Alberta’s Merry Migrators: Water wings and hopes of spring

This is part two of a four part series on migrators. You can find the first part on songbirds here.

geese-shutterstock_61619167

There are still several weeks of winter left until we see one of the most iconic signs of spring – a group of Canada geese flying in a “V” formation. Alberta’s water birds are spending the winter in warmer southern climates.

Continue reading

When is a species no longer ‘at risk’? Understanding the trumpeter swan’s recovery

It’s a good summer for birds in Alberta. Early this month, we announced that the peregrine falcon has returned to nest on the banks of the Pembina for the first time in half a century. And now, we’re happy to report that another bird species – the trumpeter swan – has been removed from Alberta’s list of Threatened species.

Photo of a group of trumpeter swans.

These two success stories aren’t accidents – they’re the result of our Species at Risk program. This program helps us take action when a species is threatened. To do that, we need two things – a warning that the species is declining, and an understanding of what’s causing the threat.

Numbers aren’t everything – how do we know when a species is at risk?

You might think that a species has to be pretty rare in order to be considered ‘at risk’ – but that’s not necessarily true. What’s most important is whether the population of the species is decreasing significantly over time. Continue reading