BRI has a breadth of experience capturing and monitoring wildlife. We have expertise collecting data on all aspects of the ecosystem from environmental covariates to invertebrates to top level predators as well as managing ecological data, conducting geospatial analysis, and creating ecological models.
Continuing to Stretch Boundaries
We use both traditional research methods such as point counts and boat-based surveys, and the latest technology such as high definition video aerial surveys, acoustics, and satellite tracking. Once data are collected in the field, we have specialized biologists to identify wildlife, data managers with expertise in quality assurance processes, coding, and the creation of relational databases to store results, software and analytical expertise to map findings and conduct geospatial analyses, and ecological modelers to interpret complex systems.
Much of BRI’s research depends upon working hands-on with wildlife in the field. We capture and handle wildlife for a variety of scientific purposes: to collect blood and tissue samples for toxicology assessment; to apply bands and tracking equipment; and to study behavior, population trends, and movements.
BRI is well versed in the humane capture, handling, and safe release of a broad range of wildlife species including (but not limited to): an extensive array of birds, from warblers to eagles; bats, including threatend or endangered species; and furbearing mammals such as otter, mink, muskrat, and beaver.
BRI biologists are highly skilled in the use of a broad range of surveillance methods—from traditional population counts to innovative high-tech remote sensing techniques—to survey and monitor wildlife in a variety of ecosystems. From decades of experience, we also know that the implementation of successful surveys and monitoring projects relies on clear research objectives, based on a thorough understanding of the issues and exactly how data will be used to inform decision making and ecosystem management.
Tracking wildlife offers insight into movements and habitat usage, providing valuable information about the challenges animals face on breeding and wintering grounds and along migration routes, and how decision makers can act to protect them from threats including contaminants and habitat loss.
Using a variety of technologies, BRI tracks birds and mammals across all our programs, from capture and the application of transmitters through collection and analysis of data. Click here for more information.
Experimental design and statistical modeling are important to gaining accurate insight into the world of ecology. Quantitative ecology enables us to better understand how the world works and better predict what will happen in the future through assessing the accuracy of our knowledge and improving our science. Click here for more information.
BRI’s Research Laboratory facilities include the Wildlife Toxicology Lab and the Wildlife Health and Pathology Lab. The Wildlife Toxicology Lab provides analysis of tissue samples for: total mercury using a Milestone Direct Mercury Analyzer-80; and lead using our LeadCare ® II analyzer. The Wildlife Health and Pathology Lab includes our necropsy facility for post-mortem examination of wildlife, and enables in-house processing of samples for routine health evaluation such as hematology and parasite examination. Tissues most commonly analyzed include feathers, fur, blood, muscle, liver, talon tips, fish, and eggs. Click here for more information.
Wildlife health is more than just the absence of disease—it is the ability of wildlife to thrive in a changing environment. A healthy environment that includes thriving, resilient wild animal populations is in turn fundamental to the health and socioeconomic well being of humans. Addressing emerging issues in wildlife health requires a progressive organization capable of crossing geographic, taxonomic, and disciplinary barriers. BRI’s Wildlife Health Program collaborates with a wide range of professionals to provide veterinary expertise in support of governmental and nongovernmental organizations, universities, and research facilities.
In 2011, BRI created the Center for Ecology and Conservation Research to consolidate projects focused on various taxa and natural resources, led and conducted by BRI scientists around the world. This publication covers the Center's projects, initiatives and capabilities, ranging from sampling, surveying, and monitoring wildlife, to wildlife health and toxicology laboratory services, to geospatial analytics. Download the full booklet here.
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