Table of contents

The wildlife sensitive feature layers that AEP uses are derived from

  • Aerial Surveys
  • Historical Information
  • Movements of Collared Animals (Telemetry)
  • Specific Habitat Types

These range delineations are based on all available scientifically-derived information.

Key Features

These wildlife feature layers provide industrial operators, government departments and the general public with the best information currently available on the extent of wildlife sensitivities.

These layers are also available through the Landscape Analysis Tool used by the Government of Alberta. Specific operating conditions apply to industrial activities within these sensitive feature layers to help mitigate the effects of development on wildlife populations and habitat.

Wildlife Sensitivity Data Sets

Spatial Data Layer Formats

Provincial Wildlife Sensitive feature spatial data layers are available in GIS-usable format that require GIS software such as ESRI® ArcGIS and are provided in the following WinZip files for each sensitivity layer.

Non-GIS users can access the tabular data by opening the *.dbf tables files in spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel. These files are represented in the GCS North American 1983 Geographic Coordinate System.

In most cases, each wildlife sensitivity layer has been developed as a single shapefile layer (ESRI Arc Map/ArcView Shapefile - .dbf, .prj, .shp, .shx, .sbn, .sbx, .xml). However, in other cases, a wildlife sensitivity may be represented by 2 or more layers.

Metadata has been compiled and embedded within each shapefile, however non-GIS users may access the metadata by opening the *.xml files using a web browser. These data layers have been endorsed by the department as representing the wildlife sensitivity layers.

January 8, 2021 – Changes to Key Range Layers and Key Wildlife Layers

Spatial Layer Change
Greater Sage Grouse Replaced with Greater Sage Grouse Core and Recovery Area
Greater Sage Grouse Core Area New
Greater Sage Grouse Recovery Area New
Sensitive Snake Hibernacula Range Replaces Sensitive Snake Range
Sensitive Snake Habitat New
Provincial Hibernacula Buffer New
Greater Short-horned Lizard Range Minor boundary change
Caribou Range Zone A New
Caribou Range Zone B New
Trumpeter Swan Waterbodies/Watercourse Karr Lake was added to the layer
Mountain Goat and Sheep Area Minor boundary change
Mountain Goat and Sheep Area Disease Buffer New
Critical Habitat of Aquatic Species at Risk Replaces Federal Aquatic Critical Habitat Layer

Key Range Layers

Layers based on known extent or partial extent of a species range in Alberta. These ranges can assist with surveys for identification of a feature, or identify where mitigation strategies are to be applied.

Key Wildlife Layers

These maps identify the locations of key wildlife areas important for the viability and productivity of Alberta's wildlife populations. Mitigation strategies are generally applicable to maintain the intent of these important areas.

For more information on any of these layers, please contact:

Critical Habitat of Aquatic Species at Risk

This layer identifies aquatic critical habitat for aquatic species at risk and is protected from destruction under federal Critical Habitat Orders [Species at Risk Act s.58].

It should be noted that this layer only represents aquatic critical habitat where a Federal Protection Order is in effect. There may be additional species or locations where aquatic critical habitat has been identified and this layer will be updated as new Critical Habitat Orders are applied.

Proponents and Disposition Holders should contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada in relation to the application of the Species at Risk Act (Canada) and specifically to determine responsibilities and obligations for protection of aquatic critical habitat regardless of the presence of Critical Habitat Orders.

Fisheries Protection Program
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
867 Lakeshore Road
Burlington, Ontario L7S 1A1
Telephone: 1-855-852-8320
Email: [email protected]

For additional information, visit the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website at:

Also visit the Government of Canada website at:

Federal Emergency Order for the Protection of Greater Sage-Grouse

This identifies the area under Federal Emergency Orders in Alberta. Presently, the only Federal Emergency Order identified is the Federal Emergency Order for the Protection of the Grater Sage-Grouse. To obtain more information on the Species at Risk Act (Canada) and the prohibitions set out in the Emergency Order for the Protection of the Greater Sage-Grouse, individuals can contact:

Canadian Wildlife Service - Prairie Region
Environment and Climate Change Canade
Eastgate Offices
9250 – 49th Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6B 1K5
Telephone: 1-855-245-0331 (toll free)
Email: [email protected]
Web address: sararegistry.gc.ca