Love nature (especially wolves, caribou, forest)? Concerned about conservation? Interested in science? Follow politics & environmental mgmt in BC, Alberta, elsewhere in Canada? All of the above? Read this thread by @JasonTFisherLab. #ABLeg #BCPoli #CdnSci #SpeciesAtRisk twitter.com/JasonTFisherLa… Retweeted by Fiera Biological

What a wonderful day! Nature sustains us — all of us. We must take care of it (inside and outside parks). ❤️ pic.twitter.com/IF8Ql937nL Retweeted by Fiera Biological

Archive for Biological Resource Assessments

Remote sensing, GIS, land cover classification, wetland inventory, habitat modeling, machine learning, random forest classifier

Team Profile: Shantel Koenig

Team Profile: Shantel Koenig Ph.D. Landscape Ecologist & GIS Specialist

Shantel started with Fiera in October of 2016, and brought highly valued capabilities in complex spatial modelling and statistical analysis. She came with a Masters in Geographic Information Systems, and completed her PhD a short while after settling in. Her graduate research focused on using Spatial Interaction Models (SIMS) to model metapopulations and analyze landscape connectivity. Since then, her experience creating Resource Selection Function (RSF) models for species at risk, processing and analyzing wildlife movement (telemetry) data, creating land cover classifications, and conducting habitat connectivity analysis using a variety of spatial modeling techniques has been invaluable. During her time with us she has published two peer reviewed research papers, one in the field of theoretical ecology, and another in the field of remote sensing, and contributed significantly to at least a dozen high profile technical reports. When Shantel isn’t in the office helping to make Fiera awesome, there is a good chance that she is riding a muddy bicycle somewhere really, really fast, playing electric base on a jazz or folk music album, or countering the stigma associated with having advanced statistical skills by posting images of her beloved cat, Ella. 

Highlights of 2016. Shantel Koenig, Landscape Ecologist, Fiera Biological Consulting. She rides bikes, fast. #catlady

Shantel Koenig, Landscape Ecologist, Fiera Biological Consulting. She rides bikes, fast. #catlady

Ella, the cat

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Posted in: Biological Resource Assessments, Environmental Planning, News, Notes from the Field, Remote Sensing & GIS, Wildlife Research and Monitoring

Great Horned Owl Nest. nest surveys, stick nest, wildlife act, migratory birds, raptors, land clearing, vegetation clearing, developments, restricted activity period, nesting season, early nesters, tree stands, raptors, raptor nests, stewardship, consultant, consulting, consult, Edmonton, Alberta, Saskatchewan,

You should give a hoot about Owls

It’s owl nesting season folks, and here’s why you should give a hoot!

In Alberta, great horned owls can start their mating/nesting as early as January. That’s a pretty crazy time to be thinking about incubating an egg on top of some sticks precariously tangled in the top of a tree, but that’s what these monogamous perching predators are into. Who are we to judge?

Owls, Great Horned Owl Nest. nest surveys, stick nest, wildlife act, migratory birds, raptors, land clearing, vegetation clearing, developments, restricted activity period, nesting season, early nesters, tree stands, raptors, raptor nests, stewardship, consultant, consulting, consult, Edmonton, Alberta, Saskatchewan,
Great Horned Owl Nest. Nesting activity can occur as early as January in Alberta.

Owls on the edge!

When most people think of nests, they think of deep, basket-shaped, feather-lined structures, but the truth for great horned owls can be much different. The platform nests they often prefer leave their eggs and their young exposed to the Alberta elements, that is unless mom is there to keep them incubated and warm. Can you imagine being a nestling, sitting on what amounts to a coffee table mounted on the end of a flagpole while virtually naked, in an Alberta winter windchill?  Given those conditions its easy to see why survival of baby owls can be pretty tenuous. Unattended owlets can easily succumb to the elements, or fall prey to ravens, and a host of other predators. Thats why it’s very important that the parents are not disturbed by human activity during the nesting period.

Owls, Great Horned Owl, GHOW, boreal, wildlife surveys, Alberta, Natural Area Site Assessments, Nesting Bird Surveys, broadcast surveys, playback surveys, Wildlife Act, Migratory Bird Act, Point count survey, avian survey, bird survey, Edmonton, Alberta, consultant.
Great Horned Owl

Owl nests are protected

In fact, this is so important for all raptors (owls, hawks, eagles, falcons) that the Alberta Wildlife Act protects active raptor nests from any disturbance by people. That means that any land clearing or industrial activity happening in tree stands or woodlots this time of year (January through May) could not only be causing some dangerously chilly and unhappy baby owls, but could also be a violation of the law! Thats why you should call a professional wildlife biologist for advice before doing any land clearing of tree stands or woodlots this time of year.

Give us a hoot!

Where the heck do you find a professional wildlife biologist? Good question, just contact us, and we will put you in touch with a good one!

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Owl bet you can’t pass this quiz about owls!

Test your knowledge of Alberta's owls.

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Posted in: Biological Resource Assessments, Environmental Planning, News

Wildlife Snow-tracking Course – Saskatoon

Wildlife Snow-tracking for Professionals.

We are very excited to announce that we will be conducting a Wildlife Snow-Tracking for Professionals course in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

If you are a professional, an aspiring professional, or a keen naturalist, this is a great course for you. A 50/50 mix of class room and practical field work will help hold your attention, lay a foundation for life-long niche skillset. The course will consist of a day-long classroom session on Monday, February 4th, and a day in the field on Tuesday, February 5th, 2019.

Ideal for professionals seeking confidence in track identification, this workshop is for anyone interested in learning how to identify wildlife tracks in snow. Suitable for beginners and experts, the course will cover the kinds of data that can be collected, and the ways data can be used infer information about individuals and populations, in addition to the basics of snow track identification. Over the course of two days, participants will work towards accurate, confident, and efficient identification of similar species.  Read more


Posted in: Biological Resource Assessments, News, Wildlife Research and Monitoring

Weasel track, snow track, track identification, wildlife, nature, naturalist, species identification,

2017 Wildlife Snow-tracking Workshop

Fiera Biological is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a Wildlife Snow-tracking Workshop in Edmonton, Alberta. The workshop will consist of a two-hour classroom session during the evening of Friday December 1, 2017, and a half-day in the field on Saturday, December 2, 2017.

Fiera Biological is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a Wildlife Snow-tracking Workshop in Edmonton, Alberta. The workshop will consist of a two-hour classroom session during the evening of Friday December 1, 2017, and a half-day in the field on Saturday, December 2, 2017.

This workshop is for anyone interested in learning how to identify wildlife snow tracks. Ideal for the beginner,  the workshop will cover the basics of snow track identification, but is also likely to offer something to even the most experienced wildlife tracker. Read more

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Posted in: Biological Resource Assessments, News, Wildlife Research and Monitoring

UAV, Riley, Draganflyer X4P, UAV Geomatics, Ecological Geomatics, Riparian Assessments with Drone, Wetland Assessments with Drone, ecology, Drone, processing

Geomatic Applications in Ecology

Using Drones and Remote Sensing Techniques to make Habitat Management Decisions!

These days it seems everyone and their dog has gone a little bit drone crazy! From wedding photographers and real-estate agents, to land surveyors and engineering firms, just about everyone has a drone and is touting it as evidence of their innovation. Unfortunately, most of the innovation is unrealized because so few have the knowledge and technical ability do anything other than produce pretty pictures. Read more

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Posted in: Biological Resource Assessments, Environmental Planning, News, Remote Sensing & GIS, Wildlife Research and Monitoring