Biodiversity Monitoring


The Biodiversity Monitoring team tracks changes in Alberta’s wildlife and their habitats and provides ongoing, relevant, scientifically credible information on Alberta’s living resources.

InnoTech Alberta is a key partner in the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI), the largest project of its kind ever attempted in Canada. The ABMI is designed to act as an early warning system by monitoring the cumulative effects of biodiversity change in regions throughout Alberta.

ABMI uses remote sensing and field sampling protocols to track more than 2,000 species and habitats on more than 1,650 sites throughout Alberta. The system is designed to detect, with at least 90 per cent certainty, a change of three percent a year within a region after three visits to a site.

Located at InnoTech’s Vegreville location, ABMI’s world-class monitoring centre employs scientifically rigorous and defensible data collection methods for monitoring a broad diversity of biota and habitat structures. This information is processed at partner centres at the Royal Alberta Museum and the University of Alberta to document status and change over time in biodiversity, landscape composition and ecological integrity. The ABMI is developing a data management system capable of integrating and analyzing multiple types of collected field data and remote sensed information.

ABMI’s scientific analyses is co-led by InnoTech and the University of Alberta. ABMI’s data collection and analyses are a proactive risk management tool that provides early detection of biodiversity change, enabling resource managers to make informed land-use decisions and implement corrective actions before costly recovery programs are necessary.

Biodiversity monitoring is part of the mandate of the provincial and federal governments and is necessary to industry to assure access to Alberta’s resources. InnoTech and ABMI provide services to:

  • Government: Assist regulators in planning for sustainable resource development and help government meet its reporting obligations to Albertans.
  • Industry: Help resource managers understand the impact of their activities on Alberta’s biodiversity and provide them with relevant, timely and credible scientific knowledge to support better decision making.

The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute has significant application to regional and provincial management responsibilities including:

  • Strategic land-use planning
  • Cumulative impact assessment and management
  • Performance monitoring (effectiveness monitoring and stewardship reporting)
  • Status reporting
  • Adaptive management

ABMI’s monitoring centre conducts world-class monitoring of the changing state of Alberta’s species, habitats and ecosystems.

The activities conducted by the Monitoring Centre include:

  • Field  data collection
  • Data processing and verification

The activities conducted by the Science Centre include:

  • Developing and testing sampling methods
  • Data summary and quality control
  • Analyses of status and trend over time for species and habitats throughout Alberta
  • Maintenance of scientific rigor within the program