About Us

Why SHAPE of Nature?

One of the challenges of the biodiversity crisis is that there is no single definitive measure to track our progress. We can understand our progress to fight climate change by monitoring the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

But there is no one measure for the health of wildlife and ecosystems. The key information and indicators that do exist are often scattered in different locations or presented in a way that makes them difficult for the public and decision-makers to interpret and act. 

The SHAPE (Species, Habitats, Actions, Policies, and Evaluations) of Nature provides a comprehensive clearinghouse of information on nature and conservation in Canada that is founded on science and accessible to everyone.

It shares research from the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, other scientists, and our partners. We will continue to update and release new evaluations throughout the year. We hope that by exploring the SHAPE of Nature you’ll learn something new about Canada and be inspired to conserve our wildlife and wild spaces. 

Dark-eyed Junco Eggs in Nest in Yukon Territory Canada

Pictured: Dark-eyed Junco Eggs in Nest in the Yukon, by Rachel Foster

Thick-Billed Murre in Cape Parry about 100 km north of Paulatuk Northwest Territories

Pictured: WCS Canada’s Steve Insley with a Thick-Billed Murre in Cape Parry, about 100 kilometres north of Paulatuk Northwest Territories

Wildlife Conservation Society Canada

WCS Canada uses a unique blend of on-the-ground scientific research and policy action to help protect wildlife across Canada.

Our scientists are leaders in developing solutions to address conservation challenges, from the impacts of climate change on wildlife and wild areas to the cumulative effects of resource development and other human impacts.

We work in some of the wildest corners of Canada to build a scientific case for the conservation of globally important wild areas, like the Ontario Northern Boreal, the Northern Boreal Mountains of BC and Yukon, and the Arctic Ocean, where there is still a big opportunity to protect intact ecosystems.

We combine insights gained from our “muddy boots” fieldwork with a big-picture conservation vision to speak up for species such as caribou, wolverine, bats, bison, freshwater fish and marine mammals.

This unique approach has led to many conservation successes, including a seven-fold expansion of Nahanni National Park, protection of Yukon’s pristine Peel Watershed and the creation of the Castle Wildland Park in southern Alberta. 

WCS’ research and conservation efforts in Ontario, meanwhile, have inspired the provincial government to commit to large-scale protection in the northern boreal, revising endangered species legislation, as well as the federal government’s commitment to reform the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. 

Our Team

Daniel Kraus

Daniel Kraus

Director of National Conservation

Dan is the director of national conservation at WCS Canada. He is a transdisciplinary conservation scientist with over 25 years of experience in biodiversity, endangered species, and landscape ecology in the public, private, and NGO sectors. Dan has authored reports on topics ranging from Great Lakes islands to freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas to natural capital. Most recently he has published papers on nationally endemic species, Canada’s “crisis” ecoregions, and ecological corridors.

Dan is a member Canada’s Nature Advisory Committee and researches and teaches about endangered species recovery at the University of Waterloo. He believes that conservation science needs to be made accessible to the public, and his editorials, articles and interviews have appeared in media across Canada. He lives with his family at the headwaters of Bronte Creek in the Lake Ontario watershed where he enjoys chopping wood and raising happy chickens.

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Conservation Research Assistant

Meagan Simpson now serves as the Conservation Research Assistant at WCS Canada.

Her main role is working to build content on the SHAPE of Nature website and conduct reserach to support the National Conservation team. She completed her Masters degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Toronto in 2023 where she was awarded the Master of Environmental Science Entrance Scholarship. Prior to joining WCS Canada in 2023, Meagan was an intern for Environment and Climate Change Canada to research and support efforts to protect species at risk within Canada.

Our Projects

Key Biodiversity Areas Canada
Ring of Fire
Yukon's Changing Future
Learning from Lake Sturgeon
Wildlife Conservation Society Canada