In 2007, Environment Canada developed a Scientific Review aimed at informing the identification of boreal caribou critical habitat under the National Recovery Strategy. The final report entitled “Scientific Review for the Identification of Critical Habitat for Woodland Caribou, Boreal Population, in Canada”, was released in 2008.

Following the release of the 2008 report, additional scientific activities were identified to refine and further inform the identification of boreal caribou critical habitat. I worked with Mark Hebblewhite in the fall of 2010 to generate a national habitat selection model for boreal woodland caribou in Canada. The habitat selection analysis was developed to provide information on the types of habitat that are preferred and/or avoided by boreal caribou. The specific research objectives were to 1) develop a detailed methodology for determining habitat selection (avoided and preferred) by boreal caribou; 2) apply selected methodology; and 3) cross-validate final habitat selection models at different spatial scales across the extent of occurrence of boreal caribou in Canada.

The final results of the resource selection analysis (RSF models) were used in a meta-analysis that analyzed caribou demographic data and habitat variables to determine the range-specific disturbance thresholds to identify critical habitat. These results can be found in the 2011 update of the scientific review.