Canada Wildlife Week is celebrated each year in April in honour of the late Jack Miner, a founding member of Canada’s conservation movement and an instrumental player in the successful efforts to save the Canada Goose from extinction. Wildlife Week gives us all an opportunity to celebrate Miner’s legacy – and do our part to make sure it continues.
Learning more about Alberta’s wildlife is a great way to do that – and there’s certainly a lot to learn. Alberta’s diversity – of both flora and fauna – is stunning. We’re home to more than 1800 kinds of flowers, 411 different species of birds, and 93 mammal species – plus, lots more.
This diversity creates a fascinating backyard for all Albertans to explore, and planning a wildlife watching trip is a free, easy way to do that. Responsible wildlife viewing can teach children – and Albertans of all ages – more about the ecosystems that surround us.
Here are five tips to make sure your wildlife watching adventure is safe, fun and sustainable:
- Plan ahead and do your research: Learn the best times of year and best locations for viewing wildlife in your area. Our Watchable Wildlife website has a wealth of information to help you plan your outdoor adventure. Click on any of the eight regions to find viewing sites, maps, and information on species found in the area.
- Be quiet and patient: Some wildlife, especially new parents, are sensitive to disruptions.
- Protect nature: Stay on designated trails, and keep dogs on a leash.
- Watch for wildlife signs: Tracks, nests, droppings, and bits of fur or feathers are helpful clues.
- Stay safe: Keep a respectful distance from wildlife and stay alert to avoid bears and cougars.
For more information on National Wildlife Week and their other projects, visit the Canada Wildlife Federation website.