Dr. Justina Ray - Executive Director & Senior Scientist

Dr. Justina Ray has been Executive Director of Wildlife Conservation Society Canada since its incorporation in 2004. In addition to overseeing the operations of WCS Canada, Justina is involved in research and policy activities associated with conservation planning in northern landscapes, with a particular focus on wolverine and caribou.  Although Justina worked for years in African and Asian tropical forests, North America has been her predominant geographic focus over the past decade. The questions that drive her research are rooted in evaluating the role of shifting landscapes in biodiversity decline and/or change in forested ecosystems.  These issues include quantifying the impacts of development activities on biodiversity, including effects of forest changes on mammal population and community structure, and monitoring of species at risk.


In Canada, Justina has been appointed to numerous government advisory panels, including: Ontario Wolverine Recovery Team, the Nova Scotia Marten and Lynx Recovery Team, the Ontario Provincial Caribou Technical Committee, the federal Boreal Caribou Science Advisory Group for the Critical Habitat Science Review, Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO), the Lake Simcoe Science Advisory Committee, and the Ontario Far North Science Advisory Panel. In 2006-7, she served on the Endangered Species Act Review Advisory Panel for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources through to the passage of a new Act in May 2007. Since 2009,she has served as co-chair of the Terrestrial Mammal Subcommittee of The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). She has been a member of IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Small Carnivore Specialist Group and was recently appointed to the SSC/World Commission on Protected Areas Joint Task force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas. She has also currently served on the Open Space Institute's advisory committee for the Transborder Land Protection Fund, and is a science advisor to OSI's Northeast Resilient Landscapes Initiative.


Justina graduated from University of Florida with a Ph.D. in 1996; her dissertation subject was on the community ecology of forest carnivores in Central Africa. She has authored or co-authored more than 30 book chapter, journal, or popular articles, and is lead editor of the book Large Carnivores and the Conservation of Biodiversity (Island Press; March, 2005), co-editor of Noninvasive Survey Techniques for North American Carnivores (Island Press, 2008), and co-author of Caribou and the North: A Shared Future (Dundurn Press, 2008). She is Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto (Faculty of Forestry) and Trent University (Biology Department), and Research Associate at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at the Royal Ontario Museum. 




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Modeling Wolverine Occurrence Using Aerial Surveys of Tracks in Snow
Modeling Wolverine Occurrence Using Aerial Surveys of Tracks in Snow. Magoun, A.J., J.C. Ray, D. S Johnson, P. Valkenburg, N. Dawson and J. Bowman. 2007. Journal of Wildlife Management. 71(7):2221���2229.
Leopards in African Rainforests Survey and Monitoring Techniques
Leopards in African Rainforests: Survey and Monitoring Techniques. Philipp Henschel, Justina Ray. November 2003. WCS Global Carnivore Program.
CBI-WCS Woodland Caribou Expert Workshop Summary
A Workshop organized by WCS Canada and the Canadian Boreal Initiative was held February 28 to March 1, 2006 and attended by caribou experts from across Canada. The goal was to assess the current level of knowledge in regards to what is and what is not caribou habitat, and the parameters or thresholds for maintaining sufficient woodland caribou habitat in the face of large-scale anthropogenic disturbances within current caribou range.

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