Eleanor Stern

McGill University
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Murray Humphries
Jeffrey Cardille
Start: 2020-09-01
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The impacts of an Adapted Forestry Regime on moose habitat use assessed with local knowledge, GPS collars, and mixed-source modelling
I aim to study habitat use of an important moose population under forestry regime in northern Quebec. This project, co-developed by a steering committee including the Cree Nation Government, the Government of Quebec, the Cree Quebec Forestry Board, and McGill University, will help to address pressing concerns of the communities within the Eeyou Istchee Cree traditional territory. Eeyou Istchee (also known as the James Bay area) is an area in which moose are a pressing concern due to their cultural, dietary, and intrinsic importance. Moose in this region are critical to food security, traditional cultural and social activities, and access to necessary resources for many people in the region who live off the land or participate in seasonal hunting. Significant forestry activities in the area have caused changes to moose habitat due to past clearcutting, and in the past two decades the Adapted Forestry Regime (the AFR) was put into place with the aim of reducing negative impacts and fostering moose habitat. Since then, no verification has been done to assess whether it has been successful, while the local Cree communities continue to raise concerns about moose. My objective is to produce a habitat model for moose in Eeyou Istchee based on GPS collar data, Cree expert knowledge, and land-cover information to assess how moose are living in the AFR. The project aims to develop Habitat Suitability Models (HSM), which will provide information about which areas of Eeyou Istchee are most heavily used by moose, indicating whether the AFR is actually producing quality habitat as intended. This will be done by modeling the relationship between moose locations collected from GPS collars, landscape and habitat characteristics, and consulting Cree moose experts on habitat requirements and use.


wildlife, moose, habitat