Wildlife within Calgary’s parks play a very important role in maintaining and sustaining a healthy environment. Our natural parks range in size from 0.43 hectares to 1127 hectares and are home to an array of both flora and fauna, including wild animals that can make a stroll through the park very memorable. Safety First! All wild animals are unpredictable. For your safety and the animal’s well being, please maintain a safe distance between yourself and any animal encountered. Do not provoke animals and remember, never feed any wildlife.
To better understand wildlife in Calgary, we are starting a wildlife monitoring program this year. To monitor wildlife, motion activated cameras will be installed in 11 City parks and one provincial park to take pictures of wildlife in those areas. We will use information from this monitoring program to make better decisions when planning parks and other City spaces.
The park we are installing cameras in include:
- Paskapoo Slopes
- Tom Campbell’s Hill
- Ralph Klein Park
- Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
- Confluence Park
- Edworthy Park / Lowrey Gardens
- Bowmont Park
- Griffith Woods
- Nose Hill Park
- Edgemont Ravines
- North / South Glenmore Park and Weaselhead
- Fish Creek Provincial Park
Once we have a database of images to classify, we will be asking residents to help us classify them using a platform called Zooniverse. More details will be shared when the program moves into that phase.
Some of the questions we will be exploring over the next few years include:
Who calls Calgary home? While we can’t directly measure populations with the data from our cameras, we can get a sense of what wildlife calls Calgary home.
Where are they? Finding out where certain species are most likely to spend time allows us to target conservation and management efforts.
How do species live with each other? This program will help us understand how species in Calgary might compete with one another, engage in predator-prey dynamics or avoid each other. By evaluating our camera images, we can begin to better understand the Calgary urban ecosystem, including how all the species interact.
How can humans and wildlife co-exist in a city? We know that people change the way wildlife behave – some animals adapt well to humans, some are indifferent, and some avoid us. The camera data will allow us to better understand our impact on wildlife.
What to do if you see a wild animal
For more information on coyotes visit the Living with coyotes website.
Richardson’s ground squirrel (Gopher)
The City of Calgary Parks will manage issues related to ground squirrels on City-owned land when holes pose a safety risk for people and their pets (such as sports fields) or threaten municipal land (such as causing slope failures). The City does not conduct gopher control in natural environment parks in Calgary.
If you have any other concerns or questions about bats, visit the Bat Conservation Society of Calgary.
For more information on fauna in natural parks, contact Parks.