Natural ecosystems provide many benefits—services like clean drinking water, timber, and productive harvests. Each of these “ecosystem services” is the product of complex interactions among species, landscapes, and people. This complexity also means that ecosystem services can be difficult to measure and assess. Because their value is hard to quantify, ecosystem services may be ignored in [...]
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Photo credit: Aerial view of Fort McMurray by Sara Venskaitis. Picture this. You’re flying in a small plane in the skies above Alberta somewhere near Edmonton. You look down… you see a tract of native aspen parkland, bisected by a road, and rimmed by farm fields and newly established residential areas. Pockets of industrial activity [...]
Want to earn points for doing good things for the environment? Play Eco-earner, an ecosystem services game that promotes the concept of earning points for demonstrating good environmental management, using game principles and technology. When we think of ecosystem services we often focus on the biophysical aspects of the environment. However, an important aspect of [...]
The University of Alberta and ABMI’s Bioacoustic Unit was recently featured on CBC’s Radio Active! Listen to Dr. Erin Bayne talk about using ARUs to track vocalizing species across the province, and check out more news coverage here, here, and here!
February 2, 2016 update: The Bioacoustic Unit in the Alberta Farmer Express!
Climate change has been in the news in recent weeks. In November, the provincial Climate Change Advisory Panel released their policy advice to the government in the form of the Climate Leadership Plan. And, this week marks the start of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, where leaders from across the world are convening to review the implementation of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Their goal is to achieve a universal agreement on climate to keep global warming below a 2°C rise from preindustrial levels (check out this infographic for the history of this benchmark).
The ABMI is working to understand climate change impacts on Alberta’s species and ecosystems and identify potential responses through our collaborative Biodiversity Management and Climate Change Adaptation project. In Alberta, we’ve experienced about 1.4°C of warming in Alberta over the last century, so we’re already living with climate change. Planning for continued climate change now (called adaptation) can help to avoid costly reactionary responses to climate change impacts in the future.
Our project was featured by CBC reporter Briar Stewart on the November 29th, 2015 edition of the radio news program The World This Weekend. Listen to hear our University of Alberta collaborators Dr. Scott Nielsen and Dr. Erin Bayne discuss what climate change might mean for the management of biodiversity in Alberta.
To learn more about their projects, check out our recent blog posts on assisted migration of Northern Blazing Star and on adaptation options for the management of Burrowing Owls in Alberta’s grasslands.
The Biodiversity Management and Climate Change Adaptation project received core funding from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation.
Cattle producers are stewards of 9 million hectares of grassland in Alberta that support biodiversity (Kosinski 2012). However, the relationship between beef production and biodiversity is complex and poorly understood. We do know that cattle grazing can have both positive and negative effects on wildlife; for example, cows in riparian areas can degrade sensitive vegetation [...]
Videos of the presentations are now available here! A version of this story originally appeared in Alberta Innovates – Bio Solution’s Newsletter, written by Elisa Valade and published October 1, 2015. On September 16, 2015, the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) hosted their first Ecosystem Services & Biodiversity Science Symposium: an engaging series of presentations [...]
All development activities have an impact on the environment, from large-scale open pit mining, to drilling for oil and gas, to clearing land for building a house. In the case of your house, you might want it to stay around for a long time. But in the case of oil and gas wellsites, we’d rather [...]