Dr. Rea's Research

My main research interests are understanding wildlife habitat needs and wildlife monitoring and collision mitigation with a focus on large-bodied animals such as moose.

  1. Wildlife Monitoring at the Prince George International Airport. Wildlife can pose a threat to air traffic in the air as well as upon take off and landings.  Our lab has been monitoring presence and absence as well as activity patterns of wildlife species such as coyotes, fox, and bears at the Prince George International Airport since 2007.  We use camera traps to detect various species and to initiate corrective actions required to keep runways free of strike hazards.

  2. Neonatal Moose Articulation. Neonatal skeletal articulations for research and display purposes are uncommon due to issues surrounding incomplete bone maturation and reduced structural integrity that affects preparation of bones and articulation procedures. Our team cleaned, articulated, and rendered – in three dimensions – a neonatal moose skeleton. The articulation is on display at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC); the 3-D model is also available on UNBC’s website. 

  3. Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Mitigation Project. Wildlife that use transportation corridors pose a threat to the motoring public when animals cross back and forth across roads.  We have been working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for over two decades on developing countermeasures to mitigate wildlife-vehicle collisions with moose and deer.  Our collaborative research is being conducted between Hush Lake and Bijoux Falls on highway 97 and Tamarack Lake and Baker Creek on highway 16 where we have been decommissioning roadside mineral licks.  Our data indicate that animal activity drops off precipitously at roadside licks once licks have been decommissioned.  This reduction in animal activity is believed to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and understanding this is the current focus of our research.

  4. Impacts of Forest Management on Moose Habitat. Many moose populations in north-central British Columbia have been declining for over two decades.  Some researchers have hypothesized that declines are linked to landscape change from forestry and the creation of resource roads used to access timber.  Forestry practices that remove mature mixed wood forests impact the ability of moose to find and use security, thermal, and snow interception cover.  Our research seeks to understand how industrial forestry impacts cover requirements of moose and how practices can be altered to improve habitat quality for moose.