Wildlife research and monitoring program

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) operates a wildlife research and monitoring program.

It is staffed by scientists who design and deliver studies and programs that help to provide diverse, healthy, sustainable wildlife populations and habitats for the benefit and enjoyment of all Ontarians.

Their research areas include:

  • waterfowl and wetlands
  • small mammals, furbearers and game birds
  • large mammals
  • species at risk
  • landscape ecology
  • wildlife diseases, including rabies

MNRF scientists collaborate with many partners, including:

  • other government agencies
  • non-profit organizations
  • universities and colleges
  • industry

Our staff

Learn more about a few of the projects our staff are working on right now.

  • Jeff Bowman studies how changes in habitat brought on by changes in land use and climate (e.g. drought, floods, warming temperatures) influence different animal populations in Ontario, including lynx, fisher, muskrat, mink, and wild turkey.
  • Glen Brown studies the relationships among climate variation, habitat and population dynamics of wildlife inhabiting the Hudson Bay Lowlands, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and Arctic fox.
  • Larissa Nituch leads the rabies research and control program which is currently working to eliminate rabies in southwestern Ontario. She also leads the chronic wasting disease surveillance program.
  • Christina Davy’s research explores the factors that determine the extinction or persistence of threatened populations, and the interdependent effects of environmental changes including habitat modification, invasive species, and pollution. She is interested in the increasing importance of wildlife pathogens in biodiversity conservation, and aeroconservation, an emerging field that seeks to define and conserve aerial habitats.
  • Joe Northrup studies how human-caused environmental change influences the behaviour and population dynamics of large mammals, including white-tailed deer, black bears and polar bears.
  • Brent Patterson is looking at the factors that influence the distribution and abundance of wolves and coyotes in Ontario, as well as relationships between these predators and their prey. He also studies deer, moose and caribou with an emphasis on the interactive effects of hunting, predation, and habitat on the population dynamics of these iconic species.
  • Erin Koen is interested in landscape ecology and how habitat and climate connectivity shape wildlife populations and their distributions.
  • Martyn Obbard (scientist emeritus) monitors the movement and foraging patterns of adult female polar bears in James Bay, where changes to the sea ice are happening faster than anywhere else in the Hudson Bay region.
  • Ken Abraham (scientist emeritus) continues his support to improving the understanding of the distribution and abundance of animals and plants (biodiversity) in the Far North of Ontario. This will help with community based land use planning and development of the Far North Land Use Strategy.

Publications

Visit our catalogue of natural resource scientific and technical publications, which lists what we've published since 2004.

If you want to get a copy of a publication, contact the journal directly or email info.mnrfscience@ontario.ca.

Updated: May 18, 2021
Published: May 05, 2014