General status of Alberta wild species – Overview

Conservation goals are tracked in Alberta by monitoring the general status of wild vertebrate species.

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General status of Alberta wild species

Alberta has long enjoyed the legacy of abundant wild species. These same species are important environmental indicators. Their populations reflect the health and diversity of the environment.

Alberta Environment and Protected Areas and Wildlife Conservation

The Ministry of Alberta Environment and Protected Areas has designated the promotion of fish and wildlife conservation as one of its core business goals.

The status of wild vertebrate species (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish) is one of the performance indicators with which the ministry determines the effectiveness of its policies and service delivery.

Determining General Status of Wild Species in Alberta

Central to achieving this goal is the accurate determination of the general status of wild vertebrate species in the province. This exercise, which is conducted every five years, assists the provincial government in determining the need for, and direction of, sound management and habitat conservation programs.

In 1996 and 2000, the provincial government published reports on the general status of wild species in Alberta. In 2005 and 2010, general status assessments were made available through an online searchable database; we are pleased to present the rankings for 2015 in the same manner.

Objectives, Species Assessed and Future Developments

The General Status of Alberta Wild Species 2015 uses a system for evaluating the general status of all wild vertebrate species in Alberta.

General status determination is the first step in a continuing process of evaluating and reporting on the biological status of Alberta's wild species. Those species that "May Be At Risk" receive a detailed status assessment and will go on to receive much more detailed evaluation.

Objectives of the General Status

The general status exercise, and the resulting online database, is designed to achieve four objectives:

  • To produce a list of candidate species for more detailed status evaluations
  • To provide a reference for provincial government agencies in the development of wild species conservation and management programs
  • To provide information on, and raise awareness of, the current status of wild vertebrate species in Alberta
  • To stimulate broad public input in more clearly defining the status of individual species

Developments for Species Status Evaluation

Alberta Environment and Protected Areas will continue to evaluate the status of wild species on an ongoing basis. Alberta will also assist in the national general status assessment exercise featured at:

Although the national exercise uses different terminology and method than used to rank Alberta vertebrate species, the exercise is complimentary and covers more species groups than just vertebrates.

Thank you for your interest in Alberta's wild species.