The province will be adding more funding and teaming up with researchers to develop new resources and tools that will help wildlife experts work together, and study and monitor bears, moose, cougars and other species from miles away.
While researchers have used remote cameras to monitor wildlife in Alberta for many years, collecting the data, coordinating with other researchers and reporting information effectively can be challenging.
This challenge is being addressed by adding $70,000 in funding from the province, which will help in creating a new online tool to help researchers design remote camera projects, gather data and analyze it.
"This new online tool will help Alberta’s wildlife monitoring projects streamline and coordinate their efforts, regardless of their location, leading to better research," the province stated.
In 2022, a $66,000 grant from the Office of the Chief Scientist Alberta Environment and Protected Areas, the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) and the University of Alberta developed new remote camera standards and best practice resources, as well as training materials and tools for wildlife monitoring.
"As part of this project, Alberta released new remote camera survey guidelines and standards to help improve research, data collection and reporting. This work also improved Alberta’s understanding of what remote cameras are capturing, leading researchers to adjust the cameras and get a clearer picture of wildlife conditions."
Corrina Copp, information centre director at the ABMI said that the implications for data compatibility are huge.
"The more the standards are adopted by remote camera users, the larger the pool of data available to answer bigger and broader questions about wildlife."
Remote cameras are most often used to monitor medium to larger mammals like white-tailed deer and bears but can also capture images of smaller creatures like birds and amphibians. They are also used to monitor elusive and far-ranging predators like wolverines and cougars.