Grizzly bears were listed as a Threatened species in Alberta in 2010. Their range covers most of western Alberta and has been divided into seven demographically separate Bear Management Areas (BMA). The AUPRF program has contributed to the fRI Grizzly Bear Research Program since 2003. Since that time much poop and hair have been collected, DNA analyzed and GPS points mapped. The biggest value gained from supporting this program has been:
- New analytical techniques have been developed;
- Habitat and Food models have been created;
- Mortalities have been investigated;
- Two grizzly bear census’ have been completed;
- Denning and connectivity models have been created.
Other information that we have learned are that gates are less useful than anticipated and bears don’t distinguish between gated and non-gated habitat. However, gate effectiveness can be maximized by keeping them locked.
There are bundles of GIS data available to program partners which will aid in project planning and has improved regulatory certainty over the years. You can even share it with your environmental consultants. This can also help companies with their worker safety programs by better predicting where bears are more likely to be at certain times of the year. AUPRF program members have access to an overview powerpoint presentation of the value that the GIS data and tools provide. Please contact Tannis Such at PTAC for more information.
Participate in the research program
Some cool tools and apps are also available. If your company operates in Bear Management Area 3 called the Yellowhead which is south of Hwy 16 and north of Hwy 11 the grizzly bear program wants your help to collect Bear Scat. http://www.grizzlyscatapp.ca/index.html
Contact Program Lead, Gordon Stenhouse (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Anja Sorensen (email@example.com). They will provide collection kits with a description on how the app works, what bear scat looks like, etc. Employees then just have to download the Grizzly Scat App onto a smartphone or tablet (Android or iOS), and use the in-app registration.