URBAN WILDLIFE PROJECT

This collaborative project of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, University of Regina, Nature Regina and other nature based non-profit organizations aims to document biodiversity along an urban to rural gradient within and outside the boundaries of the City of Regina.  

Biodiversity monitoring stations will be set up within City of Regina parks and Wascana Park, and other areas that are selected by the project team. For the first year, 2021-22, 15 stations are planned at locations across the city. These stations will be active for around 4 months of the year (October, January, April and June/July).  

The stations will document wildlife occurrences, and will be composed of different automated recording units (to record bird songs and frogs calling, bat detectors, and trail cameras setto detect mammals). This project will form a baseline for our urban wildlife population, and will contribute to a longer-term wildlife monitoring program in the City of Regina. It will provide information to the City of Regina or Wascana Centre, such as:  

  • identification of urban wildlife movement corridors,  

  • how neighborhood or park characteristics affect use by wildlife,  

  • risky areas where conflict with wildlife might be high, and  

  • a long-term monitoring program to understand how changes in city planning influence biodiversity.  

 

There will also be opportunities for city residents to conduct surveys aimed at gathering more specific information on certain species (e.g., rabbits, squirrels, yellow warblers, chickadees, and butterfly species). More details will be available about this citizen science survey later in the year.  

The project, managed by the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and University of Regina, is anticipating a high level of citizen engagement. Citizen-scientists will be engaged to “adopt a monitoring station” which would involve periodic station checks to change batteries, SD cards, etc. Citizen scientists also will be engaged to process data (i.e., identify bird songs or bat vocalizations from audio recordings, identify animals from photos). In addition to engaging citizens of Regina, this project will become part of a large urban wildlife research network (Urban Wildlife Information Network) that incorporates studies on urban wildlife from over 20 cities in North America, including the cities of Edmonton and Saskatoon. 

If you are interested in volunteering for this project, please contact natureregina@gmail.com.   

Image by Iva Rajović