Biodiversity

Biodiversity is defined as the variety of life on Earth at all levels, from genes to ecosystems. Alberta is home to over 80,000 species – from mites to moose and chickadees to conifer trees. These species and their habitats make up Alberta’s biodiversity.

To understand how and why species and habitats are changing, biodiversity is tracked throughout the province. Learn more about the work the province is doing around biodiversity by scrolling through the content below, or visit the Biodiversity Program Page.

Why We Monitor Mercury

Human activity is an increasingly prevalent cause of mercury release. As an example, coal-burning power generation facilities are the most common source of mercury in the environment1. In Alberta, the majority of mercury emissions are through the air2. While mercury is a naturally-occurring element, it can be harmful to the environment and wildlife if it […]

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Protecting Alberta’s Lakes Against Aquatic Invasive Species

Zebra mussels originated in the Black Sea and get their name from the striped pattern. Zebra mussels reproduce at an incredible rate – an adult female zebra mussel can produce 30,000 to 40,000 eggs in each reproductive cycle, and over 1 million each year. Invasive species such as the zebra mussel threaten native plants and […]

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Barred Owl Monitoring with Lefty

Lefty is a barred owl (Strix varia), which is a species of special concern1 in Alberta. While barred owls are found throughout the province, from the boreal forest to the foothills and Rocky Mountains, they are of particular interest in the Oil Sands region. “These owls are more sensitive to human disturbance,” explains wildlife monitoring […]

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Did you know…

…Undaunted by our spring snowstorms, ferruginous hawks are returning from their winter homes to Alberta. Two sightings have been reported near Medicine Hat in the past couple of weeks. For more information about monitoring species at risk in Alberta, check out our latest updates to the AEMERIS map and data library.

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Better Environment Management Through Monitoring: The Story of the Yellow Rail in the Lower Athabasca

“The approval holder shall provide a plan or participate in the development of a plan for the monitoring and mitigation of the Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis) by [given date] to the satisfaction of the Director…” – Approval condition for oil sands mine project The Yellow Rail is a secretive, nocturnal wetland bird. It’s currently listed […]

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Did you know…

… the Environmental Monitoring and Science Division (formerly AEMERA), in partnership with the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) and the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), has compiled lists of the species at risk in the first region of Alberta’s seven Land Use Planning regions? The following lists for 2014 in the oil […]

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Oil Sand Monitoring Symposium: Program

Tuesday, February 24th Welcome and opening remarks Jay Nagendran, President & CEO, AEMERA Keynote Address: How science can inform policy and decision-making Dr. Lorne Taylor, Board Chair, AEMERA Overview of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring Prasad Valupadas, AEMERA and David Boerner, Environment Canada theme 1: pressures and stressors session 1: emissions […]

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