Grizzly bears: testing surrogacy & umbrella effects
Photo by Emily Cicon: Grizzlies foraging in Alberta's foothills
Assessing the conservation value of grizzly bears to other taxa (surrogacy & umbrella effects)
Alberta, Canada
Principle Investigator
Associate Professor & Alberta Biodiversity Conservation Chair
Graduate Student
M.Sc. student ()
Status: Active,

Emily is studying the potential for Grizzly Bears to contribute to songbird conservation through the protection of overlapping habitats, referred to as surrogacy or the umbrella effect. We are evaluating these potential effects in the Yellowhead region of Alberta and on a much larger scale throughout Alberta's Grizzly Bear range. Specifically, on the smaller scale we are assessing bird diversity in bear habitat by using autonomous recording units (ARUs) placed at areas of known bear use (vs. random locations) and on the larger scale by using pre-existing bird observation data for the province that falls within the known Grizzly Bear range. On this province-wide range scale, we are also comparing the capability of Grizzly Bears to act as an umbrella species against other flagship species in Alberta – Woodland Caribou and Greater Sage Grouse.