Burrowing Owl Photo: Greg Lasley

In order to protect Alberta's Endangered species, it's important to find the answers to three questions:

  • what does it mean when a species is 'endangered?'
  • which Alberta species are endangered?
  • what can be done to help them?

This page provides information that will help you find answers to the first two questions and describes some organizations and programs that are working to restore extinct species or to keep endangered species from becoming extinct.

The Alberta Special Places Page tells you about Alberta's six distinct types of habitat on which species depend. It is our belief that an important way to protect species is to provide long term protection for at least a portion of their habitat.

For many people, the term 'endangered species' brings to mind well known, large animals like the African Elephant.

But here, in Alberta, the cumulative effect of farming, oil & gas development, mining, forestry and the establishment of our towns and roadways has put as many as 55 percent of Alberta species at risk.

According to the Alberta Government Fish & Wildlife Branch:

  • 20 species of Alberta fish and wildlife are in serious risk of dying out in our province.
  • 2 species are already gone.
  • only 55 per cent of the 535 species found in Alberta are considered healthy.

So, the problem exists right here in our own backyard.

We can do more here to protect species than we can in far away places. We are, after all, the stewards of our own lands.

But we aren't acting as if there is a problem. For example, while the Alberta Government provides good quality information about threatened and endangered species in Alberta, it is simply not doing enough to protect them. And, the Alberta Government is now leading a fight against Federal Endangered Species Legislation.

Endangered Species: What are they & Why are they Important?

Endangered Species in Canada

Endangered Species Legislation in Canada and Habitat Protection in Alberta

The United States has an Endangered Species Act which protects habitat for species that are endangered. Canada does not. The Canadian Federal Government has now tabled Endangered Species Legislation which is being opposed by many provinces, including Alberta.

Alberta is also resisting setting aside portions of its six diverse natural regions as a means of protecting species dependent on each regions.

  • Special Places 2000. The Alberta Government claims that it has successfully implemented the Special Places Program, but this is merely spin doctoring it's unwillingness to provide protection for species.
  • The alberta government is also proposing Natural Heritage Act which some suggest will remove protection from parks -- a step backwards.
  • The Proposed Canadian Endangered Species Act has been roadblocked by Alberta and other provinces. Just as Alberta has steadfastly refused to protect habitat in the Special Places 2000 program, so is it trying to prevent the Federal government from taking a role.
Blue Flag
Leopard Frog

Want to help protect species and special places?

1. Join or Make a Donation to an Organization that makes a difference.

2. Email or Write the Premier [The Hon. Ralph Klein] and the Minister of Alberta Environmental Protection and express your concern.

[Note: it's not easy to find email links to Alberta Government Ministers -- these are the best that could be found after an extensive search. Consider also phoning or writing the Premier and Minister of Environmental Protection.]

3. Take personal action:

Special Places
At-Risk Species
6 Regions
Green Links

Credits: The information on Alberta's Endangered Species was compiled partly from a series of brochures produced by Alberta Environmental Protection's Wildlife Management Branch.