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 Wiledlife Biology, Biodiversity & Threatened Species
Wildlife and biodiversity are valued in our society as economic, cultural, scientific, and aesthetic resources. The general public supports and ultimately demands adequate protection of wildlife populations and habitats. As public support grows, professional services and opinion related to wildlife, biodiversity and threatened species become increasingly important in decision-making. For many years, IRIS has provided and continues to offer a combination of scientific expertise to address many of the issues arising.
Wildlife resources are becoming increasingly sensitive as multiple land-use practices place pressure on populations and habitats. Developments may result in the loss or fragmentation of critical habitat, ultimately affecting local and regional populations. Therefore, planners, designers, and resource managers require adequate information on wildlife to assist decision-making in relation to development and land use. New legislation in Canada (the Species At Risk Act), as well as existing international legislation and conventions (e.g., the United States Endangered Species Act; the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the Biodiversity Convention) have made the protection of wildlife a legal requirement.
At the core of IRIS’ services are inventory, impact assessment, impact mitigation and project design. Evaluating wildlife resources for these purposes is complex, requiring high levels of specialization. Scientific collection and analysis of related data is the hallmark of sound wildlife management and decision-making. IRIS' staff and associates have the expertise and experience needed in many areas of wildlife research, management, and mitigation, both domestically and internationally. We have extensive experience with various taxonomic groups and species such as ungulates, carnivores, avifauna, small mammals, amphibians and reptiles. IRIS conducts population surveys, habitat and corridor modeling, habitat evaluations and suitability models, statistical and cumulative effects analyses. IRIS uses the latest analytical and GIS technologies as tools to assist in presenting these techniques and subsequent decision-making.

Baseline Studies and Inventories

Baseline studies are essential for wildlife management, impact assessments, and monitoring. IRIS has qualified wildlife biologists, each with the requisite skills and experience. For impact assessments, such experience is critical for the study scoping and public consultation stages, when the key issues, limits to study, and relevance of data to objectives are established. IRIS personnel are leaders in these endeavours.

GIS Mapping and Modelling

Ecological data create large information bases, and can be expensive to collect. Without the ability to classify, store, retrieve and apply the information to problem-solving, the information may not be useful. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) provides a means to manage, continually use and upgrade information. IRIS uses GIS for applications such as wildlife habitat mapping and modelling, cumulative impact assessments, and animal home ranges.
List of Services:
  • Inventory Studies
  • Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) in compliance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA)
  • Screenings and consultation regarding the new Species at Risk Act (SARA) in Canada
  • Planning, impact assessments, and mitigation strategies related to forestry, oil and gas, ski hills and resorts, roads/linear developments, and urban projects
  • Protected area management and planning
  • Cumulative effects assessments
  • Habitat evaluation and suitability modelling
  • Population surveys and analysis
  • Radio-telemetry, home range analysis and behavioural studies relating to disturbance
  • GIS modelling and mapping of wildlife habitat, home ranges, corridors, etc.
  • Wildlife-related risk assessments
  • Study design and monitoring programs
  • The ecology and behaviour of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles
  • Experience in boreal, arctic, montane, tropical, and prairie ecosystems

Other Related Services Include:

  • Public Consultation
  • Multidisciplinary studies that integrate wildlife, social, economic, and other biophysical aspects
  • Working with First Nations
  • Natural history interpretation
  • Environmental contaminants and wildlife
  IRIS' Alberta-based First Nations projects can be conducted through our Joint Venture aboriginal business, Harmony Walkers Inc.  
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