Cole Burton

Cole Burton
University of British Columbia - Vancouver | UBC · Department of Forest Resources Management

PhD
Canada Research Chair in Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

About

85
Publications
58,999
Reads
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3,555
Citations
Introduction
Cole Burton currently works at the Department of Forest Resources Management, University of British Columbia - Vancouver. Cole does research in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science, focusing on the management of terrestrial mammals.
Additional affiliations
January 2017 - present
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • WildCo Lab: wildlife.forestry.ubc.ca
February 2014 - December 2016
Alberta Innovates Technology Futures
Position
  • Research Wildlife Ecologist
January 2011 - January 2014
Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute
Position
  • Ecologist

Publications

Publications (85)
Article
Full-text available
1.Reliable assessment of animal populations is a long-standing challenge in wildlife ecology. Technological advances have led to widespread adoption of camera traps (CTs) to survey wildlife distribution, abundance, and behaviour. As for any wildlife survey method, camera trapping must contend with sources of sampling error such as imperfect detecti...
Article
Full-text available
Effective ecological monitoring is imperative in a human-dominated world, as our ability to manage functioning ecosystems will depend on understanding biodiversity responses to anthropogenic impacts. Yet, most monitoring efforts have either been narrowly focused on particular sites, species and stressors - thus inadequately considering the cumulati...
Article
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Conservationists often advocate for landscape approaches to wildlife management while others argue for physical separation between protected species and human communities, but direct empirical comparisons of these alternatives are scarce. We relate African lion population densities and population trends to contrasting management practices across 42...
Article
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Carnivore extinctions frequently have cascading impacts through an ecosystem, so effective management of ecological communities requires an understanding of carnivore vulnerability. This has been hindered by the elusive nature of many carnivores, as well as a disproportionate focus on large-bodied species and particular geographic regions. We use m...
Article
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Protected areas (PAs) are a cornerstone of global efforts to shield wildlife from anthropogenic impacts, yet their effectiveness at protecting wide-ranging species prone to human conflict--notably mammalian carnivores--is increasingly in question. An understanding of carnivore responses to human-induced and natural changes in and around PAs is crit...
Article
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The dual mandate for many protected areas (PAs) to simultaneously promote recreation and conserve biodiversity may be hampered by negative effects of recreation on wildlife. However, reports of these effects are not consistent, presenting a knowledge gap that hinders evidence‐based decision‐making. We used camera traps to monitor human activity and...
Article
Predator control remains one of the most common strategies for the conservation of threatened prey species. Despite significant and ongoing efforts to reduce predator populations, little is known about the impacts on the behaviour and interactions of target and non‐target species following numerical and potentially behavioural suppression of predat...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human disturbance directly affects animal populations but indirect effects of disturbance on species behaviors are less well understood. Camera traps provide an opportunity to investigate variation in animal behaviors across gradients of disturbance. We used camera trap data to test predictions about predator-sensitive behavior in three ungulate sp...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Local people can act as sentinels for change, especially for wildlife populations not monitored by centralized governments. Responding to concern expressed by the Kitasoo Xai'xais (KX) First Nation over a decline in mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) sightings, our community‐academic partnership assessed the conservation status of goats i...
Article
Full-text available
Camera traps are increasingly used to answer complex ecological questions. However, the rapidly growing number of images collected presents technical challenges. Each image must be classified to extract data, requiring significant labor, and potentially creating an information bottleneck. We applied an object detection model (MegaDetector) to camer...
Article
Protected areas are vital for wildlife conservation, yet many activities that are detrimental for biodiversity are conducted within their limits. We used camera traps and remotely sensed data to assess the spatial and temporal relationships between cattle and Andean bears (Tremarctos ornatus) in the Laquipampa Wildlife Refuge, a protected area in n...
Article
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The establishment of protected areas (PAs) is a central strategy for global biodi- versity conservation. While the role of PAs in protecting habitat has been high- lighted, their effectiveness at protecting mammal communities remains unclear. We analyzed a global dataset from over 8671 camera traps in 23 countries on four continents that detected 3...
Article
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Land modified for human use alters matrix shape and composition and is a leading contributor to global biodiversity loss. It can also play a key role in facilitating range expansion and ecosystem invasion by anthrophilic species, as it can alter food abundance and distribution while also influencing predation risk; the relative roles of these proce...
Preprint
Full-text available
Camera traps are increasingly used to answer complex ecological questions. However, the rapidly growing number of images collected presents technical challenges. Each image must be classified to extract data, requiring significant labour, and potentially creating an information bottleneck. We applied an object-detection model (MegaDetector) to came...
Article
Full-text available
Livestock depredation by wild carnivores threatens carnivore populations and livestock-dependent human communities globally. Understanding local attitudes towards carnivores can inform strategies to improve coexistence. In Sri Lanka, the dairy industry is expanding, creating a need for proactive conflict mitigation. Livestock depredation by the End...
Preprint
Full-text available
Density estimation is a key goal in ecology but accurate estimates remain elusive, especially for unmarked animals. Data from camera-trap networks combined with new density estimation models can bridge this gap but recent research has shown marked variability in accuracy, precision, and concordance among estimators. We extend this work by comparing...
Article
Active forest management for timber production, through the harvesting of forest stands using cut blocks, frequently overlaps grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) habitat on multi-use landscapes in North America, making it critical to understand how forest harvest management can effectively support grizzly bear conservation efforts. While many localised stu...
Article
The restoration of habitats degraded by industrial disturbance is essential for achieving conservation objectives in disturbed landscapes. In boreal ecosystems, disturbances from seismic exploration lines and other linear features have adversely affected biodiversity, most notably leading to declines in threatened woodland caribou. Large‐scale rest...
Article
Full-text available
Vegetation phenology and productivity drive resource use by wildlife. Vegetation dynamics also reveal patterns of habitat disturbance and recovery. Monitoring these fine‐scale vegetation patterns over large spatiotemporal extents can be difficult, but camera traps (CTs) commonly used to survey wildlife populations also collect data on local habitat...
Article
Full-text available
Land-use change is a root cause of the extinction crisis, but links between habitat change and biodiversity loss are not fully understood. While there is evidence that habitat loss is an important extinction driver, the relevance of habitat fragmentation remains debated. Moreover, while time delays of biodiversity responses to habitat transformatio...
Article
Full-text available
• Landscape change is a key driver of biodiversity declines due to habitat loss and fragmentation, but spatially shifting resources can also facilitate range expansion and invasion. Invasive populations are reproductively successful, and landscape change may buoy this success. • We show how modeling the spatial structure of reproductive success can...
Article
Anthropogenic disturbances, including roads, are known to influence animal habitat selection and mortality. In this study, we consider the role of sensory perception in understanding why and how animals respond to disturbances. Our goal was to investigate the effect of visual perception (visibility) around roads on grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horrib...
Article
Full-text available
A major threat to mammalian carnivores is death due to human conflict, including carnivore use of anthropogenic food sources, predation of livestock, or car accidents. To reduce conflicts, it is critical to target proactive mitigations using reliable evidence on where conflict is likely to occur. We tested hypotheses about the importance of anthro-...
Article
Anthropogenic landscape disturbances are known to alter, destroy, and fragment habitat , which typically leads to biodiversity loss. The effects of landscape disturbance generally vary among species and depend on the nature of the disturbances, which may interact and result in synergistic effects. Western Canada's oil sands region experiences distu...
Article
Full-text available
Outdoor recreation is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world and provides many benefits to people. Assessing possible negative impacts of recreation is nevertheless important for sustainable management. Here, we used camera traps to assess relative effects of various recreational activities—as compared to each other and to environ...
Data
Land cover polygon layer for the Tumbesian region of Ecuador and Peru. The shapefile was obtained from a supervised classification of best available pixel composites from Lansat images (2015-2018). Land cover types: 1: Water 2: High density developed 4: Artificial ponds 6: Low density developed 8: Semi-deciduous & evergreen forest 9: Mangroves 10...
Article
Full-text available
Camera traps (CTs) are an increasingly popular method of studying animal behavior. However, the impact of cameras on detected individuals—such as from mechanical noise, odor, and emitted light—has received relatively little attention. These impacts are particularly important in behavioral studies in conservation that seek to ascribe changes in beha...
Article
Full-text available
To monitor the extent and impact of human disturbances on landscapes and wildlife, managers often estimate zones of influence. Traditionally, zones of influence have been defined with constant width buffers around a disturbance; however, the importance of incorporating variation in landscape contexts and species responses is increasingly recognized...
Article
Determining how resource availability changes daily, seasonally and annually, and how wildlife react to these changes, is valuable for managing wildlife. For vegetative resources phenological information can be used to determine availability and model the distribution of available resources. This study develops a set of annually varying species dis...
Article
Full-text available
Climate and landscape change are drivers of species range shifts and biodiversity loss; understanding how they facilitate and sustain invasions has been empirically challenging. Winter severity is decreasing with climate change and is a predicted mechanism of contemporary and future range shifts. For example, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginian...
Article
Full-text available
Camera traps are a unique survey tool used to monitor a wide variety of mammal species. Camera trap (CT) data can be used to estimate animal distribution, density, and behaviour. Attractants, such as scent lures, are often used in an effort to increase CT detections; however, the degree which the effects of attractants vary across species is not we...
Article
Full-text available
The first Science Meets Parliament event in Canada was held in November 2018 in Ottawa, where twenty-eight Tier II Canada Research Chairs (a specific class of Canadian university professor acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field) from diverse disciplines met with forty-three Members of Canadian Parliament and Sena...
Article
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Abstract Interspecific interactions are an integral aspect of ecosystem functioning that may be disrupted in an increasingly anthropocentric world. Industrial landscape change creates a novel playing field on which these interactions take place, and a key question for wildlife managers is whether and how species are able to coexist in such working...
Article
Full-text available
The first Science Meets Parliament event in Canada was held in November 2018 in Ottawa, where twenty-eight Tier II Canada Research Chairs (a specific class of Canadian university professor acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field) from diverse disciplines met with forty-three Members of Canadian Parliament and Sena...
Article
Full-text available
Protecting wildlife within areas of resource extraction often involves reducing habitat fragmentation. In Canada, protecting threatened woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou (Gmelin, 1788)) populations requires preserving large areas of intact forest habitat, with some restrictions on industrial forestry activities. We present a linear progra...
Article
To model regional vegetation cycles through data fusion methods for creating a 30‐m daily vegetation product from 2000–2018 and to analyse annual vegetation trends over this time period. The Yellowhead Bear Management Area, a 31,180‐km2 area in west central Alberta, Canada. In this paper, we use Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) as a data fusion technique...
Article
Restoration of degraded habitats is increasingly used to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic landscape change on wildlife populations, but wildlife responses to habitat restoration are often assumed rather than verified. In the western Canadian boreal forest, restoration of seismic lines-linear corridors cut for oil exploration-has been proposed...
Article
Full-text available
Camera traps (CTs) are an increasingly popular tool for wildlife survey and monitoring. Estimating relative abundance in unmarked species is often done using detection rate as an index of relative abundance, which assumes that detection rate has a positive linear relationship with true abundance. This assumption may be violated if movement behavior...
Article
Full-text available
British Columbia has the greatest biological diversity of any province or territory in Canada. Yet increasing numbers of species in British Columbia are threatened with extinction. The current patchwork of provincial laws and regulations has not effectively prevented species declines. Recently, the Provincial Government has committed to enacting an...
Technical Report
Full-text available
British Columbia has the greatest biological diversity of any province or territory in Canada. Yet more and more species in British Columbia are threatened with extinction and require active measures for protection and recovery. The current patchwork of provincial laws and regulations managing wildlife and their habitats has not effectively prevent...
Article
Full-text available
Management activities such as law enforcement and community outreach are thought to affect conservation outcomes in protected areas, but their importance relative to intrinsic environmental characteristics of the parks and extrinsic human pressures surrounding the parks have not been explored. Furthermore, it is not clear which is more related to c...
Article
en Conservation of species at risk of extinction is complex and multifaceted. However, mitigation strategies are typically narrow in scope, an artifact of conservation research that is often limited to a single species or stressor. Knowledge of an entire community of strongly interacting species would greatly enhance the comprehensiveness and effec...
Article
Full-text available
Population declines and extirpations of large mammalian carnivores are major concerns for global biodiversity conservation. Many large carnivores are vulnerable to conflict with humans and attract conservation attention for their flagship appeal and ecological importance. Coexisting with carnivores requires an understanding of carnivore distributio...
Article
Full-text available
Density estimation is integral to the effective conservation and management of wildlife. Camera traps in conjunction with spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models have been used to accurately and precisely estimate densities of “marked” wildlife populations comprising identifiable individuals. The emergence of spatial count (SC) models holds promise...
Article
A rapidly expanding human footprint - comprised of anthropogenic land-use change and infrastructure - is profoundly affecting wildlife distributions worldwide. Cumulative effects management (CEM) is a regional approach that seeks to manage combined effects of the human footprint on biodiversity across large spatial scales. Challenges to implementin...
Article
Energy development and consumption drive changes in global climate, landscapes, and biodiversity. The oil sands of western Canada are an epicenter of oil production, creating landscapes without current or historical analogs. Science and policy often focus on pipelines and species‐at‐risk declines, but we hypothesized that differential responses to...
Article
Full-text available
Animal ecologists often use stationary point-count surveys, such as camera traps, to collect presence–absence data and infer distribution, abundance, and density of species. Rarely do these surveys explicitly consider variations in the magnitude of animal movement despite movement assumptions being implicit in their interpretation. For example, eco...
Article
Full-text available
Occupancy models are increasingly applied to data from wildlife camera-trap (CT) surveys to estimate distribution, habitat use, or relative abundance of unmarked animals. Fundamental to the occupancy modeling framework is the temporal pattern of detections at camera stations, which is influenced by animal population density and the speed and scale...
Article
Full-text available
Time-stamped camera data are increasingly used to study temporal patterns in species and community ecology, including species’ activity patterns and niche partitioning. Given the importance of niche partitioning for facilitating coexistence between sympatric species, understanding how emerging environmental stressors – climate and landscape change,...
Article
Full-text available
An understanding of animal behaviour is important if conservation initiatives are to be effective. However, quantifying the behaviour of wild animals presents significant challenges. Remote-sensing camera traps are becoming increasingly popular survey instruments that have been used to non-invasively study a variety of animal behaviours, yielding k...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological patterns and processes can vary with scale, causing uncertainty when applying small-scale or single-scale studies to regional or global management decisions. Conducting research at large extents and across multiple scales can require additional time and effort, but may prove necessary if it uncovers novel patterns or processes. Knowing t...
Article
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Countries committed to implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity's 2011–2020 strategic plan need effective tools to monitor global trends in biodiversity. Remote cameras are a rapidly growing technology that has great potential to transform global monitoring for terrestrial biodiversity and can be an important contributor to the call for...
Article
Full-text available
Many have argued that monitoring conducted exclusively by scientists is insufficient to address ongoing environmental challenges. One solution entails the use of mobile devices in broadly-applied participatory monitoring (PM) programs. But how digital data entry affects programs with varying levels of stakeholder participation, from volunteer data...
Research
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Global declines in biological diversity are increasingly well documented and threaten the welfare and resilience of ecological and human communities. Despite international commitments to better assess and protect biodiversity, current monitoring effort is insufficient and conservation targets are not being met (e.g., Convention on Biological Divers...
Research
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In this thesis, I used seven microsatellite DNA markers to investigate three levels of hare population structure: mating structure, social structure and geographic structure.
Research
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The focus of this project was to critically assess the distribution, abundance and viability of lions and other carnivores in and around Mole National Park and other key areas of Ghana, West Africa.
Research
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The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) is evaluating the feasibility of monitoring mammals using camera trap surveys. This report summarizes preliminary results and recommendations from pilot initiatives undertaken during 2012-13.
Research
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The purpose of this report is to facilitate progress toward an effective ecological monitoring program for the Ring of Fire by: a) reviewing key themes for ecological monitoring from the scientific literature, b) summarizing examples of other relevant regional-scale monitoring initiatives, and c) making recommendations for further development of a...
Research
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This report describes the biodiversity survey of the Central Cardamoms Protected Forest, Cambodia, conducted as part of the Cardamoms Conservation Program between January and December 2004. The survey involved a study of the baseline biodiversity and habitat associations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish in the Central Cardamoms and...
Research
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The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) is designed to monitor the status of diverse taxa across the province of Alberta, and currently monitors mid- and large-sized mammals using winter snow tracking surveys. These surveys have detected a broad range of mammal species but also have several limitations, including dependence on suitable...