Long Term Winter Monitoring Program
The effects of in-situ oil sands development, characterized largely by linear anthropogenic features, on many wildlife species in the boreal forest are poorly understood. This long-term monitoring program is designed to understand the impacts of incrementally increasing in-situ oil sands development on winter-active wildlife species over the full life cycles of multiple projects. Since its inception in 2002, this monitoring has supported five separate project applications and project specific wildlife monitoring commitments.
Using standard winter tracking protocols, surveys have been replicated almost yearly between 2002 and 2016. This ongoing program is one of the most robust wildlife monitoring programs in the in-situ oil sands area and has provided new insights into wildlife responses to this type of development. Ongoing monitoring results continue to provide an empirical source for understanding and assessing the effects of incremental project activities and for developing effective mitigation measures.
A manuscript is currently under development and the work is ongoing.