There are a number of initiatives underway to monitor wildlife throughout the oil sands region, including Syncrude reclamation areas.
Preliminary results indicate a healthy presence of songbirds in our reclaimed areas.
For example, we continue to support the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute and the projects developed through the Ecological Monitoring Committee for the Lower Athabasca Planning Region. As well, through CEMA’s Wildlife Task Group, we participate in the Early Successional Wildlife Monitoring Program on Reclaimed Plots in the Oil Sands program.
In 2011, songbird research began through the Institute for Bird Populations’ Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program. This program monitors numbers, habitat development, bird reproduction and survivorship in reclaimed areas and compares it with natural habitats. Preliminary results indicate a healthy presence of songbirds in our reclaimed areas.
Several initiatives are underway to assess and monitor the cumulative environmental effects of industrial development.
We also monitor the wildlife that has returned to our reclaimed land to ensure restoration practices are creating attractive habitat for species to return. Regulators require this data as part of the government certification process.
Several programs and research initiatives have been established in northeastern Alberta to assess and monitor the cumulative environmental effects of industrial development at a regional scale. This work is undertaken by government and stakeholders such as Aboriginal communities, industry, environmental advocacy groups, and health organizations. Syncrude funds and/or provides staff expertise to the following: