CASE STUDY: BATHURST CARIBOU HERD POPULATION DECLINE IN NORTHERN CANADA

Major changes in barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) habitat around the circumpolar north are leading to significant population declines (Vors and Boyce, 2009). There is no singular global driver of these declines. Herds are experiencing a mix of local, regional, and hemispheric anthropogenic and climate-driven changes that can alter caribou ecology (Post and Forchhammer, 2008; Vors and Boyce, 2009; Rickbeil et al., 2017; Zamin et al., 2017). In Canada’s north, barren-ground, caribou habitat has recently been subject to two principal drivers of change: intensification and expansion of industrial land uses; and climate warming and resultant changes to eco-hydrological processes (Joly et al., 2011).

The Bathurst caribou herd (BCH) traverses a range from their calving grounds on Bathurst Inlet south to their winter range north of Great Slave Lake. The BCH is an integral part of the cultural and spiritual lives of the ThchQ peoples who have lived with the herd for centuries. Population surveys have estimated a decline of over 95%, from over 470,000 animals in the 1980s to less than 10,000 in the most recent estimates (ENR, 2020).

Without a single known cause for the decline, management “solutions” must be locally embedded within the cultural communities that interact with the herd and its range. The Government of Northwest Territories (GNWT) has

Proposed conceptual model applied to Bathurst caribou herd population decline in Northwest Territories, Canada

FIGURE 8.3 Proposed conceptual model applied to Bathurst caribou herd population decline in Northwest Territories, Canada.

regulatory responsibility for the herd. Natural resource management decisions of GWNT must recognize traditional knowledge as a “valid and essential source of information about the natural environment and its resources” (GNWT Traditional Knowledge Policy, 2005). In our Eco-Healthscape model for the herd (Figure 8.3), it is essential to consider which actors are involved in each variable and how they might be engaged to achieve healthier outcomes. For instance, ThchQ communities in and around the winter range have long hunted and monitored the herd. Yet, with declines, modernization, loss of traditional ways of living, these “eyes on the land” need bolstering through targeted investments and resources to get local people involved in monitoring the herd. Such culturally integrated monitoring might then lead to insights that direct resource extraction and hunting regulations. Indigenous governments are indeed taking these steps. The EkwQ Naxoede K’e: Boots on the Ground Programme developed by the TljcliQ government, for example, focuses on field monitoring in the BCH summer range and “everything that relates to them” - focusing on four broad indicators: (1) habitat, (2) caribou, (3) predators, and (4) industrial development (TljcliQ Research and Training Institute, 2019). Such Indigenous-led stewardship is a viable means for conservation of ecosystem integrity and individual populations (Hunter, 2008; Artelle et ah, 2019).

Scientific management and monitoring, including GWNT ungulate biologists, data analysts, academic researchers, consultants, etc., remain essential components of research and monitoring herd size, habitat quality, and developing actionable insights into BCH management and recovery. The GNWT traditional knowledge implementation programme is helping to build a community of conservation with indigenous communities and scientific staff. Thus, when controversial control measures such as a total hunting ban are proposed, as was the case in 2016, they are more acceptable by both scientific and indigenous communities than would otherwise be the case. These proactive approaches, rooted in co-management, relationship building, and culturally integrated health promotion, reveal promising tools for an Eco-Healthscape approach.

CONCLUSIONS

Practical Considerations in Taking an Eco-Healthscape Approach

The complexity involved in understanding and taking action that changes health outcomes in favour of a group of species is staggering. There will be no statistical recipe or data analytic approach that will work in every context. We have, however, identified several key practical considerations when considering how to employ space and place thinking across species boundaries.

1. Getting the scale(s) right

The geographic scale(s) of health promotion activities is critically important. When attempting to translate a finding about, for example, features of the landscape (e.g. edge habitat) impacting disease risk, one must consider the magnitude of this feature in a given locale, and how people already interact with such features and how people’s experiences and activities relate to the landscape configuration. If human-modified aspects of the landscape relate to the population health, consider how to engage with local cultural communities shaping those places rather than through generic messaging.

2. Isolating key variables without reducing complexity

While any given Eco-Healthscape context necessarily includes a multitude of species and their internal and external factors, it becomes important to isolate key variables that create conditions for health. For example, while “climate change” may be a driver of ecosystem change and community response(s), tracking changes in temperature may not be the most effective means to understand or impact future health states. What data can be collected or analysis performed that maximizes coverage of key processes? In the case study above, while Indigenous-led stewardship may not reduce threats, they will inform on key internal variables, and do so in a way that can incentivize future actions.

3. Developing generic data synthesis tools

The most important data analytic task that will facilitate Eco-Healthscape research is developing tools for data integration. Given that data are frequently repurposed to look at spatial and platial associations with health, bringing data into a common representation is critical. Often, data integration is akin to mapping spatial data onto specific units of analysis, for example census units or ecozones. Generic data representations, such as pixel arrays, or functions of space such as Delaunay triangulations, can provide consistent, reproducible tools for bringing disparate datasets into a common spatial fabric. Discrete global grid system is an emerging geographic data standard that can also serve as an intermediate data integration node (Robertson et al„ 2020). Given the need to mobilize analytical results across different user communities, having clearly documented data collection, integration, and analysis procedures is important.

REFERENCES

Artelle, Kyle A., Melanie Zurba. Jonaki Bhattacharrya. Diana E. Chan. Kelly Brown. Jess Housty. and Faisal Moola. “Supporting Resurgent Indigenous-Led Governance: A Nascent Mechanism for Just and Effective Conservation.” Biological Conservation, 240. (2019): 108284.

Best. Phillip J.. and Lucien T. Thompson. “Persistence, Reticence, and Opportunism of Place-Field Activity in Hippocampal Neurons.” Psychobiology, 17. no. 3 (1989): 236-246.

Burke, Sarah M.. and Neil Mitchell. “People as Ecological Participants in Ecological Restoration." Restoration Ecology, 15. no. 2 (2007): 348-350.

Conradson. David. “Landscape. Care and the Relational Self: Therapeutic Encounters in Rural England." Health and Place, 11. no. 4 (2005): 337-348.

Cummins. S., and J. Fagg. “Does Greener Mean Thinner? Associations Between Neighbourhood Greenspace and Weight Status Among Adults in England.” International Journal of Obesity, 36. no. 8 (2012): 1108-1113.

Diaz, Sandra, Sebsebe Demissew, Julia Carabias. Carlos Joly. Mark Lonsdale. Neville Ash. Anne Larigauderie et al. “The IPBES Conceptual Framework: Connecting Nature and People.” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 14 (2015): 1-16.

Ekstrom. Arne D., Michael J. Kahana. Jeremy B. Caplan, Tony A. Fields, Eve A. Isham, Ehren L. Newman, and Itzhak Fried. “Cellular Networks Underlying Human Spatial Navigation." Nature, 425, no. 6954 (2003): 184-188.

Ekwq Naxoede K’e: Boots on the Ground Tlicho Research and Training Institute. (2019). Retrieved August 31,2020, from https://research.tlicho.ca/research/bootsontheground

Enticott, Gareth. “The Ecological Paradox: Social and Natural Consequences of the Geographies of Animal Health Promotion." Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 33, no. 4 (2008): 433-446.

Environment and Natural Resources. Government of the Northwest Territories. (2020.). Bathurst Herd [Information]. Retrieved August 31,2020. from https://www.enr.gov.nt .ca/en/node/670 https://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/en/services/barren-ground-caribou/bathurst- herd

Fletcher. Thomas, and Louise Platt. “(Just) a Walk with the Dog? Animal Geographies and Negotiating Walking Spaces.” Social and Cultural Geography, 19, no. 2 (2018): 211-229.

Gatrell, Anthony C. “Therapeutic Mobilities: Walking and ‘Steps’ to Wellbeing and Health." Health and Place, 22 (2013): 98-106.

Gesler. Wilbert M. "Therapeutic Landscapes: Medical Issues in Light of the New Cultural Geography." Social Science and Medicine, 34, no. 7 (1992): 735-746.

Gesler. Wilbert M., Matthew Hayes. Thomas A. Arcury, Anne H. Skelly, Sally Nash, and April C.M. Soward. “Use of Mapping Technology in Health Intervention Research.” Nursing Outlook, 52. no. 3 (2004): 142-146.

Gifford SM. “The Meaning of Lumps: A Case Study of the Ambiguities of Risk.” In: Janes CR. Stall R. Gifford SM (eds). Anthropology and Epidemiology. Dordrecht:

D. Reidel Publishing (1986): 213-46.

GNWT Traditional Knowledge Policy, 2005 https://www.eia.gov.nt.ca/sites/eia/files/ content/53.03-traditional-knowledge.pdf. (accessed October 2019).

Gorman, Richard. "Therapeutic Landscapes and Non-Human Animals: The Roles and Contested Positions of Animals within Care Farming Assemblages.” Social and Cultural Geography, 18. no. 3 (2017): 315-335.

Holmes. Elizabeth E.. Mark A. Lewis, J.E. Banks, and R.R. Veit. “Partial Differential Equations in Ecology: Spatial Interactions and Population Dynamics.” Ecology, 75, no. 1 (1994): 17-29.

Hunter, Troy. “Aboriginal Stewardship: A Better Way to Save the Mountain Caribou.” LawNow, 33, (2008): 51.

Jeansok. Kim J.. Hongjoo J. Lee. Adam C. Welday, EunYoung Song. Jeiwon Cho, Patricia

E. Sharp. Min W. Jung, et al. “Stress-Induced Alterations in Hippocampal Plasticity. Place Cells, and Spatial Memory.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104, no. 46 (2007): 18297-18302.

Joly, Kyle. David R. Klein. David L. Verbyla. T. Scott Rupp, and F. Stuart Chapin. III. “Linkages Between Large-Scale Climate Patterns and the Dynamics of Arctic Caribou Populations.” Ecography, 34. no. 2 (2011): 345-352.

Kaley. Alexandra. Chris Hatton, and Christine Milligan. “Therapeutic Spaces of Care Farming: Transformative or Ameliorating?” Social Science and Medicine, 227 (2019): 10-20.

Kearns. Robin A. “Place and Health: Towards a Reformed Medical Geography.” The Professional Geographer, 45, no. 2 (1993): 139-147.

Kearns. Robin, and Graham Moon. “From Medical to Health Geography: Novelty. Place and Theory After a Decade of Change.” Progress in Human Geography, 26, no. 5 (2002): 605-625.

Kickbusch. Ilona. “The Contribution of the World Health Organization to a New Public Health and Health Promotion.” American Journal of Public Health, 93. no. 3 (2003): 383-388.

King. B. 2010. Political Ecologies of Health. Progress in Human Geography 34 (1 ):38—55.

Kwan, Mei-Po. “The Uncertain Geographic Context Problem." Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 102. no. 5 (2012): 958-968.

Lambin, Eric F.. Annelise Tran, Sophie O. Vanwambeke, Catherine Linard. and Valerie Soti. “Pathogenic Landscapes: Interactions Between Land, People. Disease Vectors, and Their Animal Hosts.” International Journal of Health Geographies, 9. no. 1 (2010): 54.

Lewicka. Maria. “Place Attachment: How Far Have We Come in the Last 40 Years?” Journal of Environmental Psychology, 31. no. 3 (2011): 207-230.

Long. Jed A., and Trisalyn A. Nelson. “A Review of Quantitative Methods for Movement Data." International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 27. no. 2 (2013): 292-318.

Matthews, Stephen A. "Spatial Polygamy and the Heterogeneity of Place: Studying People and Place via Egocentric Methods.” in Communities, Neighborhoods, and Health (New York: Springer. 2011), 35-55.

Matthews, Stephen A., and Tse-Chuan Yang. “Spatial Polygamy and Contextual Exposures (Spaces) Promoting Activity Space Approaches in Research on Place and Health” American Behavioral Scientist, 57, no. 8 (2013): 1057-1081.

Mayer. Jonathan D. “Geography. Ecology and Emerging Infectious Diseases.” Social Science and Medicine, 50. no. 7-8 (2000): 937-952.

Meade, Melinda S. “Medical Geography.” The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behaviour, and Society (Hoboken. NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Ltd.. 2014): 1375-1381.

Mladenoff. David J. ‘The Promise of Landscape Modeling: Successes. Failures, and Evolution.” in Issues and Perspectives in Landscape Ecology, eds. John A. Wiens and Michael R. Moss (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 90-100.

Morita. Emi, S. Fukuda. Jun Nagano. N. Hamajima, H. Yamamoto, Y. Iwai. T. Nakashima. et al. “Psychological Effects of Forest Environments on Healthy Adults: Shinrin- Yoku (Forest-Air Bathing, Walking) as a Possible Method of Stress Reduction.” Public Health, 121, no. 1 (2007): 54-63.

Moser. Edvard I.. Emilio Kropff, and May-Britt Moser. “Place Cells. Grid Cells, and the Brain's Spatial Representation System." Annual Review of Neuroscience, 31 (2008): 69-89.

Moser. May-Britt. David C. Rowland, and Edvard I. Moser. “Place Cells. Grid Cells, and Memory.” Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, 7, no. 2 (2015): a021808.

Neely, Abigail H., and Alex M. Nading. “Global Health from the Outside: The Promise of Place-Based Research." Health and Place 45, (2017): 55-63.

O'Keefe. John, and D.H. Conway. “Hippocampal Place Units in the Freely Moving Rat: Why They Fire Where They Fire.” Experimental Brain Research, 31, no. 4 (1978): 573-590.

Pickett. Steward T.A., and Mary L. Cadenasso. ‘Landscape Ecology: Spatial Heterogeneity in Ecological Systems.” Science, 269. no. 5222 (1995): 331-334.

Post, Eric, and Mads C. Forchhammer. “Climate Change Reduces Reproductive Success of an Arctic Herbivore through Trophic Mismatch." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society В: Biological Sciences, 363. no. 1501 (2008): 2367-2373.

Rickbeil, Gregory J.M.. Txomin Hermosilla. Nicholas C. Coops, Joanne C. White, and Michael A. Wulder. “Barren-Ground Caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) Behaviour After Recent Fire Events: Integrating Caribou Telemetry Data with Landsat Fire Detection Techniques." Global Change Biology, 23, no. 3 (2017): 1036-1047.

Robertson. Colin. ‘Towards a Geocomputational Landscape Epidemiology: Surveillance. Modelling, and Interventions.” GeoJournal, 82, no. 2 (2017): 397-414.

Robertson. Colin, Chiranjib Chaudhuri, Majid Hojati. and Steven A. Roberts. “An Integrated Environmental Analytics System (IDEAS) Based on a DGGS.” ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 162, (2020): 214-228.

Robertson. Colin, and Rob Feick. “Inference and Analysis Across Spatial Supports in the Big Data Era: Uncertain Point Observations and Geographic Contexts.” Transactions in CIS, 22, no. 2 (2018): 455-476.

Robertson. Colin, Trisalyn A. Nelson, Ying C. MacNab, and Andrew B. Lawson. ‘Review of Methods for Space-Time Disease Surveillance." Spatial and Spatio-Temporal Epidemiology, 1, no. 2-3 (2010): 105-116.

Robertson. Colin, Lauren Yee, Julia Metelka, and Craig Stephen. “Spatial Data Issues in Geographical Zoonoses Research." The Canadian Geograplier/Le Geographe canadien, 60. no. 3 (2016): 300-319.

Rolls, Edmund T. “Spatial View Cells and the Representation of Place in the Primate Hippocampus." Hippocampus, 9, no. 4 (1999): 467-480.

Rothman, Kenneth J. “A Sobering Start for the Cluster Busters’ Conference.” American Journal of Epidemiology, 132, no. 1 (1990): S6-S13.

Russell, Roly, Anne D. Guerry, Patricia Balvanera, Rachelle K. Gould, Xavier Basurto, Kai M.A. Chan. Sarah Klain. et al. “Humans and Nature: How Knowing and Experiencing Nature Affect Well-Being.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 38. (2013): 473-502.

Save, Etienne. Arnaud Cressant. Catherine Thinus-Blanc, and Bruno Poucet. “Spatial Firing of Hippocampal Place Cells in Blind Rats.” Journal of Neuroscience, 18, no.

5 (1998): 1818-1826.

Thomashow. Mitchell. Ecological Identity: Becoming a Reflective Environmentalist (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996).

Tilman. David, Peter Kareiva, E.E. Holmes, and M.A. Lewis. “Space: The Final Frontier for Ecological Theory.” Ecology, 75. no. 1 (1994): 1.

Tuan. Yi-Fu. “Place: An Experiential Perspective.” Geographical Review', 65. no. 2 (1975): 151-165.

Turner. Monica Goigel. “Landscape Ecology: The Effect of Pattern on Process." Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 20, no. 1 (1989): 171-197.

Vallee. Julie. Emmanuelle Cadot, Christelle Roustit, Isabelle Parizot. and Pierre Chauvin. “The Role of Daily Mobility in Mental Health Inequalities: The Interactive Influence of Activity Space and Neighbourhood of Residence on Depression." Social Science

6 Medicine, 73, no. 8 (2011): 1133-1144.

Vors, Liv Solveig, and Mark Stephen Boyce. “Global Declines of Caribou and Reindeer.” Global Change Biology, 15. no. 11 (2009): 2626-2633.

Williams. Allison. “Therapeutic Landscapes in Holistic Medicine.” Social Science & Medicine, 46. no. 9 (1998): 1193-1203.

WHO. “The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion." World Health Organization, 1986. https://www.who.int/healthpromotion/conferences/previous/ottawa/en/ (accessed March 2020).

Zamin, Tara J.. Steeve D. Cote. Jean-Pierre Tremblay, and Paul Grogan. “Experimental Warming Alters Migratory Caribou Forage Quality.” Ecological Applications, 27, no. 7 (2017): 2061-2073.

 
Source
< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >