CitationBoyce, M. and Poesch, M.S. 2013. Research needs for fisheries and wildlife in Alberta. 35pp., Alberta Conservation Association, Edmonton, AB.

Link to report


Fisheries and wildlife management in North America is based on an extensive background of basic and applied research (Geist and McTaggart-Cowan 1995, Organ et al. 2010). Alberta has some of the finest hunting and fishing opportunities in the world with sustainably harvested populations of a diversity of fishes, birds, and mammals. However, because of aggressive industrial development, especially by the energy sector, future opportunities for hunting and fishing might be jeopardized unless habitats are managed carefully to ensure viable populations of fish and wildlife (Naugle 2011). Our objective is to identify research that is required to ensure that resource managers have the information required to make sound management decisions in the future. To obtain this list of research topics we have surveyed fisheries and wildlife biologists and managers from the Alberta Department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD), and the Alberta Conservation Association (ACA). We held meetings with ESRD and ACA staff in Sherwood Park, Lethbridge, and Edmonton, Alberta and also received suggestions from others throughout the province by e-mail. Subsequently we conducted literature reviews to provide background information on the published research already conducted on each topic, and we summarize briefly what we believe to be feasible and timely research.

This report is an update of the original research-needs document prepared by Boyce (2000) that was updated for wildlife research in 2005 (Boyce 2005). We have used the Simple Multi-attribute Rating Techniques (SMART) process again to rank research projects according to a process developed by Ralls and Starfield (1995), which is detailed in the Appendix. These ranks identify the most-important research according to criteria identified by ACA and ESRD fish and wildlife biologists and managers. Academic ecologists likely would identify a different list of priorities (Cristescu and Boyce 2013), and input from practicing field biologists and managers will help to ensure that research can influence policy (Neff 2011). Projects in the top third are marked ***, middle third **, and lowest-ranked projects *

Posted in Mark Poesch, Methods, Reports and tagged .