Beautiful dark brown bear stands in the rain on all fours, with white mist rising in the background.

Science publications in 2020

Raincoast undertakes primary research to investigate species and ecological processes to further our conservation objectives.

Supporting resurgent Indigenous-led governance: A nascent mechanism for just and effective conservation

January 6, 2020

Conservation efforts to safeguard biodiversity and mitigate ecological destruction could …

Two people in the middle left stand on a rocky beach looking out at a large expanse of water with tree covered mountains rising in front of them also to the left.

Raincoast Applied Conservation Science Lab

Like other Raincoasters, members of the ACS lab at the University of Victoria have made creative and productive COVID-19 pivots. Although field seasons were cancelled or modified, we capitalized on unprecedented opportunity to focus on analyses, policy, and digital outreach. …

Close up of a brown grizzly


BearID detects a bear’s face in an image and classifies the individual. It’s facial recognition for bears!

Dr. Melanie Clapham, a postdoctoral researcher at University of Victoria working with Raincoast’s Applied Conservation Science lab has been exploring facial recognition technology …

Salmon pictured underwater in murky green

Raincoast in the Watersheds 2020 forum

Today and tomorrow Raincoast is participating in the Watersheds 2020 forum.

Watersheds is a virtual gathering that brings together a diverse community of water leaders, including Indigenous Nations, watershed groups, local and provincial government staff, funders, scholars and researchers, practitioners …

Spirit bear on all fours stands atop a bright green and brown moss covered boulder at the edge of water in the Great Bear Rainforest.

New study published on Spirit bears

New research has identified that the small genetic change responsible for Spirit bears – a rare, white-coated form of black bears – is up to 50% rarer in the Great Bear Rainforest than previously estimated.

The study also indicates that …

A grizzly sits down in the mud and sand by the water.

Building a model of nonhuman animal behaviours

Defining animal behaviour requires careful observation and the use of measurable markers to quantify those behaviours. Recent calls for consistency in defining and coding animal behaviour have stemmed from variation in how behaviours are defined within and across species, which …

Grizzly bear walks on shallow water and rocks with salmon caught in its mouth, backgrounded by green trees.

Monitoring bears in Wuikinuxv

With the Raincoast lab’s field work season still on hold due to covid-19, we have been asking our scientists to keep you engaged with the people and places in which we work.

Megan Adams shares about the work the lab …

Scientist in black T shirt and pants and black cap wearing pale blue latex gloves holds palm of hand near trip wire. She gazes at it intently surrounded by lush bright green trees.

Virtual connection and support

With coronavirus affecting normalcy around the world, the Raincoast Lab at the University of Victoria is not going to be doing fieldwork this season, and instead will maintain virtual connection, support from afar.

Ilona Mihalik shared about the work the …

Howard Humchitt, Indigenous researcher sits on the ground in the forest noting down facts on paper, beside a trip wire to capture bear hair and a large beautiful tree on a sunny day.

New peer-reviewed paper released

Against the backdrop of British Columbia’s recent consideration of UNDRIP into legislation, and conflict between Canada and Indigenous Nations/hereditary leaders over pipeline development (e.g. Coastal Gas Link and Trans Mountain projects), this week we published a new peer-reviewed paper by …

Two bears in water with wet hair face the camera

Raincoast’s applied research

Although the Raincoast lab is known for its work on grizzly, black, and Spirit bears, we also conduct applied research on other organisms.⠀

Our general rule of thumb is to work on plants, animals, or relationships in the natural world …

Bear hair sticking out from a wire with the palm of a researcher visible behind it for contrast

Bear hair as a research tool

Lauren Henson of the Raincoast Applied Conservation Science Lab at University of Victoria uses bear hair to research population structures of grizzly and black bears from the interior of B.C. to the coast. She just wrote an article about her …

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