We give your research a head start with data-focused field services
Successful research projects are built from the ground up. Knowledge of the study animals, understanding analytical requirements and the importance of data integrity, and providing the capacity to implement all aspects of field projects in a thoughtful, efficient and safe manner are fundamental to our approach.
Population Inventories and Presence-Absence Surveys
Our approach to designing and conducting effective population inventories is to integrate knowledge of behavioural ecology, sampling design, and survey techniques to maximize the value of inventory results. Building on standardized inventory methods, we focus on improving confidence in survey results using mark-resight, stratified sampling, and repeated sampling techniques. Our experience with advanced statistical analyses helps to ensure that survey design will meet project objectives.
Animal Capture and Handling
Animal captures are a fundamental component of many research projects, and capture efforts have implications for the success of the project as a whole. Because sampling distributions can have profound effects on research results, capture crews should be intimately familiar with the focal species’ behavioural ecology and the project design, to ensure that project objectives can be met.
We have professional training in handling and chemical immobilization of wildlife, and certification in backpack electrofishing. We emphasize safe and humane techniques, building on standard protocols approved by wildlife veterinarians and animal care committees.
We recognize both the importance of maintaining sample integrity and the value of maximizing data collection opportunities when handling animals. We ensure careful preparation, recording and management of biological data and have experience with a range of standard collections. We provide all standard sampling tools and supplies, using appropriate storage media, tissue preservatives, and shipping procedures to get samples safely to labs and long-term storage facilities.
Field and Lab-Based Necropsy for Animal Health Assessments
Field post-mortem investigations and lab analysis of fish and wildlife tissues provide valuable insights to animal health. We have considerable wildlife mortality investigation and necropsy experience, primarily for large-scale research projects on Stone’s sheep, mountain goats, northern caribou, moose and wolves. Our facilities include lab space with ample deep-freeze storage, sampling tools, standard supplies, and tissue preservatives.
Aerial and Ground-Based Radiotracking
We have been working on fish and wildlife radiotelemetry projects continuously since 1998, primarily in mountain environments where weather and topography present unique challenges for telemetry. In addition to mobile ground and aerial telemetry, we have used fixed base station telemetry systems for terrestrial and aquatic monitoring.
Opportunities for remote data collection are becoming more accessible with technological innovation. We have experience managing a wide range of dataloggers, from backcountry camera traps and vehicle counters to telemetry systems and alpine weather stations supported by alternative power systems.
Our Safety and Training Policies
Crew safety is of paramount importance in our work. We have detailed check-in and emergency response protocols; remote communications systems; safety equipment for all tasks; first aid and survival kits; and back-country experience in all weather conditions.
Combined, our lead personnel have >800 hours working in helicopters, including hot landings, hover exits, and long-lining external loads, and >500 hours in fixed-wing aircraft. We have also developed extensive safe work procedures and protocols regularly reviewed and updated by all staff.
We stay current with standard practices and procedures for:
▪ Wildlife capture and handling techniques, including blood and tissue sampling and use of anaesthetics
▪ Fish capture and handling techniques, including use of anaesthetics
▪ Recognizing and preventing transmission of fish and wildlife diseases and parasites
▪ Recognizing and preventing transmission of contaminants and invasive species
▪ Proper management, storage, and transport of biological samples
▪ New technologies in animal detection, marking and monitoring