of a l l national parks of areas s u f f i c i e n t i n extent to cover, so far as possible, the migrations of the fauna preserved therein" (Treaty Series No.. 27 (1936) Pub. by H.M Stationery O f f i c e , Page 10) The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (Curry-Lindahl 1972, Page 8) describes a national park as: - 38 -" an area generally remarkable for i t s natural features which on a r e l a t i v e l y large t e r r i t o r y o f f ers one or several ecosystems l e f t untouched, or almost untouched, by human exploitation, protected by a central government where i t s nationals and v i s i t o r s from every other country inthe world are permitted and even encouraged to stay for recreation, education or c u l t u r a l purposes." Both d e f i n i t i o n s recognise that there should be a s c i e n t i f i c basis behind the establishment of park boundaries. Geist (1972) agrees when he says "the solution to boundary problems i s to create parks with b i o l o g i c a l , not p o l i t i c a l , boundaries". Houston (1971) and Geist (1972) have both stated that i t i s the ecosystems which have to be preserved. Mammals i n t h e i r natural, state cannot be preserved i n i s o l a t i o n . They are an important though sensitive part of the ecosystems to which they belong, and i t i s esse n t i a l before establishing park boundaries to. delineate the complete viable ecosystems which they w i l l embrace. These boundaries should, therefore, be b i o l o g i c a l l y determined. As a matter of p r a c t i c a l p o l i t i c s i t i s not always possible.that a w i l d l i f e reserve may be set aside, large enought to embrace the migratory patterns and other s p a t i a l needs of the larger mammals. In any event these reserves should always be surrounded by buffer zones which provide the t r a n s i t i o n to areas of human development. The 1933 Convention referred to e a r l i e r recognised t h i s when - 39 -i t recommended that consideration should be given to " The establishment round the borders of national parks and s t r i c t natural reserves, of intermediate zones within which the hunting, k i l l i n g and capturing of animals may take place under the control of the  authorities of the park or reserve." (Treaty Series No. 27 (1936) Pub. by H.M. Stationery O f f i c e , Page 8) Geist (1972) acknowledged t h i s need i n Canada's national parks when he suggested that the ecological values of these parks could be preserved by encouraging federal - p r o v i n c i a l cooperation on land use in areas adjacent to the parks. Ecolog1cal Management Any w i l d l i f e reserve requires some measure of ecological management because of the very nature of i t s establishment. It has t e r r i t o r i a l l i m i t s and i s subject to many inter n a l and external human influences. One of the f i r s t steps towards recognising the importance of ecological management was taken i n June 1962 when a committee of the F i r s t World Conference on National Parks held i n Seattle, Washington, drew up a seven point p o l i c y statement on t h i s subject which reads as follows: - 40 -1. Management i s defined as any a c t i v i t y directed toward achieving or maintaining a given condition i n plant and/or animal populations and/or habitats in accordance with the conservation plan for the area. A p r i o r d e f i n i t i o n of the purposes and objectives of each park i s assumed. Management may involve active manipulation of the plant and animal communities, or protection from modification or external influences. 2. Few of the world's parks are large enough to be in fact self-regulatory ecological units; rather, most are ecological islands subject to direct or i n d i r e c t modification by a c t i v i t i e s and conditions i n the surrounding areas. These influences may involve such factors as immigration and/or emigration of animal and plant l i f e , changes i n the f i r e regime, and alterations i n the surface or subsurface water. 3. There i s no need for active modification to maintain large examples of the r e l a t i v e l y stable "climax" communities which under protection perpetuate themselves i n d e f i n i t e l y . Examples of such communities include large tracts of undisturbed r a i n - f o r e s t , t r o p i c a l mountain paramos, and a r c t i c tundra. 4. However, most b i o t i c communities are in a constant state of change due to natural or man-caused processes of ecological succession. In the"suceessional" communities i t i s necessary to manage the habitat to achieve or s t a b i l i z e i t at a desired stage. For example, f i r e i s an e s s e n t i a l management tool to maintain East African open savanna or American p r a i r i e . Where animal populations get out of balance with t h e i r habitat and threaten the continued existence of a desired environment, population control becomes essential.. This p r i n c i p l e applies, for example, in situations where ungulate populations have exceeded the. carrying capacity of t h e i r habitat through loss of predators, immigration from surrounding areas, or compressing of normal migratory ..patterns. ;. S p e c i f i c examples include excess populations of elephants i n some African parks and of ungulates i n some mountain parks. 5. - 41 -6. The need for management, the f e a s i b i l i t y of management methods, and evaluation of results must be based upon current and continuing s c i e n t i f i c research. Both the research and management i t s e l f should be undertaken only by q u a l i f i e d personnel. Research, management planning, and execution must take into account, and i f necessary regulate, the human uses for which the park i s intended. 7. Management based on s c i e n t i f i c research i s , therefore, not only desirable but often essential to maintain some b i o t i c communities in accordance with the conservation plan of a national park or equivalent area. This statement proposes some of the c r i t e r i a necessary for the establishment of w i l d l i f e reserves. It also suggests some of the p o l i c i e s which should be adopted to manage these reserves. The w i l d l i f e i s only a part of the ecosystems which require management. The size of mammal populations w i l l Increase and decrease even i n th e i r natural state. What we have to be concerned about i s the impact which these animals have on th e i r habitat and the impact that the habitat has on the mammals and the plants on which they feed (Cowan 1968). It i s important also to be able to use past experience and current knowledge to anticipate and hopefully control what may happen i n the future. Jenkins and Bedford (1973) say that the a b i l i t y to predict i s the objective. Access for the Public Reference has already been made to the question of public access to national parks. It i s a management decision which requires very careful study. As Russell (1968) recommends, t o u r i s t s and v i s i t o r s should be allowed into the parks i n such a way that they have a minimum eff e c t on the animals, the scenery and the natural habitats. If these reserves are to be set aside for the preservation of natural populations of wild animals t y p i c a l of the area i n which the reserves have been established (Russell 1968, Geist 1972) then public access must be permitted only to the extent that the animals suffer no interference. Every proposed use of the reserves by the public should be viewed with that one question foremost - w i l l i t i n t e r f e r e with the w i l d l i f e or the natural habitats in which i t l i v e s ? - 43 " INVESTIGATION OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN THE  ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARKS F o c u s o f Q u e s t i o n s To a s s e s s t h e management p r a c t i c e s o f P a r k s Canada t o w a r d s t h e p r e s e r v a t i o n o f l a r g e mammal p o p u l a t i o n s i n t h e Rocky M o u n t a i n P a r k s t h e a u t h o r s t u d i e d and v i s i t e d B a n f f , J a s p e r , K o o t e n a y and Yoho N a t i o n a l P a r k s . V i s i t s were a l s o made t o t h e C a n a d i a n W i l d l i f e S e r v i c e h e a d q u a r t e r s f o r w e s t e r n Canada i n Edmonton and t h e R e g i o n a l O f f i c e f o r P a r k s Canada i n C a l g a r y . The s c i e n t i f i c p r a c t i c e s w h i c h s h o u l d b e f o l l o w e d t o p r e s e r v e and manage w i l d l i f e i n n a t i o n a l p a r k s were o u t l i n e d p r e v i o u s l y as were some o f t h e c r i t e r i a t h a t s h o u l d g o v e r n t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f w i l d l i f e r e s e r v e s . The p r e s e n t i n v e s t i g a t i o n was u n d e r t a k e n t o d e t e r m i n e i f a r e a l i s t i c e f f o r t i s b e i n g made by P a r k s C a nada t o manage t h e p o p u l a t i o n s o f l a r g e mammals i n t h e Rocky M o u n t a i n p a r k s as d e f i n e d by t h e c r i t e r i a p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d . I n v e s t i g a t i o n s were f o c u s s e d a r o u n d c e r t a i n f u n d a m e n t a l q u e s t i o n s and t h e s e were e n l a r g e d on as t h e y p r o g r e s s e d . T h e s e q u e s t i o n s were: 1. What p o p u l a t i o n r e c o r d s a r e a v a i l a b l e ? H o w l s t h e d a t a c o l l e c t e d ? A r e t h e y b r o k e n down i n t o age and sex numbers? Is there any assessment of the i r accuracy? For how long have they been collected? What use i s made of these records? Are they used in making management decisions? 2. What knowledge i s available of mammal-habitat relationships i n the parks? 3. How much i s known about the migratory patterns of the large mammals? 4. What knowledge i s there of predator-prey relationships among the large mammals i n the parks? 5. What problems are created by direc t and i n d i r e c t human contact with the mammals? Results In 1971 Parks Canada established a Resource Inventory Task Force to design a Resource Inventory Programme for National Parks. Among the primary objectives of thi s programme the following are important: " - to make available basic quantitative data concerning the natural resource base of the National Parks; to establish a l e v e l where various resource factors can be related to an i n t e r v a l of time so that t h e i r ecological relationships and t h e i r consequences can be better understood; to provide a thorough understanding of the forces and factors which have shaped the parks and which are continuing to change them today; to provide a continuous sampling system of s t a t i s t i c a l soundness to update the inventory data and to monitor the natural processes; to provide sound resources and ecological data for the planning, development, interpretation and general operation of the National Parks; to i d e n t i f y areas where action i s required to prevent or a l l e v i a t e further damage and to i d e n t i f y areas, where additional research i s required." (Resource Inventory and Management Studies - Progre and Planning Report (1976), Pages 2 and 3) Discussions with Parks Canada personnel revealed that the various aspects of t h i s Resource Inventory Programme are proceeding slowly but the emphasis i s on the accumulation of vast quantities of physical data, such as geology, hydrology and w i l d l i f e inventories, with l i t t l e stress on data to assess population dynamics and related trends i n the parks. - 4 6 " Population Records The accumulation of population records i n some form or another has been undertaken i n the Rocky Mountain Parks for many years. These have been unrelated to the Resource Inventory Programme mentioned e a r l i e r . However, discussions with park authorities provided l i t t l e evidence that these records have been colle c t e d and analysed systematically for management purposes. The major emphasis i s on t o t a l numbers rather than a breakdown into age and sex groups. Such :'. information as i s available has been col l e c t e d i n one of three ways. Warden's W i l d l i f e Observation Cards This method records sightings only, and i s dependent e n t i r e l y on the re g u l a r i t y of v i s i t s by park wardens to areas which large mammals are known to frequent.. Many cards are of l i t t l e value as they r e f l e c t the varying interest of the p a r t i c u l a r warden reporting an observation. There were cards which reported l i t t l e more than an observation and a minimum of d e t a i l . Other cards provided a mass of d e t a i l -useful i f the observations were not too frequent, but unwieldy i f there were a number of observations i n any one day. - 47 _ In an e f f o r t to improve the quality of reporting of w i l d l i f e sightings Parks Canada engaged the services of Dr. John Stelfox of C.W.S. i n 1973 to develop a new form of observation card which would require the wardens to answer a series of questions. Copies of the draft and f i n a l version of t h i s card are shown on Pages 81 and 82 and i t w i l l be seen that i t provides for most eventualities and may provide useful information from every animal sighting. Space i s provided on the back of the card for wardens to make any special notes or comments. Information from these cards w i l l be summarised by computer, but they have not been i n use long enought to enable Parks Canada and C.W.S. to assess t h e i r usefulness, or see how good the summary information w i l l be. However, they are s t i l l only a record of sightings and w i l l not provide the necessary s t a t i s t i c a l data which can be used to assess the status of the mammal populations i n the parks because they are not used systematically as to time or location. Annual Animal Counts A l l four parks under review conduct an annual v i s u a l count of large mammals. It i s done using as many of the park s t a f f as are available, and i s conducted i n late F a l l from the various highways and side roads through the parks. Although the surveys are systematic as to time and location, the figures c o l l e c t e d showed that they were only t o t a l numbers, - 4-8- " and there was no breakdown into sex and age groups as i s required for the type of s c i e n t i f i c management programme discussed e a r l i e r . This information i s inadequate to provide the type of data which would enable the park authorities to anticipate long-term population trends. A e r i a l Surveys A e r i a l counts have been introduced since the Resource Inventory Programme was i n i t i a t e d . They should provide the basis for a part of the w i l d l i f e inventories which are being assembled. Counts were made of ungulates i n 1974 and 1975 in both Banff and Jasper Parks using helicopters. The more comprehensive of the two was carried out i n Banff in Winter under the supervision of Park Warden Perry Jacobson. Four di f f e r e n t c i r c u i t s were flown. The areas covered by these c i r c u i t s were selected a f t e r discussion with senior wardens with a long standing knowledge of the back country, and included a l l known winter range areas i n the park. Winter was selected by the park authorities as being the best time to carry out t h i s census because: 1. Snow covered ground helps the observation of the animals and th e i r tracks. 2. Most animals w i l l be occupying a li m i t e d area and w i l l not be widely dispersed. 3. Emigration and immigration w i l l be at a minimum - a l l - 49' -animals w i l l be resident animals i n the park. 4. Most w i l d l i f e w i l l have moved from the deep snow i n the valleys to the upper open slopes — t r a c k s w i l l be easier to observe and tree cover w i l l be at a minimum. 5. C r i t i c a l winter habitat can be determined and evaluated. 6. Sex and age structure i s easier to determine. 7. Park v i s i t a t i o n i s at a minimum - the w i l d l i f e i s i n i t s undisturbed natural state. The location of the planned f l i g h t s were reviewed and agreed to by Dr. Stelfox of the Canadian W i l d l i f e Service, but counting was done by Jacobson and other park wardens. In s u f f i c i e n t information has been co l l e c t e d so far from these a e r i a l counts to provide the kind of s t a t i s t i c a l data required for e f f e c t i v e management of the ungulate populations. In Jacobson*s estimate the count of bighorn sheep may be close to actual numbers because they stay out i n the open and can be seen. Counts of elk and moose could not be r e l i e d upon, because many of these animals stay i n the trees. Mountain goats are d i f f i c u l t to count i n the winter because they do not show up i n the snow. Jacobson also indicated to the author that af t e r the 1976-1977 a e r i a l survey, "future surveys w i l l be carried out at a di f f e r e n t time of the year, maybe i n the Spring". The author questions the a d v i s a b i l i t y of t h i s decision as i t w i l l require the development of a new base l i n e against which to compare future r e s u l t s , and may well make the previous re s u l t s useless. - 50 -The a e r i a l survey carried out at Jasper i s an annual count of the mammals i n the inaccessible areas of the park. This i s also an assessment of t o t a l numbers and does not provide the type of information from which population trends can be judged. At both Banff and Jasper parks the success of the a e r i a l counts was lim i t e d by budget considerations. This precluded the use of outside technical assistance. Range Conditions' The Resource Inventory Programme referred to e a r l i e r i n t h i s chapter was established to inventory a l l "natural and c u l t u r a l resources" within each Western National Park. It was " designed to provide the f u l l range of data required for the preparation of various park plans, environmental impact statements and e f f e c t i v e park management." (Resource Inventory and Management Studies -Progress and Planning Report (1976) Page 1) As part of th i s programme the parks would be comprehensively studied, and maps prepared to record the status of a l l the biophysical resources of each park. By early 1976 the resource inventory for Yoho Park was almost complete, the Inventory for Banff and Jasper Parks - 51 -was just commencing, but the inventory for Kootenay park had not been started. The Banff-Jasper Biophysical Inventory i s a multi-d i s c i p l i n a r y approach to data c o l l e c t i o n , review and presentation. It was started i n 1974 and the f i n a l report and maps should be ready for presentation i n 1980. It w i l l d e t a i l bedrock geology, sur facial, deposits, land forms, s o i l s and vegetation throughout these parks. Following one year behind the Biophysical Inventory, Parks Canada, with the assistance of the Canadian W i l d l i f e Service w i l l be assembling an inventory of the w i l d l i f e i n these two parks. This should be completed i n 1981. The terms of reference for t h i s inventory read i n part: " The objective i s to obtain a f i r s t l e v e l or "broad brush" inventory for a l l of Banff and Jasper National Parks. " The information, required-includes data on the d i v e r s i t y , r e l a t i v e abundance, seasonal d i s t r i b u t i o n , behaviour and habitat requirements for species, and should give some measure of the comparative degree of use of each land system and where fe a s i b l e land type." (Day, Zinkan and Wickware, 1975) The author discussed t h i s biophysical inventory with relevant personnel and reviewed much of the data assembled to date. His conclusion was that while i t might provide useful background or baseline information for management purposes ;once i t ; i s completed, i t w i l l - 52. -s t i l l only a very extensive exercise i n the c o l l e c t i o n of physical data. It i s to date only a one shot programme and makes no provision for monitoring. It w i l l have c : completely missed what i s surely the es s e n t i a l need for knowledge of range conditions. That i s - what changes are taking place? Accumulation of physical data w i l l serve l i t t l e purpose i f there i s not a regular monitoring of changing conditions (Houston 1971). This should include the establishment of vegetation control exclosures to study changes i n range conditions when animals are kept away. Di s t r i b u t i o n and Movement Personnel of Parks Canada have knowledge of the location of a l l large mammal populations i n the Rocky Mountain parks. They are also aware of t h e i r migratory patterns between summer and winter ranges, and the location of these ranges. However, the i r knowledge concerning the migration of certain populations between parks or across park borders into the Provinces of Alberta and B r i t i s h Columbia i s incomplete, and apart from a study presently being conducted i n Kootenay Park, very l i t t l e i s being done to add to t h i s knowledge. In Banff park i t i s thought that some elk migrate East i n the Winter into the Alberta wilderness areas, but most migration i s within the park boundaries. Bighorn sheep stay i n the park throughout the year as do mountain goats. - 53 -In Jasper there i s a regular winter migration of bighorn sheep out of the park into the open areas i n Alberta on the eastern slopes of the Rockies where they f i n d good winter grazing. This eastward migration takes place i n the F a l l and early Winter of each year and coincides with the P r o v i n c i a l hunting season. Some of the park animals are l o s t but park authorities suspect that some of the animals which spend a l l year outside the park get driven into the park for refuge during t h i s time. This provides a certain amount of confusion during the F a l l animal count. Elk also follow a s i m i l a r migratory pattern back and forth across the eastern boundary of the park. Migration by caribou i s generally within the park boundaries, but i t i s suspected that encroachment by elk on t h e i r winter ranges may force them.<tO move into other areas where t h e i r food supply w i l l be inadequate. This i s something which i s being cl o s e l y watched following the preparation of a report by the Canadian W i l d l i f e Service e n t i t l e d "Range Ecology of Caribou i n Jasper National Park 1971 to 1974" (Stelfox 1975). In Yoho park mountain goats migrate, between winter and summer ranges within the park. There are no bighorn sheep i n the park. Confusion, e x i s t s among park personnel with regard to the migration of the small elk herd. There was one suggestion that winter migration was generally to the East into the Bow River Valley i n Banff, but there was also a. suggestion that elk migration ...^  - 54 -was generally confined within park boundaries. The elk herd i s small and there i s l i t t l e suitable range for elk except along the shoulders of the Trans Canada Highway and i n the open areas of the Kicking Horse River val l e y . There i s v i r t u a l l y no f i r e produced range. Movement of animals on the Trans Canada Highway in the Winter contributes to the majority of t r a f f i c k i l l s of elk. The balance of k i l l s by man occur on the railways. There i s l i t t l e winter range for deer and elk in Kootenay park, and i t i s suspected that these animals migrate West into the sloughs and f l a t s of the Columbia River i n the Winter. Mountain goats stay i n the park a l l year round. However, i n the ease, of elk, knowledge of t h e i r migratory patterns i s poor and the park authorities with the help of the Canadian W i l d l i f e Service are tryi n g to obtain more information. Elk come into the park in early April, from the West. They^roam the Vermillion Valley from. A p r i l u n t i l June and then vanish. They show up again i n early September and stay i n the park u n t i l January when they move out again, th i s time into the Columbia River valley. I*t i s not known where the animals go between June and September. In 1974 and 1975, 47 elk out of a t o t a l herd i n the park of approximately 200 were tagged with c o l l a r s i n an attempt to keep track of them. A systematic e f f o r t was made by the wardens to locate, these animals during the following summers of 1975 and 1976 but without success. They were unable to report the sighting of a single animal with a c o l l a r . It i s intended that during the F a l l of 1976, 10 or 12 animals w i l l be tagged with radio c o l l a r s so that t h e i r migratory patterns i n the following Winter can be confirmed and they can be followed i n the next Summer to see where they go. It i s conjectured that when they f i r s t return to the park i n A p r i l , the elk feed on the exotic grasses on the highway shoulders, and by.June, having got t h e i r f i l l of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r forage, they move to new pastures for the balance of the Summer, but i t i s yet to be discovered where they go. Mortality Patterns Knowledge of mortality patterns among the large mammals i n the Rocky Mountain Parks i s almost non-existent and no programme for the improvement of data c o l l e c t i o n e x i s t s . Such information as i s available from the park records concerns mainly the highway and railway k i l l s . A major loss of mammals occurs on the highway each year as a resu l t of c o l l i s i o n s with vehicles and t h i s w i l l increase. At.present t h i s - v a r i e s from between 120 and 150 animals per year i n the - 56 -four parks combined, the larges losses being i n elk and bighorn sheep. The highways run through the r i v e r v alleys i n the various parks and are, therefore, located close to and even across some of the most important Winter ranges of these animals. Animals are k i l l e d either because they are crossing the highways to get to t h e i r Winter ranges, they feed on the exotic grasses i n the roadside verges, or p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the Winter after snow ploughing, the animals use the highways as t h e i r easiest route to get from place to place. They are also attracted to the road s a l t used i n the Winter. At least two highways have been b u i l t close to important s a l t l i c k s with consequent k i l l i n g of animals during approach to and from these l i c k s (Mount Norquay area i n Banff, Disaster Point i n Jasper). Highway use by both t o u r i s t s and people t r a v e l l i n g through the parks i s increasing by more than 10% per year and there i s a corresponding increase i n commercial use as well. Apart from the additional threat to the animals from the increase i n the t r a f f i c t h i s increase w i l l ultimately result i n the twinning of the Trans Canada Highway through Banff and Yoho providing an even greater hazzard for the animals. This highway i s already four lanes up to the East gate of Banff. - 57- -During his discussions with park personnel the author heard many references to increased use of the railways and the possible twinning of thertracks through the various passes within the parks. There i s every prospect of an increase i n freight use on these l i n e s as more development takes place i n Canada. The use of unit trains to handle grain, coal and other raw materials i s on the increase and t h i s w i l l require an expansion of the passing f a c i l i t i e s provided at eith e r end of the v a l l e y passes. Any increase i n the number of trans w i l l bring a corresponding increase i n numbers of animals k i l l e d on the railroads p a r t i c u l a r l y during the Winter when the snow ploughed tracks provide such easy routes for animals to move along. The remaining information, on mammal mortality i s gleaned from the warden's w i l d l i f e observation cards, and summarized i n the Annual Resource Conservation Report prepared by each park superintendent. These summaries report the "man,caused" deaths.both from highway and railway accidents, plus any troublesome animals such as bears and cougars k i l l e d by park wardens. They also include any natural deaths observed by the wardens such as k i l l s by predators but these form a very small percentage of the t o t a l . In any event the summaries contain no d e t a i l s of sex and age of animals k i l l e d , though t h i s may be available i n the wardens' records. - 58' -Ecosystem Integrity Manipulation of Populations Manipulations of large mammal populations have taken place i n the Rocky Mountain parks, but i n retrospect they cannot be considered as having been s c i e n t i f i c a l l y carried out. Rather these manipulations were the result of ad hoc decisions. At the time of the passing Of the National Parks Act i n 1930 active control of the large predators, wolf and cougar, had been exercised for some time i n the Rocky Mountain Parks, but there was an awakening r e a l i z a t i o n that t h i s control was r e s u l t i n g i n a major increase i n the large ungulate populations p a r t i c u l a r l y elk and bighorn sheep i n both Banff and Jasper Parks. By the time the predator control programmes were stopped the ungulate populations had reached such a size that the predators, by then mainly wolves, had l o s t any s i g n i f i c a n t influence on t h e i r numbers, and the elk were beginning to have a serious ef f e c t on the a v a i l a b i l i t y of forage i n the Winter ranges (Stelfox 1973). The s i t u a t i o n would have become very serious, had i t not been for three p a r t i c u l a r l y severe winters with, unusually deep snow in the period 1946-1949. The e f f e c t of these, winters was to reduce the populations o f . a l l . l a r g e ungulates on both the East and West slopes of the Rockies, some of them quite - 59 -d r a s t i c a l l y . Thus Stelfox (1974 b) reports that by 1950 about 85% of the bighorn sheep population had disappeared, r e s u l t i n g i n a t o t a l number of only about 400 animals i n the Rocky Mountain Parks. Following t h i s major die o f f of ungulates, the wolf populations remained stable u n t i l 1952 when a serious outbreak of rabies required the i n s t i t u t i o n of an a n t i -rabies predator control programme i n both the federal and p r o v i n c i a l lands i n Alberta (Stelfox 1973). By 1954 both wolves and cougars were very scarce i n Banff and Jasper Parks. At the same time, and possibly as a consequence ungulate populations began to. b u i l d up again, elk more. quickly ^ thari.,:' bighorn sheep since they are more adaptable to v a r i a t i o n i n forage a v a i l a b i l i t y (Flook 1962). In the absence of predation elk also reproduce rapidly and t h e i r population numbers increased by 15% to 25% per year (Stelfox 1973). This meant that by the early 1950's they were out-competing other ungulates - bighorn sheep and mule deer - for available forage and there was considerable: deterioration of suitable habitat. The park authorities therefore i n s t i t u t e d a regular programme of elk herd reduction by shooting as a substitute for natural predation. Only park wardens were used to carry out the hunting and as many as 700 animals were removed i n one year i n Jasper and 400 animals i n Banff. In a protected state since 1954, wolf numbers increased quite rapidly i n Jasper, to the point where the park - 60. -authorities were able to stop the elk harvesting i n 1958. Elk numbers reached 2,000 i n 1965 but since then a hard winter i n 1972-73 plus possible wolf predation has kept the elk population around 900 - 1,000. In Banff, elk harvesting at a rate of about 200 animals a year was continued u n t i l 1969 by which time wolves were beginning to come back into the park. Harvesting was stopped but the elk population which was at that time about 500 has :. progressively decreased to the point where i n 1976 i t i s estimated to be about 300. Again t h i s might have been caused by the hard winter of 1972-73 which drove many animals out of the park i n t h e i r search for forage into areas where hunting was permitted. At present park authorities estimate there are 80 wolves i n Jasper Park, 40 wolves in Banff Park. There are no wolves i n Yoho or Kootenay parks though there have been one or two infrequent sightings. There i s no indicati o n that cougar numbers have come back to the same extent as wolves since predator control was stopped, but they are much more d i f f i c u l t to locate and count. Park authorities estimate there are approximately 15 i n Jasper and a lesser number i n Banff. Throughout the period of predator control i n the Rocky Mountain Parks followed by control of elk numbers there was a growing r e a l i z a t i o n by Parks Canada and by - 61 -many s c i e n t i s t s including those with the Canadian wild-l i f e Service that manipulation of the mammal populations in these parks once started, had many unknown ramifications. If i n addition essential habitat i s changed either by encroaching on i t with highway and commercial development, or by the control of naturally caused f i r e s , or inadequate management of people in the parks, then w i l d l i f e management becomes a highly complex and very d i f f i c u l t task. Mammal-Habitat Relationships Very l i t t l e research has been undertaken i n the Rocky Mountain parks into the relationship between the large mammals and t h e i r habitat, and i n p a r t i c u l a r the carrying capacity Of t h i s habitat. There i s plenty of evidence that these relationships are acknowledged as being of the utmost importance, but the subject has not been extensively pursued. There i s no doubt that i t i s of v i t a l concern p a r t i c u l a r l y when we r e a l i z e that 10% or less of the area of these parks provides suitable winter range for most ungulate species (Cowan 1950). The lack of active research of t h i s subject was acknowledged in a statement by Dr. Stelfox of the Canadian W i l d l i f e Service as recently as December 1974 when he said: - .62 -" It i s desirable to know the optimum number of sheep and other ungulates that a given range can support while s t i l l maintaining vegetation and s o i l i n a productive state. However the problem of determining grazing or carrying capacity i s d i f f i c u l t and controversial because of the fluc t u a t i n g physical dynamics of environmental factors such as weather and i n t e r s p e c i f i c competition and because "optimum" capacity i s largely dependent on management objectives." (Stelfox 1974 b) He goes on to suggest that "because of the tremendous annual variations of forage production and winter severity, a study designed to explore the range ecology of wild ungulates should span several years to account for the major short-term variations in both the b i o t i c and a b i o t i c elements "of land-use objectives." (Stelfox 1974 b). These comments were included i n the introduction and objectives of a paper e n t i t l e d "Range Ecology of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep i n Canadian National Parks" published following a study on s i x winter grassland ranges during 1967^-1973, and indicate, that there are s t i l l many years of study to be carried out. This was a substantial study, probably as comprehensive as anything completed to date on the subject i n the Rocky Mountain National Parks, but i t posed as many questions and pointed to as many areas that s t i l l require research, as i t provided answers. Nevertheless, the author was unable to locate any other study which dealt with the subject i n an equal amount of d e t a i l . - 63 ~ This i s a sad r e f l e c t i o n on the lack of appreciation by Parks Canada of the importance of the subject, p a r t i c u l a r l y when thi s same study reported that "a cursory examination of several winter ranges and ungulate populations using them revealed that i n general Jasper ranges were over-grazed and i n poor condition; Banff ranges were moderate -heavily grazed and i n f a i r condition." Surprisingly, the author found that no research had been undertaken i n either Yoho or Kootenay parks on large mammal-hanitat relationships or on the carrying capacity of winter and summer ranges within the parks. Granted these two parks are small, but how can viable populations of the large mammals be managed and sustained i f there i s no knowledge of t h e i r habitat requirements, or the a v a i l a b i l i t y of suitable winter range areas? Of equal importance to that of mammal-habitat relationships i s the competition between two or more diffe r e n t species for the same or very s i m i l a r habitat. Thus, elk have proven to be vigorous competitors with bighorn sheep and mule deer i n both Banff and Jasper parks because of t h e i r a b i l i t y either to graze or to browse. When th e i r low elevation habitat deteriorates because of forest succession due to the virorous implementation of f i r e controls by the park authorities, they compete with mule deer and moose in these areas for what remains, or move into higher elevations - 64- -and compete with bighorn sheep for the available grasses and grass-like plants. Being the more hardy and adaptable species the elk frequently appears to be the winner i n t h i s form of i n t e r s p e c i f i c competition. Park o f f i c i a l s attempted to introduce a balancing force by i n i t i a t i n g annual elk k i l l s which were only p a r t i a l l y successful, but i t i s now accepted that a more e f f e c t i v e balance may be maintained by l e t t i n g natural predators such as wolves do the job. From 1943 to 1946 Stelfox(1973) showed that i n Jasper park elk comprised 47% of the wolf's annual diet, mule deer comprised 15%. Bighorn sheep were seldom hunted by wolves. There has been some research conducted by the Canadian W i l d l i f e Service on t h i s subject i n Jasper Park (Stelfox 1974 a). This study correlated seasonal d i s t r i b u t i o n s of caribou and elk to elevation, exposure, habitat type and weather, and documented the degree of range overlap and potential areas of c o n f l i c t between the two species. It demonstrated quite conclusively that elk have encroached extensively on t r a d i t i o n a l caribou summer ranges, and the park authorities were j u s t i f i e d i n expressing concern for the future welfare of caribou populations i n the park. It concluded that "additional information on the abundance, d i s t r i b u t i o n , reproductive rates, behaviour and diets of caribou and elk should be obtained on important caribou ranges for several more years to strengthen the information obtained from 1971 to 1973". Meanwhile the caribou - 65 -population continues to decline and i s now estimated to be something less than 200 or only about 20% of the elk population, whereas t h e i r numbers were approximately equal i n the 1940's. - 66 ~ DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS This study outlines some of the knowledge and s c i e n t i f i c procedures required for the management of large mammal populations i n w i l d l i f e reserves, and the c r i t e r i a for national parks to be established as w i l d l i f e reserves. F i n a l l y , i t examines the actual management practices of Parks Canada respecting the populations of large mammals in the Rocky Mountain parks. In summary the major conclusions regarding the status of these parks as w i l d l i f e reserves are as follows. The Rocky Mountain parks cannot be considered as meeting the basic c r i t e r i a for w i l d l i f e reserves. Indexed they were not "set aside for the propagation, protection and preservation of wild animal l i f e and wild vegetation" as c a l l e d for by the 19 33 London Convention (See Page 36), but instead were set aside as beautiful parts of Canada through which two trans-continental railways were being driven, and l a t e r two major highways. The p o l i c y of the government of the time required that these lands be developed for the "benefit" of a l l Canadians, and opened up for t o u r i s t use and enjoyment. Indeed, intensive development for tourism and recreation has been the p o l i c y orientation ever since. This contrasts with the increasingly popular attitude as expressed by Geist (1972): "One of - 67 -the major reasons for creation of national parks i s to give sanctuary to natural populations of large mammals." No thought was given to the establishment of boundaries based on biophysical c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which would embrace the migratory patterns of the large ungulates l i v i n g in the Rocky Mountain parks. This contrasts with the c r i t e r i o n established by the 1933 London Convention that parks should be " s u f f i c i e n t i n extent to cover, so far as possible, the migrations of the fauna preserved therein." (See Page 37). There i s ample evidence to suggest that i n the Rocky Mountain parks there are substantial migrations of animals across t h e i r boundaries both i n the Spring and the F a l l . Another requirement of the 1933 London Convention was that national parks should be surrounded by "intermediate zones under the control of the authorities of the park or reserve" (See Page 39). This would be a simple matter i f the parks were established to embrace the Summer and Winter ranges of the large ungulates. We have already seen that t h i s i s not the case i n the Rocky Mountain parks. Buffer zones can be provided within the parks to separate the range areas for recreational and other public oriented use. However, some ranges or migration routes cross the park boundaries and these buffer zones would have to be outside the parks. Park authorities should have control over these buffer - 68 -zones to enable them to supervise or l i m i t hunting beyond the park borders. At present they have no such control and i n fact acknowledge that hunting drives animals into the parks. The f i r s t evidence of any form of management of mammal populations i n the Rocky Mountain parks was the introduction of predator control at the turn of the century, since park authorities thought that predators were reducing ungulate populations to dangerously low l e v e l s . Present day knowledge now indicates that t h i s might not have been the case. The s i t u a t i o n became even more confused when the reduction i n predators was followed by an explosion i n the ungulate numbers. Despite the lack of evidence that there was a direct connection between the two events, i t was assumed that t h i s was so. An annual programme was implemented to reduce the numbers of elk i n the parks, as i t was thought that the population explosion was creating a severe reduction i n the a v a i l a b i l i t y of food and a deterioration of t h e i r normal habitat. We now recognise that a variety of factors control the size of mammal populations. Among these are weather, starvation, t r a f f i c deaths, predators, habitat deterioration and disease. These factors operate simultaneously with the re l a t i v e importance of each varying under di f f e r e n t - 69 -conditions i n t r i n s i c and e x t r i n s i c to the populations. Our primary concern must be that our knowledge and understanding of what i s happening i s limited, and there i s l i t t l e information available on which good predictive management decisions can be based. An e s s e n t i a l t o o l for good b i o l o g i c a l management i s the a v a i l a b i l i t y of accurate population s t a t i s t i c s kept over a s u f f i c i e n t l y long period of time to show trends, but at the same time eliminate s t a t i s t i c a l "noise". Once collected, an examination of t h i s information may provide park authorities with a p a r t i a l understanding of the relationships between the many factors influencing mammal populations and suggest hypotheses that can be tested experimentally. This w i l l ultimately permit recommendations as to how these populations or relevant components of habitat might be manipulated to offset the human influences which are constantly increasing i n the Rocky Mountain parks. Unfortunately, the author found l i t t l e evidence in park records that t h i s type of s t a t i s t i c a l data has been accumulated. There i s a strong f e e l i n g among many of the personnel i n the i n d i v i d u a l parks that t h i s i s what should 1 be done, but they have i n s u f f i c i e n t s t a f f to do t h i s work and instead the major stress has been on managing people in t h e i r many park related a c t i v i t i e s . - 70 -P a r a l l e l with the assembly of population s t a t i s t i c s park authorities should be c o l l e c t i n g records of other important factors which influence large mammals, t h e i r environment and l i v i n g patterns. Stelfox (1974 b) i n his study of the periodic die of f s of bighorn sheep i n the Rocky Mountain parks recognised that predator control, i n t e r s p e c i f i c competition, severe Winter and/or Spring weather, Winter range deterioration, and the development of climax forests due to f i r e control a l l contributed to population declines. What i s not understood i s the r e l a t i v e importance of each of these factors and how they contribute to the die o f f s when they occur. Park authorities now recognise that f i r e i s one of nature's ess e n t i a l tools to provide early successional growth needed as feed by ungulates. The F i r s t World Conference on National Parks i n 1962 (Page 40), stressed the importance of f i r e as a management t o o l . To date no e f f o r t has been made by Parks Canada to use t h i s method to regenerate old Summer and Winter ranges which have reached a la t e successional stage. As a consequence the Winter ranges i n the Bow and Athabasca valleys are becoming smaller and more heavily used. Knowledge i s available i n park and other records and relevant l i t e r a t u r e which can be studied to assess the degree to which unchecked forest succession has changed the quality and quantity of Summer and Winter ranges. Such a study Would highlight the c o n f l i c t between a policy which requires the suppression of f i r e for public reasons, and the need to l e t f i r e s take t h e i r course as a natural phenomenon i f h i s t o r i c ranges are to be regenerated. It has been recognised that a substantial number of animals are k i l l e d every year by both highway and r a i l r o a d t r a f f i c , the former being the most serious. Animals are attracted to highway and r a i l r o a d areas for a number of reasons. They frequent_the highways i n the Summer to forage on the exotic grasses i n the road shoulders, and i n the Winter to look for road s a l t . In the Winter they use both the highways and the railroads as a means of getting from place to place because snowploughing makes movement easier. What i s not known i s whether these man produced losses are having a s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t on the animal populations affected. Animals, p a r t i c u l a r l y ungulates, are also naturally attracted to t r a i l s made throughout the backcountry by back-packers and t r a i l - r i d e r s . In fact i n most cases i t i s impossible to distinguish between animal and human t r a i l s -the at t r a c t i o n to them i s mutual. This a t t r a c t i o n should be recognised i n the long range planning of the parks. Areas of public use must be planned to meet the need to permit viewing of wild l i f e by the public, but i t must be recognised that human habitation opens up the countryside - 72 -creating conditions a t t r a c t i v e to the animals. Planners w i l l , therefore, have to accept that compromises must be struck. The Rocky Mountain parks have been much affected by transportation corridors and management accent on intensive recreation. This i s in direct c o n f l i c t with the recommendation of the 1933 London Committee (Page 36) which suggests only that " f a c i l i t i e s s h a l l ....be given to the general public for observing the fauna and f l o r a of the National Parks". These f a c i l i t i e s are a form of recreation, but the extensive access which the public has today throughout the parks was never anticipated. The back country and more mountainous areas of the Rocky Mountain parks are being increasingly used by backpackers, t r a i l r i d e r s and mountaineers. In contrast to the requirements of a w i l d l i f e reserve, s a t i s f a c t i o n of recreational and t o u r i s t demand has had top p r i o r i t y : the public takes f i r s t place and nature comes second in the parks. This applies equally to the manner i n which the s t a f f of Parks Canada are used. There are i n s u f f i c i e n t wardens to police the townsites, camp s i t e s , and highways as well as patrol the backcountry to protect the most sensitive Winter ranges and watch for poachers. - 73 -Knowledge of the s e n s i t i v i t y of ungulate species to human interference and how they w i l l adapt to man-made disturbance i s not f u l l y understood. Development of the back country areas in the Rocky Mountain parks w i l l undoubtedly continue but i t should be done with a recognition that animals can be susceptible to some kinds of human a c t i v i t y but are quite unaffected by others. In addition, these animals can habituate to certain human a c t i v i t y and interference. This study has suggested controlled, „ comparative experiments which might be c a r r i e d out on both mammal populations and t h e i r habitats. It has also reviewed means whereby changes which they experience should be monitored. In t h i s manner knowledge w i l l be accumulated, and park authorities w i l l be better equipped to undertake management programmes. Reference has been made i n t h i s thesis to the relationship between predator and prey species. Protection of wolves and allowing t h e i r numbers to increase i n both Banff and Jasper parks has added an additional form of mortality to the elk, deer and moose populations, but there i s no evidence that t h i s i s causing t h e i r numbers to decline. Over an extended period of time a co r r e l a t i o n may develop between wolf numbers, the numbers of t h e i r prey, and changes i n habitat and climate conditions. B i o l o g i s t s now recognise that i f there i s a dramatic drop i n the numbers of prey species, wolves and other predators are - 74 -unlikely to be the cause and predator control would not again be resorted to by the park authorities. However, th i s form of management decision requires the assembly of good s t a t i s t i c a l data and careful monitoring over many years to ensure i t i s made with conviction and can be backed up. People related f a c i l i t i e s are constantly being expanded i n the Rocky Mountain Parks. New camp s i t e s are planned, additional roads are proposed, and consideration i s being given to expanding s k i areas. Before proceeding with any of these f a c i l i t i e s the areas to be used should be checked to ensure that they do not involve Summer or Winter ranges of ungulates, or impinge on migratory patterns. This w i l l be made much easier i f Parks Canada have up to date zoning maps which accurately record the location of these ranges and migratory routes. However, i t must be recognised that these can change from year to year because animals move about and successional change encourages t h i s movement. If i t appears that c o n f l i c t s may develop between the needs of people and mammals then some form of i s o l a t i o n and monitoring must be undertaken f i r s t . This can take the form of fencing areas to be affected, and then studying the mammal populations in the neighbourhood to see i f depriving them of these areas in any way upsets t h e i r l i v i n g patterns, comparing what happens with controlled areas where no such i s o l a t i o n has taken place. - 75 -Results obtained may be inconclusive but at least an e f f o r t should be made to secure information which might help park authorities i n t h e i r decision making. RECOMMENDATIONS Having reviewed the management p o l i c i e s and practices of Parks Canada i n the Rocky Mountain parks, the following recommendations are made based on the premises that: 1. there i s indeed scope for improvement i n the management of the large mammals and t h e i r relationship with people i n these parks. 2. Parks Canada recognises i t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s to improve i t s management techniques. 3. there w i l l be public support f o r the changes proposed. RECOMMENDATION. 1 Parks Canada should c l a r i f y i t s policy and declare i t s intent to manage s c i e n t i f i c a l l y the populations of large mammals i n the Rocky Mountain Parks, and to integrate the management of the w i l d l i f e resource with that of the other resources of the parks for human recreation use. RECOMMENDATION 2 Parks Canada must recognise that for e c o l o g i c a l l y - 77 sound management the lour parks should be treated as a continguous whole. RECOMMENDATION 3 Ecological management requires that, to the extent possible, the boundaries of the four parks and the zones within them be based on biophysical r e a l i t i e s . RECOMMENDATION 4 Parks Canada should negotiate with P r o v i n c i a l authorities and private owners for changes i n park boundaries required to conform with the key areas revealed through Recommendation 6. Any necessary i n t e r i o r zoning changes w i l l be made at the same time. RECOMMENDATION 5 A long term s c i e n t i f i c programme should be established for the c o l l e c t i o n and analysis of population data for both ungulates and t h e i r predators. The c o l l e c t i o n of t h i s data w i l l be systematic both as to time and place according to s c i e n t i f i c methods. These data should be broken down into: - 78 -Population numbers. Sex and age d i s t r i b u t i o n . F e r t i l i t y . B i r t h rates. Mortality of the young. Adult mortality. Data on ungulate and predator populations should be compared and correlated with data c o l l e c t e d for range conditions, climate and t r a f f i c k i l l s in order to establish long term trends i n population sizes, and provide a basis for determining p r i n c i p a l population control mechanisms. RECOMMENDATION 6 Using e x i s t i n g records and the information assembled in the course of data c o l l e c t i o n for Recommendation 5, Parks Canada should es t a b l i s h the extent of Summer and Winter ranges of important populations of ungulates, and the i r migration routes. This information should be mapped and key areas i d e n t i f i e d . A monitoring programme should be established to document changes i n the quantity and quality of these ranges. RECOMMENDATION 7 Using the information co l l e c t e d i n Recommendation 6 and studying photographic and other records for the past f i f t y years, Parks Canada should investigate changes i n quantity and qual i t y of Summer and Winter ranges brought about by community succession. RECOMMENDATION 8 Parks Canada should study the f e a s i b i l i t y of controlled burn experiments i n areas that h i s t o r i c a l l y may have provided Summer and Winter range, to rel i e v e the pressure on the Bow and Athabasca v a l l e y s . This may also require that Parks Canada expand i t s public education programme and demonstration projects concerning the use of f i r e , and other " r a d i c a l " management techniques. (This i s already being done i n Kootenay park at the s i t e of the Vermillion Pass natural f i r e ) , RECOMMENDATION 9 The evidence suggests that ungulate species adapt read i l y to various forms of disturbance by man, and. that management of the parks, for large mammals may be compatible with management for c e r t a i n desirable recreational a c t i v i t i e s . To test, t h i s hypothesis Parks Canada should select areas of si m i l a r s i z e containing populations of approximately the same number of animals, and conduct controlled experiments i n which undisturbed areas are compared over time with experimental areas i n - 80 -which access and a c t i v i t i e s are known and t h e i r impacts monitored. This w i l l provide the basis of planning for future recreational development compatible with the objective of ungulate management. - 8 t -Early form of Warden's W i l d l i f e Observation Card. i o" O G O 4 2 1 b o o c 7 4 2 1 O 0 7 4 o o 2 1 "o~o "o o 7 4 2 1 G •') O 0 7 4 2 1 G O O O 7 4 2 1 o o o o 7 4 ^ 2 1 \ s i 2 7 | 2 6 | 2 5 2 4 | 2 3 [ 2 2 | 21 2 0 | 1 9 | 1 8 J 17 16 | 1 5 | 14 | 1 3 12 | 11 | 10 9 8 | 7 | 6 | S 4 | 3 | | 1 O O O Q 1 7 4 2 1," CM m N P C 132 (4 -70) 7 5 3 0 - 2 1 - 0 2 3 - 8 4 2 3 P A R K - P A R C O B S E R V E R - O B S E R V A T E U R "0 O O O Q 1 7 4 2 1," Y E A R - A N N E E D A T E S P E C I E S • E S P E C E A G E N U M B E R . N O M B R E M A R K E D M A R Q U E CO cn Ul "0 "0 NG -0 O O O Q 1 7 4 2 1," 0 + 7 O O O Q 1 7 4 2 1," L O C A T I O N - E N D R O I T N E W . B O R N N O U V E A U - N E ; o -: o -O Nin U) CO o> o O B S E R V A T I O N S O + 1 + & u ro 'O Q Q OI 7 4 2 1 J-A D U L T A D U L T E 'O Q Q OI 7 4 2 1 J-W E A T H E R C O N D I T I O N S A T M O S P H E R 1 Q U E S T I M E - H E U R E T O T A L 'O Q Q OI 7 4 2 1 J-. I z I « I • S | 9 - | L |.8 6 | 01 | 11 | Z l E l | V I | 91 | 9 1 L\ 81 1 61 1 O Z IZ 1 Z Z I £ Z t-Z S Z | 9 Z | LZ o ,o V -C I Z t L © G O O I Z V L O O 0 o I Z V L O G G 0 L Z t I O 0 0 0 I Z f L Q e o o I Z f L o o 0 © 1 Z V 0 o o 0 Warden's National W i l d l i f e Observation Card used i n Kootenay Park. 0 BIOPHYSICAL WILDLIFE DATA FORM 3 WARDEN SERVICE INFORMATION HOUR DAY 1 , 1 , 1 MON YEAR OBS OBS , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 PARK , . , 1 1 16 OBS# S 1 , I I , GENERAL AREA , TOPO , 1 , 1 17 32 UTM MAP 1 , , , , COORDS ELEV £ < • 1 , , i 1 HAB SNOW (CM) , 1 . . 1 33 h3 SPECIES NUMBER OBSERVED Total Adult Juvs Unk * . ¥ YOY YLY _i i i _ . 50 -j i i_ 66 67 Behav iour : Feed Rest Both Drink Trave l U ck R-ut 68 Snow C r u s t : None U g h t Med Hard 69 Water d i s t : Near Med Far 70 Water t ype : Run SJough Pond Lake 71 T r k s / P e l l : None Few Mod Abund £nk 72 Forg Tp: Brow F_orb Gras Moss Unk B P I 3 77 __- 80 F i r s t Draft BIOPHYSICAL WILDLIFE DATA FORM 3 WARDEN SERVICE INFORMATION hour l _ day' I DATE • mon. .-year officer _ J L_ park l _ obs I WATERSHED a. I < I elev 16 topo. 1 I 1 I 17 UTM COORDS • east ' I I 1 north J l_ hab 1 snow (cm) 32 species 33 TOTAL UNK ADULT unk d" 2 49 » J U V yoy yly J L JL 50 66 67 Behovtour: Feed Rest Both Drink Travel. Lick rUt Maul dEn/nest 68 Snow Crusts None Light . Med Hard 69 Water Dist: Near Med Far 70 Water Type : Run Slough Pond' Lake. 71 Sign: N0ne One .Few Mod .Abund Unk. ' • -72 Food Typ'e: Brow Forb Gross Mix Unk 73 Mortality:* -_Rr Hwy Pr'ed Di s Winter pOach Un* , B . P . I . 3 . 77 . 80 F i n a l Draft Warden's W i l d l i f e Observation Cards used to assemble information for summary by computer. - 83 -BIBLIOGRAPHY CARBYN, L. N. (1974) Wolf Population Fluctuations i n Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. B i o l o g i c a l Conservation. Vol. 6. No. 2. A p r i l 1974, pp. 94 - 101 CARSON, R. (1948) Guarding our W i l d l i f e Resources. Washington: Department of the Inte r i o r , Fish and W i l d l i f e Service, 1948 CAUGHLEY, G. (1976) W i l d l i f e Management and the Dynamics of Ungulate Populations. In: Applied Biology, Vol. 1. Ed. T.H. Coaker. Academic Press, New York, ( i n press) COLEMAN, J.R.B. (1964) Government Policy on National Parks. Address to the National Parks Management Symposium, conducted i n conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Audubon Society held on.March 14th 1964. In: Canadian Audubon 26:3 pp. 88-90. COWAN, I. McT. (1950) Some v i t a l s t a t i s t i c s of bi g game on overstocked mountain range. Trans. N.American W i l d l i f e Conference. 15: pp. 581-588 COWAN, I. McT. (1965) Management, Response and Variety. In Future Environments of North America. pp. 55-65. Ed: Darling, F.F., and Milton, J.P. Natural History Press: New York. COWAN, I. McT. (1968) The Role of Ecology i n the National Parks. In Canadian Parks i n Perspective (Ed. J.G.Nelson and R.C.Scace) pp. 321-328 Harvest House Limited: Montreal. CRISLER, L. (1958) A r c t i c Wild. pp. 301. Harper: New York. CURRY-LINDAHL, K. and HARROY, J-P. (1972) National Parks of the World, Vol.1, pp. 217. Golden Press: New York. DAY, D., ZINKAN, C., WICKWARE, G., (1975) A M u l t i - D i s c i p l i n a r y Approach to Resource Inventory i n National Parks, pp. 9. Unpublished report for Parks Canada. DIAMOND, J.M. (1975) The Island Dilema: Lesson of Modern Biogeographic Studies, for the design of Natural Reserves. B i o l . Conserv: (7) 1975. pp. 129-146 FLOOK, D.R. (1962) Range Relationships of some Ungulates native to Banff and Jasper National Parks, Alberta. Paper presented at symposium on grazing held by B r i t i s h E c o l o g i c a l Society at Bangor, North Wales, A p r i l 11-14, 1962. pp. 14. GEIST, V. (1972) On the Management of Large Mammals i n National Parks. Park News. Vol. 8 No. 4 pp. 8-15 and Vol. 8, No. 5. pp. 16-25. HABER, G.C., WALTERS, C.J. and COWAN, I.Mc.T. (1976) S t a b i l i t y Properties of a Wolf-Ungulate System i n Alaska and Management Implications. 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