About the Program

The Southwest Alberta Montane Research Program

This major multi-collaborator program is describing wildlife movements and habitat use in southwest Alberta. While the program focuses on elk, it also examines wolves, bears and cougars. Research is looking at migratory patterns, seasonal ranges and habitat use, location of critical habitat, important seasons in life cycles, and predator-prey relationships. Researchers are also assessing the effects of human activities on wildlife in the program area.

Elk are an important wildlife resource in southern Alberta. Maintaining elk habitat and reducing disturbance during critical seasons of their life cycle is important to sustaining viable elk herds in the region.

Initiated by the Alberta Government and industry partners, the program is carried out through collaboration with a large number of research technicians, undergraduate and graduate students, representing the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and Oregon State University. Over one hundred and seventy elk have been captured since January 2007 and these elk are currently monitored using Global Positioning System (GPS) collars that use satellite link technology during the seven-year program.

Alberta Industry Partners:

  • Shell Canada Limited

Educational Partners:
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Alberta
  • Oregon State University

Government Partners:
  • The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
  • Parks Canada
  • Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation

Environmental Non-government Organization:
  • Alberta Conservation Association