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 Organization Date Registration
When does selective hunting lead to evolutionary change and what (if anything) should we do about it? Dr. Marco Festa-Bianchet, Professor of Ecology and Head, Dept. of Biology Université de Sherbrooke Tues, Jan 18, 2022 at 6:00pm Click on the post below to register.
Improving Forest Practices to Protect Water Tracy Andrews (RPF), Manager of Audits and Investigations; and Kevin Kriese, Chair Forest Practices Board Tues, Feb 22, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Click on the post below to register.
TBD Chloe Wright PhD student at UBC Okanagan Tues, Mar 29, 2022 at 7:00pm Coming soon

Previous Webinars

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

Role of marine & freshwater regime changes in the declines of Pacific salmonids in BC

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

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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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.