Kristy Dixon

Conservation Webinar Series

BCWF Conservation Webinar Series

Science-based Solutions & Recommendations for the Protection and Conservation of B.C.'s Fish, Wildlife and Habitat

In fall 2020, the B.C. Wildlife Federation started offering free conservation webinars on Zoom to fulfill its mandate of providing science-based solutions and consistent recommendations for the protection and conservation of fish, wildlife and habitat in British Columbia. The webinars do not only support conservation education and are a collaboration between the BCWF and other like-minded organizations, but they also create awareness and promote advocacy activities for the BCWF membership and public audience.

Upcoming Webinars

The following calendar will be updated continuously. Please check back for updates frequently.

Topic Keynote Title Date Registration
SIMDeer: Understanding mule deer migration in south central BC Chloe Wright, UBC University of British Columbia Wednesday, May 24, 2023 Registration open below
Invasive Species in British Columbia Gail Wallin Executive Director, Invasive Species Council June 2023 Registration opens soon
Bill C-21: Effects on hunters and sport shooters Noah S. Schwartz Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of the Fraser Valley Tuesday, 18 July 2023 Registration opens soon
Ecosystem health, ecological restoration & forest policy Jeffrey Werner Adjunct Professor, Ecosystem Science and Management, Faculty of Environment, University of Northern B.C. August 2023 Registration opens soon
Chronic Wasting Disease: Prevention, Surveillance, and Response Cait Nelson Wildlife Health Biologist, Ministry of Forests September 2023 Registration opens soon
Landscape Fire Management Speaker TBC Forest Practices Board October 2023 Registration opens soon

Previous Webinars

Check out our previous webinars below. You may also find them in our BCWF Conservation Webinar Series Playlist on YouTube.

The status of Grizzly Bears in B.C and why the hunt ended

On Wednesday, May 4, 2022, Dr. Bruce McLellan presented on the status of Grizzly Bears in B.C and why the hunt ended.

There are a few isolated grizzly bear populations in southern B.C. that are struggling, but evidence suggests that most others have been increasing and are now becoming stable, are still increasing, or are relatively large and have likely been stable for decades.

But although most populations are healthy, the grizzly bear hunt ended five years ago. Why did this happen?

Dr. Bruce McLellan retired 3 years ago after researching grizzly bear ecology in several locations in British Columbia for over 40 years. He is most known for his 43 year and ongoing study of bears in the Flathead Valley.

SIMDeer – Understanding mule deer migration in south central BC

On Tuesday, March 29, 2022, PHD Candidate, Chloe Wright, from the University of British Columbia, returned to present on SIMDeer – Understanding mule deer migration in south central B.C. The presentation reviewed the following topics:

• An update on the collaring/survival portion of the SIMDeer project from 2021.
• An exploration of spring and fall migration including when, where, and how long mule deer are migrating.
• Maps showing the habitats that mule deer select for during spring migration.

Improving Forest Practices to Protect Water, presented on February 22, 2022

On February 22nd, 2022, 7:00pm Tracy Andrews and Kevin Kriese from the Forest Practices Board will presented on Improving Forest Practices to Protect Water.

The webinar covered the following areas:


  • Forest licensees in BC generally follow legal requirements to protect water, and some licensees do more; but impacts to fish habitat, drinking water, roads, and infrastructure still occur.
  • Based on fifteen years of field experience, the Forest Practices Board has identified four opportunities to improve forestry legislation and policy to protect water:
    1. Better public involvement through planning;
    2. Managing for cumulative effects and climate change;
    3. Reduce sediment from roads; and
    4. Watershed restoration.
When does selective hunting lead to evolutionary change and what (if anything) should we do about it? presented on January 19, 2022

On Tuesday, January 18th, 2022, Marco Festa-Bianchet; Professor of Ecology; Head, Dept. of Biology; Université de Sherbrooke, presented on the topic “When does selective hunting lead to evolutionary change and what (if anything) should we do about it?”.



  • Most human hunting is selective, sometimes driven by legislation that specifies which animals can be taken.
  • If the trait under hunting selection is inheritable, intense selection may lead to evolutionary change in the trait.
  • Hunting-driven evolutionary change has been reported for several species of mountain sheep but not for any other ungulate.
  • The mating system of mountain sheep makes then highly susceptible to hunter-induced evolution. The result is smaller horns.
  • Hunting regulations, possibly combined with immigration during the rut of males from protected areas, can reinforce or weaken the selective effect.

For more information on the presenter:

2050: Will Wildfire and Wildlife Coexist? presented on December 14, 2021

On Tuesday, December 14th, 2021, Dr. Lori Daniels, Professor in Faculty of Forestry, UBC and Robert W. Gray, Fire Ecologist at R.W. Gray Consulting Ltd. presented on the topic of 2050: Will Wildfire and Wildlife Coexist?

Wildfire is an essential process in forest ecosystems, but can be incredibly destructive in the wildland-urban interface, as we experienced again during the 2021 fire season.

Wildfire is driven by climate, weather and fuels that vary among ecosystems and through time. Combined, land-use change, fire exclusion and global warming have made many forests highly susceptible to intense fires that are difficult to control and spread to large sizes.

Revolutionizing forest and fire management will improve ecosystem resilience to climate change, but we will not stop future fires from burning. Successful adaptation must also include individuals and communities learning how to coexist with wildfire.

Role of marine & freshwater regime changes in the declines of Pacific salmonids in BC presented on November 30, 2021

Kyle L Wilson, Applied Quantitative Biologist, from the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance presents on the role of marine and freshwater regime changes in the declines of Pacific salmonids in B.C.

Marine and freshwater ecosystems are increasingly at risk of large and cascading changes from multiple human activities (termed “regime shifts”), which can impact population productivity, resilience, and ecosystem structure. Pacific salmon exhibit persistent and large fluctuations in their population dynamics driven by combinations of intrinsic (e.g., density dependence) and extrinsic factors (e.g., ecosystem changes, species interactions). In recent years, many Pacific salmon have declined due to regime shifts but clear understanding of the processes driving these changes remains elusive.

In this talk, Kyle unpacks the role of density dependence, ecosystem trends, and stochasticity on productivity regimes for anadromous Pacific salmonids (Steelhead, Coho Salmon, Pink Salmon, Dolly Varden, and Coastal Cutthroat Trout) in long-term time-series from rivers along the North and Central Coast of British Columbia. These results reveal how changes in freshwater and marine environments can jointly shape population dynamics among Pacific salmon communities, with cascading consequences to their resilience and conservation.

Impacts of Pinniped Predation on BC salmon presented on October 28, 2021

Carl J. Walters, Professor Emeritus at UBC; from the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, UBC. Will present on the Impacts of Pinniped Predation on BC Salmon. Points to be covered are:

· Seals and sea lions are far more abundant today than they have been for the last several millennia, when First Nations harvesting kept them down

· They are consuming more fish than all the commercial fisheries (and aquaculture) combined

· In the Georgia Strait, seals have had particularly severe impacts on early marine survival rates of chinook and coho salmon, reducing abundances of larger fish by 80%

· We are not certain that seal reductions in the Georgia Strait would mean more fish available, because other stress factors like disease might be making the juvenile salmon more vunerable and could kill them even if seals were not

· It would be a major management experiment to reduce seal numbers to see if survival rates do improve, but the benefits of this experiment far outweigh possible costs

· DFO is very unlikely to face the problem, so we must hope for First Nations harvesting to actually do the grand experiment

BC Southern B.C. Cougar Project Webinar presented on Sept 28, 2021

Watch Siobhan Darlington, PhD student at UBC Okanagan, present on the  Southern B.C. Cougar Project. Here webinar will focus on

  • Understanding Cougar space use in disturbed landscapes
  • Seasonal Cougar predation patterns and Mule Deer migration
  • Preliminary findings and next steps
Chronic Wasting Disease: Prevention, Surveillance, and Response presented on August 5, 2021

Presenter Cait Nelson, Wildlife Health Biologist at the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development presented on the following topics:

  • Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) – the basics
  • Risks, prevention and challenges for BC
  • Importance of surveillance
  • Preparing for the 2021 season
  • Response to a CWD positive in BC
Environmental Induced Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance presented on July 15, 2021

Michael K. Skinner, Ph.D., Eastlick Distinguished Professor at the Center for Reproductive Biology, School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University will presented on the following:

Environmental factors such as nutrition, stress, and toxicants can influence epigenetic programming and phenotypes of a wide variety of species from plants to humans. The current study was designed to investigate the impacts of hatchery spawning and rearing on steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) versus the wild fish on a molecular level. Additionally, epigenetic differences between feeding practices that allow slow growth (2 year) and fast growth (one year) hatchery trout were investigated.

Road ecology in the Anthropocene: lessons from Banff and beyond on presented June 29, 2021

Adam T. Ford, Canada Research Chair in Wildlife Restoration Ecology & Professor from the Department of Biology at UBC presented on the following topics:

• Banff National Park has led the world in road mitigation engineering and research.
• The major lessons from Banff and other global efforts to curb the impact of roads on wildlife.
• B.C. has a long history of road ecology, but the growing impacts of resource and high traffic roads needs further attention.

Survival of Pacific salmon released or escaped from fisheries capture on May 27, 2021

Dr. Scott Hinch, Professor & Director of the Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation Laboratory at the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, UBC presented on the following topics:

• What are the issues associated with capture gear?
• Reviewing field and lab studies examining delayed mortality in released salmon
• Effects of rising temperatures on delayed mortality
• Ways we can reduce delayed mortality

Integrated carnivore-ungulate management: a case study in west-central Montana presented on April 14, 2021

Understanding the effectiveness of harvest regulations to manipulate population abundances is a priority for wildlife managers, and reliable methods are needed to monitor populations.

Kelly Proffitt, wildlife biologist at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks – Wildlife Division presented on integrated carnivore-ungulate management based on a case study in west-central Montana.

About the case study:
Kelly Proffitt and her team used an observational before after‐control‐treatment approach to evaluate a case study in west‐central Montana, USA, that applied conservative ungulate harvest together with liberalized carnivore harvest to achieve short‐term decreases in carnivore abundance and increases in ungulate recruitment.

They found that the carnivore harvest treatment resulted in short‐term demographic responses in elk populations, and more sustained carnivore harvest treatments would be necessary to achieve longer‐term elk population demographic responses.

Factors Affecting Moose Populations in Interior B.C. presented on March 31, 2021

Chris Procter, Senior Wildlife Biologist at the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development, Fish and Wildlife – Kamloops presented on:

• Update on ongoing moose research in interior B.C.
• Effects of landscape change on moose – results and recommendations to date
• Factors affecting moose population change
• Next steps

Forest Practices & Fish Habitat Webinar presented on February 23, 2021

Kevin Kriese, Chair and Doug Wahl, Manager Audits and Investigations at the BC Forest Practices Board presented on the following topics:

• Who is the Forest Practices Board?
• Findings from a Special Investigation Conserving Fish Habitat Under the Forest and Range Practices Act
• Recommendations for improving forest practices

Southern Interior Mule Deer Project Webinar presented on January 26, 2021

Watch the Zoom recording of the Southern Interior Mule Deer Project Webinar from January 26, 2021. Our speaker, Sam Foster, Ph.D. Candidate from the University of Idaho presented on:
– How human disturbances can disrupt ecological communities
– Animal risk response and how we can explore them with camera trapping
– Southern Interior Mule deer camera trapping program and next steps

Recovery & Persistence of Interior Fraser Steelhead Webinar presented on December 8, 2020

Last year, only an estimated 38 Chilcotin steelhead made it back to spawn, down from over 3,000 in the 1980s. The B.C. Wildlife Federation remains extremely concerned about the functional extinction of the Chilcotin and Thompson river steelhead.

In the Zoom webinar on December 8th, 2020, Rob Bison, Fisheries Stock Assessment Biologist, with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development discussed:
• potential for recovery
• question of persistence
• evaluation of management levers

Southern Interior Mule Deer Project Webinar presented on November 10, 2020

What do we know about mule deer?
How could landscape change, predators, other prey species and wildfires be affecting mule deer?

The Southern Interior Mule Deer project was created to answer some of these questions.
Come find out some of the preliminary findings from some of the researchers on B.C.’s largest collaborative mule deer study a year after it was first launched.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am interested in attending the webinar but unable to join. Will the webinar be recorded? 

Yes! The webinar will be recorded and made available on YouTube in our BCWF Conservation Webinar Series Playlist and the tab ‘Live’ on Facebook. We also link to the recordings of all previous webinars on our Conservation Webinar Series webpage.

I have registered for the Zoom webinar but I am unable to attend. How do I receive a recording of the webinar? 

No problem, 24 hours after the Zoom webinar has ended, all registrants will receive an email with the link to the recording on YouTube and Facebook Live video.

Will my questions be responded to? 

We give our best to respond to all questions coming in from Zoom and Facebook during the webinar. However, due to time constraints, we offer to collect the questions that were not responded to and upload the responses to them after the webinar on the Conservation Webinar Series webpage under “Previous Webinars”.

I know what I want to ask before the webinar. 

You can send your questions to before the webinar. Please note that your Zoom registration confirmation email will include a note to send your questions to the Communications Team before the webinar if you prefer.

I have looked at the uploaded responses to the questions that were not responded to during the webinar and I still have questions.

If possible, we will include the contact details of our speaker to respond to more questions. Otherwise, you can send us an email to and we will respond as soon as possible.