WHERE THE RUBBER HITS THE ROAD: IMPLEMENTATION OF CALL OF THE WETLANDCategory: 2018, Current, Grant, Land Use, Major Project
Urban wetlands need our help. Wetland loss in urban context is well documented, management is focused on storm water function and not dual role of maintaining biodiversity and amphibian populations within Calgary are not well understood. Miistakis Institute and partners developed Call of the Wetland, a citizen science program designed to encourage Calgary’s public to visit natural areas and monitor amphibians in the City of Calgary. Volunteers participate by surveying wetlands for amphibians at specified wetlands and reporting their observations via a program smartphone application. Sixty wetlands within the City of Calgary were identified for surveying, and each wetland was visited 9 times during the amphibian season.
During the first two seasons (spring and summer 2017 and 2018) 350 people downloaded the app, 200 Calgarians participated in surveys and 584 surveys were completed. Three different species of amphibian were recorded in the City. The data has value – Call of the Wetland is timely as the City of Calgary released a Biodiversity Strategy which Call of the Wetland results will help inform. In addition, data will be fed into the provincial Fish and Wildlife database to inform development projects occurring on provincial land within the City (i.e. ring road). We continue to lose wetlands in Calgary; a stronger informed voice is needed if we are to support healthy biodiverse wetlands in an urban context. Action is needed by all stakeholders to maintain and restore wetlands in and around the City of Calgary.