Call of the Wetland


Wetlands represent natural infrastructure that plays a significant role in improving water quality and water quantity, and supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation. Despite their value, wetlands continue to be degraded and lost due to habitat loss, fragmentation, pollution and climate change. In Calgary, 90% of pre-settlement wetlands have been lost. Wetland losses significantly impact biodiversity and ecosystem services important to human well-being. Action is needed by all stakeholders to maintain and restore wetlands in and around the City of Calgary. To better understand the health of Calgary’s wetlands, Miistakis Institute, Enbridge, Parks Foundation Calgary, Alberta Conservation Association and the Calgary Zoo are developing “Call of the Wetland”, a citizen science program to monitor amphibians as an important indicator of wetland health. There are 6 amphibian species in the surrounding rural landscape; three are listed as species at risk. Currently very little is known about amphibians in the City of Calgary. Call of the Wetland will engage Calgary’s citizens in understanding the health of wetlands through monitoring of amphibians. The outcome of Call of the Wetland is to better understand the health of natural and modified wetlands within the City of Calgary and to build a community of knowledgeable citizens to champion wetland protection and restoration.

Citizen science is a powerful approach to enable organizations to meet multiple goals simultaneously. Call of the Wetland aims to better understand the conservation of wetlands in an urban environment through monitoring of amphibians (an important indicator species), while also empowering wetland champions. By engaging citizens in the monitoring process, we not only improve scientific literacy, but we also improve the flow of information about wetlands and amphibians and the need for their protection.

Call of the Wetland has the following science objectives:
• To identify which species of amphibians are occurring within the City of Calgary to inform biodiversity planning in the City and province;
• To document phenology changes in breeding cycles from a changing climate; and
• To document the difference between natural and modified wetlands and their ability to support amphibian species within the City of Calgary.

Call of the Wetland has the following engagement objectives:
• To improve participants’ understanding of the importance of wetlands and amphibians in the City of Calgary;
• To foster an informed public that will champion the maintenance and protection of wetlands; and
• To identify links to potential restoration and action projects to improve wetland health.

Stay tuned for the release of the project website and Call of the Wetland citizen science app. To learn more about the project or to volunteer as a Call of the Wetland ambassador, please contact Tracy Lee - or 403.440.8444.

Project partners include: Enbridge, Calgary Parks Foundation, Calgary Zoo, and Alberta Conservation Association.

Miistakis Institute works on many different types of projects which have been organized into eight research areas. By expanding on the symbols below you may view projects in that research area, as well as one that identifies projects initiated by Miistakis.

Transportation Ecology

GIS for Conservation

Ecosystem Services

Sustainable Landscapes and Communities

Private Land Conservation

Citizen Science for Conservation

Wildlife Management

Market-Based Instruments

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