About Wildlife and Landscape Science

Ecotoxicology and Wildlife Health

Image of scientist in soil toxicology laboratoryScientists study toxic substances such as pesticides, heavy metals and other toxic contaminants to assess the impacts on soil systems and wild animal and plant health. This includes identifying, measuring and understanding the dynamics and effects of toxic substances in wildlife, their food and their habitats. This information can help identify contaminated sites and measure the effectiveness of remedial activities, and is used to support regulatory decisions on toxic substances.

Research is supported by the development and standardization of test methods. Standardized test methods ensure high quality data is generated during scientific studies, and allows for other activities, like comparisons across studies and species for example.

In addition, scientists monitor wild bird populations and other wildlife to identify the presence and effects of emerging infectious diseases. Global movements of species make it necessary to monitor and collaborate internationally to understand the distribution and genetics of pathogens.

These studies are conducted and communicated within a national and international research community including wildlife, agricultural and regulatory agencies, and include partnerships with other government departments, universities, non-government organizations and international research and regulatory agencies.

Learn more about wildlife toxicology and disease research and monitoring efforts, or read key publications.

Wildlife Research

Image of sanderlingResearchers study populations of migratory birds and species at risk and the habitats on which they depend. They investigate factors affecting the normal function of these systems, including individual birds, their populations and migration patterns, and identify and address key information gaps concerning causes and mechanisms of population change. Research and monitoring efforts are conducted in support of conservation activities of the Canadian Wildlife Service and help to inform species at risk recovery actions and international migratory bird conservation activities.

These studies are conducted and communicated within a national and international research community including wildlife, freshwater, landscape, seascape and atmospheric sciences, and include partnerships with universities, non-government conservation organizations and international research agencies.

Learn more about wildlife research and or read key publications.

Landscape Science and Technology

Image of river in boreal forestScientists study the complexity and factors that influence the structure and functions of our ecosystems. They develop mechanisms to support research in order to understand, assess, and predict the distribution patterns of wildlife communities and ecosystems at the landscape level, including processes and changes that affect these communities and ecosystems. This includes the development of monitoring, assessment, and prediction tools and technologies.

This work is done at the temporal and spatial scale needed to get a better understanding of what drives ecosystem structure and function at various levels.

Read more about landscape science research and monitoring efforts, or read key publications.

Where do we work?

Scientists work in the field and in many Environment Canada Science and Technology centres across the country to develop the scientific knowledge needed to protect and conserve Canada's wildlife and habitats.

Whether measuring seabird eggs on a rock face in the northern Arctic, flying in a helicopter over the boreal forest, or conducting toxicological analyses in a laboratory, scientists work with local, national and international partners to contribute to scientific expertise in their field.

Image of seabird researcher Grant Gilchrist Image of ecotoxicoligst Louise Champoux Image of Shane de Solla holding a snapping turtle Image of polar bear researcher Nick Lunn holding a young polar bear

Click to learn about some of the facilities where Environment Canada wildlife and landscape scientists work.

Image of scientist retrieving samples from specimen bank Image of greenhouse facility at the National Wildlife Research Centre Image of scientist working in cryogenic storage room