All posts in Science

Made in Alberta models help continental bird conservation

A new collaborative paper looks at different approaches to estimating population size for birds, and what they mean for how we understand population changes over time. In this guest post, the paper’s lead author and ABMI senior statistical ecologist Péter Sólymos gives us a behind-the-scenes tour. Recently, I worked with a team of researchers from [...]

Field notes from isolation: Data management in a digital world

We understand that many of our readers, like us, are hunkered down as the events around COVID-19 unfold. We hope you’re keeping as well as can be under the circumstances. Meanwhile, ABMI operations continue with a temporary shift of focus away from on-the-ground fieldwork and toward work that can be done digitally. To that end, [...]

Bird declines in North America: a deeper dive using long-term ABMI and BAM data

A recent paper highlighted the decline of North American bird populations. Guest blogger Dr. Peter Solymos, a statistical ecologist with the ABMI and Boreal Avian Modelling Project (BAM), digs deeper into the story and provides insights from the long-term ABMI + BAM data set. A paper by Ken Rosenberg et al. in Science made headlines last [...]

New collaborative research in the race to save Woodland Caribou

Woodland caribou populations in Alberta and BC are declining, and many will be lost without fast management action. To stem the decline in local population loss, intensively applying a cocktail of management actions is more effective than applying actions weakly or alone. These are some of the key conclusions of a new study just published [...]

Putting the Science in the ABMI’s 10-year Science and Program Review

As you’ve probably heard by now, the ABMI celebrated 10 years of operations last year by conducting a major review of its overall operations. This review process had two distinct components: a Stakeholder Needs Assessment, to evaluate the ABMI’s success in meeting the needs of its key partners and stakeholders; and a Science Review, to [...]

Easy as 1-2-3, but 1-2-3-4-5 might be better: How long should a point count take?

Péter Sólymos, a statistical ecologist with the ABMI, Boreal Avian Modelling project, and the U of A, brings us a guest post about his team’s new paper on point count methods for sampling boreal birds. Humans attach more value to rare things, but in conservation biology, rarity often implies an elevated risk. For example, smaller [...]

Rarity and sample bias in the secret world of lichens

A modified version of this post recently appeared as part of the ABMI’s regular feature in the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists’ newsletter, BIOS Quarterly. Here at the ABMI, we like to say that you manage what you measure—that the more we know about our living resources, the more likely we’ll be to responsibly manage [...]

Field tech.

The Secret Life of Fieldwork at the ABMI

Now that it’s finally spring and our world is turning green, many of us are probably thinking about gardens and backyard BBQs and quality time outdoors. Here at the ABMI, we wish we had more time for BBQs, but we’ve got the outdoors part covered as we gear up for another season collecting data on [...]