The Researching Amphibian Numbers in Alberta (RANA) project was initiated in 1996 and has two objectives:

  • to collect detailed information on amphibian populations in Alberta
  • to promote public knowledge of amphibians by allowing a hands-on experience

RANA locations

RANA sites have operated at seven different locations around the province.

Active Sites – sites where amphibian studies are currently being conducted:

  • Hinton
  • Kananaskis
  • Meanook

Inactive Sites – sites where amphibian studies were formerly conducted:

  • Beaverhill Bird Observatory
  • Cypress Hills Provincial Park
  • Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park
  • Saskatoon Island Provincial Park

How amphibian monitoring works

  • Representative ponds are fenced (plastic or silt fencing) and pitfall traps (aluminum cans sunk into ground) are placed every 10 metres inside and outside along this fencing.
  • The fencing directs the amphibians to the traps where they fall into the bottom of the trap.
  • Traps are checked daily and animals that are caught are:
    • identified
    • aged
    • sexed
    • measured
    • weighed
    • released
  • Over the long term, these sites can provide valuable information on populations and productivity. This can help us better understand changes in populations of Alberta amphibians.


If you would like more information about the RANA project or would like to visit one of the sites, contact:

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