Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Program Prototype

901951, Kirk Andries, Alberta Research Council

The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Program (ABMP) was initiated in 1998 through a partnership of industry, government, university, and non-government organizations to measure and report on the status and temporal changes in biodiversity, habitats and anthropogenic (manmade) disturbances in Alberta at the regional and provincial scales. The ABMP was designed to:

  1. Support existing commitments for biodiversity monitoring,
  2. Develop a common, standardized methodology that could be applied across all jurisdictions within Alberta,
  3. Have monitoring that occurred in both aquatic and terrestrial systems, occurred across a hierarchy of spatial scales,
    occurred in locations having a wide range of land use histories, including those with limited human influence, and included ecosystem elements that represent life forms from diverse taxonomic groups and trophic levels,
  4. Estimate natural variability to assist interpretations of the significance of any changes observed,
  5. Be transparent and subject to rigorous technical review, and
  6. Provide data and information freely to everyone.

The basic survey design of the ABMP consists of 1650 sites, evenly spaced on a grid pattern throughout Alberta. Once the ABMP is fully operational, approximately 375 ABMP sites will be surveyed each year. The ABMP was designed to detect, with at least 90% certainty, a change of 3% per year within a region after 3 visits to a site, and a two-fold difference between regions after
one complete set of surveys. In addition, the program was designed to have less than a 10% probability of declaring a difference when there really was none. A group of senior managers from government, industry, and non-government organizations
reviewed the ABMP and implemented the Prototype Project during 2003 to move the program from the developmental phase into the operational phase.