(2012) Accumulated state assessment of the Peace-Athabasca-Slave River system. Alberta Energy Regulator suspends environmental monitoring for oilpatch over COVID-19. Social change affects the relationship between the landscape and its traditional inhabitants. The Bennett Dam, in particular, has been implicated in an array of hydrological and ecological impacts to the Peace River and downstream ecosystems in Wood Buffalo National Park. An Urgent Call to rehabilitate a Global Treasure. and limited to no mutual trust. Environmental Health Perspectives 119(3): 126-131. While now complemented with fossil fuels firewood continues to play a role, including culturally and for smoking fish and meat. 3 talking about this. How: muskrat push-ups and houses are counted and measured within 15 basins. As of 2018, wood bison are classified as threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the wood bison population in the site remains a cornerstone in the overall recovery efforts of the species (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2016, COSEWIC, 2013, Parks Canada, 2009) and continues to represent the most genetically diverse population in Canada (Parks Canada, 2020). Rosenberg, K.V., Dokter, A.M., Blancher, P.J., Sauer, J.R., Smith, A.C., Smith, P.A., Stanton, J.C., Panjabi, A., Helft, L., Parr, M., Marra, P.P. Other major threats to the property likewise stem from the outside. 76 p. Monk, W.A., Peters, D.L., and Baird, D.J. The main challenges are related to the monitoring of the impacts of highly complex and large-scale industrial development. Longstanding human interaction with the landscape and its biodiversity. Nevertheless, major and recent decision-making regarding oil sands and dam construction has often weighed social and economic benefits over conservation concerns. Recovery Strategy for the Wood Bison (Bison bison athabascae) in Canada [Proposed]. Science of Total Environment 686:968-985. doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.407. (1996). Owl survey Among the mammal species, both western science and local and indigenous knowledge suggest a major decline of muskrat (UNESCO/IUCN, 2016; Timoney, 2013). Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 51(3): 1-12. The overlapping Ramsar site named Whooping Crane Summer Range furthers demonstrates the global significance of the site for the conservation of the iconic species, North America’s tallest bird. Culp et al, 2018; McMaster et al, 2018 ; Herbert, 2019) provide greater understanding of the current status of many of the sites' World Heritage values, a comprehensive assessment of cumulative impacts is not yet available. (2020). (2017). Other examples include important wood bison range and Whooping Crane summer range outside of the park boundaries. The property and its immediate surroundings are the only summer range and breeding ground of the only wild, self-sustaining migratory flock of the endangered Whooping Crane (Grus americana) (World Heritage Committee, 1983; 2015; COSEWIC, 2010). The stations are designed to continuously monitor basic water quality parameters such as pH, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and temperature, as well as additional parameters that may be linked to industrial activities in the region. ISBN 0-921719-83-3. (2020). Unlike most other threats, one major concern is that climate change is likely to induce severe systemic change which would affect all conservation values of the national park, as well as traditional natural resource use. Frogs are examined for physical deformities and other indications of poor health. Conventional monitoring inside the park is largely functional, albeit limited due to resource constraints and subject to the challenges of monitoring over such a large area. Wetland Type and Surface Area monitoriing (remote sensing) The natural resources of the productive delta have been and continue to be of major importance for traditional livelihoods of First Nations and Métis. Traditional hunting, trapping, fishing and harvesting continue to be economically and culturally important activities. Spanish Falls, Alabama. How: Freshly-laid gull and tern eggs are collected and sent to a lab for chemical analysis of oil sands-related chemicals such as mercury, arsenic, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Objective: to monitor the annual area of forest burned in the park. Waterfowl population status, 2019. Major challenges include the adequate consideration of local and indigenous knowledge and views and monitoring responses to cumulative effects of multiple stressors. Whatever your choice of activity, a visit to the Visitor Reception Centre … Area burned and Burn Severity monitoring The mandate of Parks Canada as the land manager of the national park are limited in terms of addressing threats outside of a federal protected area. The main challenge is that all key threats are stemming from outside the national park and are thus, to a large degree, beyond the reach and mandate of Parks Canada, the land manager of the federal national park (UNESCO/IUCN, 2016). Plant Productivity and growing season change (remote sensing) Governments of Canada and Alberta. Given that large landscapes with a high degree of naturalness are vanishing across the planet, the importance of Wood Buffalo National Park as an iconic place and destination is ever more important. At 44,802 sq.km., this is the largest NP in North America and bigger than Switzerland. Kirk, J., Muir, D., Manzano, C., Cooke, C., Wiklund, J., GIeason, A., Summers , J., Smol, J., Kurek. Kurek, J., Kirk, J.L., Muir, D.C.G. (Weather station: Fort Mcmurray, Canada). Cooke C.A., Kirk, J.L., Muir, D.C.G., Wikllund, J., Wang, X., Gleason, A., and Evans, M.S. Environment Canada and University of Waterloo (2000). (2018) Synthesis report for the water component, Canada-Alberta joint oil sands monitoring: key findings and recommendations. J. Peace and Athabasca river watersheds have experienced a variety of incremental environmental effects from hydropower development, oil sands industrial activity, mineral exploration and extraction, and agriculture. Snow survey Beyond tensions with Parks Canada as the land manager, there are conflicts with other governmental institutions and the private sector, in particular as regards the Alberta Oil Sands. Timoney (2013) concluded muskrat abundance within WBNP/PAD fluctuates widely with water levels and mirror those outside of the NP. Breeding Bird Survey Ongoing monitoring is required to determine trends in these values in relation to the multiple and interactive threats which cumulatively impact upon them. This information was then applied by Parks Canada (Quirouette et al. Parks Canada, Environment Canada. Experienced scientists express concern about leakage from and breaches of tailings ponds (see Jaeger et al. Alberta’s Caribou: A Guide to Range Planning Vol. Accessed 17 November 2016. Environment Canada and Parks Canada – Wood Buffalo National Park. The 44,000-square-kilometre park is home to one of the largest free-roaming wood bison herds in the world. Main concerns relate to the long migration route and its winter range in Texas. Canadian Air and Precipitation Monitoring Network (CAPMoN)) While it is not agreed what exactly constitutes the delta, it is widely accepted that roughly 80% of it is located within WBNP (Timoney, 2013). Environmental impacts of forestry operations include themodification of water of water regimes and characteristics, as well as the indirect consequences of facilitating motorized land access to remote wilderness. Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. The northern regions of Alberta are protected within Wood Buffalo National Park ecozones- the hemisphere’s largest nature reserve. Wood Buffalo National Park is at risk of losing its UNESCO Heritage Status. Parks Canada. Objectives: To determine: the trend in relative abundance of muskrats within the Peace-Athabasca Delta over time; whether there is a difference in muskrat abundance between basins receiving water from the Athabasca and Birch Rivers; whether there is a difference in water quality between productive and unproductive basins;how long it takes for muskrats to re-establish after average to above-average snowfall years, or after flood events. Threats and risks include water withdrawals and the potential for accidental and long term discharges of toxic material including petroleum products. Parks Canada. Peace River water level (ECCC Enviironment and Climate Change Canada) COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Whooping Crane Grus americana in Canada. Beltaos, S. (2017). Fall 2013 Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. Wood Buffalo National Park: Science and Conservation: Wood Bison. Climate change is listed here as a potential, as well as, current threat because the full range of climate-induced effects is difficult to predict and a high likelihood of potential, unknown threats exist. The Narwhal. The vast size and remoteness does not make the property immune to threats, however. 2016), however the Government of Canada has committed substantial resources for the 2019 Action Plan. There is very little data related to the impact of traditional activities on fish and wildlife populations (Parks Canada, 2009). In 2016, Environment and Climate Change Canada acknowledged that, at present, the only effective tool to successfully eradicate the threat of bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis from within and surrounding Wood Buffalo National Park is by depopulation. Findings from such studies suggest that oil sands development threaten the values of the site. The 44,000-square-kilometre park is Canada’s largest national park and home to one of the largest free-roaming wood bison herds in the world. How: bison free zones are established in an area adjacent to the park and bison found in these areas are removed. Kay, M. L., Wiklund, J. Parks Canada (2009) noted "an abundance of non-native plants occupying large areas of the delta meadows”, in particular of Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) and Perennial Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis). Accessed 07 January 2017. As part of Canada's system of national parks and national historic sites, Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada is our country's largest national park and one of the largest in the world. Eclipses. Recent Action Plan and monitoring initiatives are salutary but are yet to be fully implemented and financed. (ANNews) – Wood Buffalo National Park is at risk of losing its UNESCO Heritage Status. Mikisew Cree First Nation – Government and Industry Relations Community Based Monitoring Program. Assess. (2019), for example, did not detect enrichment of metal concentrations in Athabasca delta sediment cores dated to pre-industrial times (pre-1920's) compared to present day and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages in the Peace-Athabasca Delta are in healthy condition and show no sign of cumulative effects from oil sands operations (Culp et al. Objective: to monitor the water quality of Pine Lake and Rainbow Lakes as representative lake ecosystems in the park. Wood Buffalo is Canada’s biggest national park and one of the largest in the world, according to Parks Canada. Alberta’s Oil Sands: Hard Evidence, Missing Data, New Promises. doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-803555-9.00006-2. Moose Surveys Minister of Environment, Government of British Columbia. USFWS – United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Forest Bird Community monitoring Multi-species Action Planning for Species-at-Risk Parks Canada, through the Wood Buffalo Action Plan, partnered with Ducks Unlimited Canada to complete updated wetland mapping for the park. (2018). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 113, Issue 1: 167-197. B., Hall, R. I., Last, W. M., Edwards, T. W., English, M. C., Karst‐Riddoch, T. L., & Palmini, R. (2006). B., Hall, R. I., Edwards, T. W., Vardy, S. R., Falcone, M. D., Sjunneskog, C., ... & van Driel, P. (2008). Forest Vegetation/ Composition monitoring Invasive Species SaIt plains weed removal PNAS 110(5): 1569-1570. Cold Regions Science and Technology 108: 49-58. Health of Amphibian Populations National marine conservation areas system, Directory of federal heritage designations, pc.woodbuffaloinfo-infowoodbuffalo.pc@canada.ca. PAD Marsh bird monitoring Headley, C..B.. Hydrol. Edmonton, AB. Environ. Objective: to provide an estimate of the number of moose in the park. Prowse, T.D., Beltaos, A., Gardner, J.T., Gibson, J.J., Granger, R.J., Leconte, R., Peters, D.L., Pietroniro, A., Romolo, L.A., Toth, B. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Schneider, R., and S. Dyer. Factual Record regarding Submission SEM-17-001. Visitation to the park is approximately 4,000 people per year and is primarily to the park's established day use and camping areas. Parks Canada. The combination of climate change and upstream dam construction has been changing the processes, vegetation and navigability of the delta. In Hurley, A., Davidson, D. How: cooperation across jurisdictions to address threats and limiting factors whooping crane recovery. Water isotope & metaI contaminant monitoring protocol development. As the intensity of land and resource use increase in the Wider Wood Buffalo National Park Ecosystem, improved communication, coordination and cooperation seems highly desirable. The chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation wants his people to play a bigger role in managing Wood Buffalo National Park, a world heritage site that straddles the Alberta-N.W.T. Current knowledge of seepage from oil sands tailings ponds and its environmental influence in northeastern Alberta. The property does not face entirely new threats but rather the potential intensification of well-known existing threats. 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