ERM recognized for grizzly bear monitoring work
Northwest Territories, Canada
The Mining Association of Canada awarded the Ekati and Diavik diamond mines the 2015 Towards Sustainable Mining Environmental Excellence Award for a large-scale grizzly bear monitoring program. ERM's team of wildlife specialists in Canada led this program on behalf of the Ekati and Diavik joint ventures.
ERM Senior Wildlife Biologist, Brian Milakovic, designed and managed the Joint Regional Grizzly Bear DNA Program for the two neighboring mines in Canada's Northwest Territories. The program assessed bear population trends to determine if mining-related activity influenced the relative abundance and distribution of grizzly bears over time. The two-year program covered a study area of 16,000 square kilometers in the Central Barrens region. In total 112 grizzly bears were identified in the first year, and 136 grizzly bears were identified the second year. The numbers suggest a stable and perhaps growing bear population in the region.
"This project was not only the largest grizzly bear DNA program in the Northwest Territories," explained Brian, "it was also the first major collaboration between diamond mines in the region."
The next phase of the project is scheduled for 2017 to 2018.