The following Wildlife Land Use Guidelines reflect current recommendations of the Fish and Wildlife Division of Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) and are consistent with the direction provided within the Enhanced Approval Process (EAP).
These wildlife guidelines apply to all land-use activities not covered by the EAP. For direction on wildlife mitigation for all upstream oil and gas activities, please consult:
Recommended Wildlife Land Use Guidelines
The guidelines have been developed for selected wildlife species, species groups and ecological regions of the province to assist land managers, land owners and land users in avoiding or minimizing potential adverse impacts to wildlife from various land use activities.
Fish and Wildlife Division Area staff are available for consultation and discussion on the recommendations within these guidelines.
- Key Wildlife and Biodiversity Zones
- Mountain Goat and Bighorn Sheep Range
- Select Wildlife Species and Habitat Within Grassland & Parkland Natural Regions of Alberta
- Trumpeter Swan Waterbodies and Watercourses
Wildlife Directive for Alberta Solar Energy Projects
The Wildlife Directive for Alberta Solar Energy Projects reviews the impacts that solar energy developments can have on wildlife, both directly and indirectly. Through a series of standards and best management practices, proponents can use the Directive to navigate their way through the planning, constructing and operating phases of their projects to ensure they are minimizing or eliminating the impacts on Alberta's wildlife population and habitats.
The Directive is an update of the Wildlife Guideline for Alberta Solar Energy Projects (2016) and was developed in consultation with industry and appropriate stakeholders.
Associated with this Directive is the following Grandfathering Administrative Procedure which outlines the transition process between the Wildlife Guidelines for Alberta Solar Energy Projects (2016) and the Wildlife Directive for Alberta Solar Energy Projects (2017).
Any requests for review by Alberta Environment and Parks – Wildlife Management must be submitted in the format outlined in the following document. By having all proponents submit information in the same format, review process can be more efficient, thus decreasing the wait time for industry.
It is the responsibility of the proponent to ensure that all required information and supporting documents, as identified in this template, are included in the submission.
Wildlife Directive for Alberta Wind Energy Projects
Wildlife Directive for Alberta Wind Energy Projects summarizes potential wildlife issues associated with wind energy developments and provides standards and best management practices for minimizing impacts to wildlife and wildlife habitat during the siting, construction and operation of wind farms in Alberta.
The Directive is an update of the Wildlife Guideline for Alberta Wind Energy Projects (2011) and was developed in consultation with industry and appropriate stakeholders. It is designed to direct wind energy proponents to minimize wildlife and wildlife habitat risks.
Associated with this Directive is the following Grandfathering Administrative Procedure which outlines the transition process from the 2011 Wildlife Guideline to the 2017 Wildlife Directive.
Any requests for review by Alberta Environment and Parks– Wildlife Management must be submitted in the format outlined in the following document. By having all proponents submit their reports in the same format, the review process can be more efficient, thus decreasing the wait time for industry. It is the responsibility of the proponent to ensure that all required information and supporting documents, as identified in this template, are included in the submission.
Bat Mitigation Framework for Wind Power Development
This framework is to inform both AEP-Wildlife Branch staff and industrial proponents about the management of bats in relation to wind power generation. The intent is that both developers and staff can use this framework to assist when discussing bat migration.
This framework can assist in the application of mitigation measures specific to reduce the effect of turbine operation on bats (i.e., minimize mortality). This document aims to improve upon knowledge and consistency when discussing
- bat fatalities
- pre-construction surveys and risk assessment
- post-construction monitoring
- step-wise bat mitigation strategies
This document was reviewed with bat experts with Alberta Bat Action Team (ABAT) and staff at the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) and endorsed by ESRD Wildlife Management.
Wildlife Directives for Alberta Renewable Energy Projects – Questions and Answers
Due to the exponential increase in the interest in renewable energy projects in Alberta, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) is currently experiencing longer than normal review periods. As projects are submitted, they enter a queue for review that currently has a 7 to 8 month wait period.
AEP is working on developing some efficiencies and increasing resources to help expedite the process. In the meantime, AEP encourages companies to assist our reviewers by ensuring consultants conducting the wildlife surveys follow appropriate established protocols and that all reporting follows the Wildlife Directives for Alberta Wind and Solar Energy Projects and associated documents.
The Questions and Answers page regarding the Wildlife Directives for Alberta Wind and Solar Energy Projects may help to provide some guidance and alleviate any outstanding confusion.
Renewable Energy and Wildlife Habitat Sensitivity Map
In order to assist in project planning, Alberta Environment and Parks is providing a Wildlife Habitat Sensitivity Map.
The goal of this document is to help guide the site selection process to areas with lower risk to Alberta's wildlife and wildlife habitat. The map was developed in concert with the Wildlife Directive for Alberta Wind Energy Projects and Wildlife Guidelines for Alberta Solar Energy Projects and reflects potential risks to wildlife and wildlife habitat.
An accompanying document is available that dictates how to use and interpret the map. This map should not be interpreted as a regulatory map, but as a pre-planning tool. The associated shape file is now available for download below. It is important to note that these files may be updated in the future and therefore any proponent using these files, should ensure the version they are referencing is, in fact, the latest version. Proponents are encouraged to contact their local Alberta Environment and Parks Wildlife Biologist for more information on areas of interest.
- Areas of Wildlife Habitat Sensitivities Map and Interpreting the Map
- Areas of Wildlife Habitat Sensitivities Shape File(ZIP)
Wildlife Key Areas/Sites
The guidelines are primarily targeted to specific wildlife key areas/sites that play an essential role in ensuring the continued survival of local and regional populations of the identified wildlife species or species group.
The areas where these recommendations apply are indicated by Wildlife Sensitivity Layers that are consistent with the Landscape Analysis Tool (LAT) and available at:
These guidelines are either provincial or regional in scope and should be applied with judgement that considers the specific physical and vegetative characteristics of an area/site, as well as the types of existing land uses at and adjacent to the area/site.
Applying the Guidelines to Private Land Use
Provincial land managers (i.e., Forestry Division and Lands Division of Alberta Environment and Parks) will consider these guidelines and may incorporate them into land use dispositions on provincial Crown lands.
However, because wildlife are the property of the Crown, irrespective of whether they occur on publicly- or private-owned land, private land owners and businesses/companies operating on private lands should also be familiar with these guidelines and make use of them where and as appropriate.
Guideline Review Process
These guidelines are subject to review and refinement on an ongoing basis, and may be updated to reflect changes in knowledge of mitigation strategies.
Comments on the substance of these guidelines and requests for further information may be submitted to:
- Provincial Wildlife Habitat Specialist
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
Tel: 780 427-3029
For AEP Area Office locations, see:
Please refer to the Caribou Management to see some of the mitigation strategies the Alberta government is using to stop the decline of woodland caribou populations.