Mammals

This page features articles and video presentations about Alberta's mammals. See our Featured Species page for information on other species.

Canada jays can be found throughout Canada’s boreal forest and mountainous regions. They are frequent picnic table visitors at woodland campgrounds. RICHARD SCHNEIDER

Coexisting With Coyotes

23 January 2024

What ten years’ worth of close encounters with urban coyotes tell us about coexisting with these wily canines.

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Fade to Black: Melanism in Mammals

14 July 2023

BY RICHARD SCHNEIDER

Black colouration, referred to as melanism, occurs in almost all mammals. This is no surprise when it comes to black bears and skunks. But there are also reports of black Richardson’s ground squirrels, red foxes, white-tailed deer, bobcats, and even snowshoe hares. And of course, wolves. The processes underlying these variations in colouration are quite interesting.

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Five Things I Learned from Squirrels

7 July 2023

BY DR. JESSICA HAINES
I spent several years working on red squirrels with the Kluane Red Squirrel Project based in the Yukon. Living and working in such a beautiful, remote place was thrilling, but what surprised me was how much I fell in love with red squirrels. They taught me a lot, and I would like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned.

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Photo Credit: N. Heaslip

Deadly Fungus Adds to Bat Conservation Concerns

11 April 2023

BY CORY OLSON

While bats have a remarkable ability to manage energy reserves, only a few can withstand the devastating impacts of white-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease caused by a fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, that grows on bats during hibernation, which will lead to more frequent arousals during the winter, depletion of energy stores, and eventual starvation.

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The Long and Winding Road to Caribou Recovery in Alberta

27 March 2023

Recorded Presentation
Speaker: Dr. Richard Schneider
Host: Nature Alberta

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Photo credit: Rick Price

Delta Dawn with the Wolves of Wood Buffalo National Park

13 January 2023

BY ERIN MCCLOSKEY

Wood Buffalo National Park was established in 1922 to protect what remained of Canada’s wood bison. Today, exactly 100 years later, the park supports a population of approximately 3,000 bison, which coexist alongside their natural predator, the wolf. The core range of the park is quite possibly the only place where bison are wolves’ primary prey.

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Photo credit: Mark Bradley

Action for an Icon

13 January 2023

BY RICHARD SCHNEIDER

Why do Alberta’s Caribou Keep Declining, and What Can We Do About It?

Despite the woodland caribou’s high profile and the millions of dollars we’ve poured into research, the caribou’s story is one of progressive decline. Here, Richard explores the key challenges that make caribou conservation so difficult and provides an unvarnished perspective on what needs to change.

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Photo credit: Susan Elliott

Citizen Scientists Come to the Aid of the Tenacious Franklin’s Ground Squirrel

11 January 2023

BY GILLIAN CHOW-FRASER AND RICHARD SCHNEIDER

In Alberta, the status of Franklin’s ground squirrel has still not been determined. The provincial government maintains that there is not enough information to say whether the population is stable or imperiled. In the spring of 2022, Nature Alberta initiated a citizen science project to help fill some of the data gaps. The results are presented here.

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What Bears Teach Us

21 November 2022

Recorded Presentation
Speaker: SARAH ELMELIGI
Host: Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society

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Wild Boars on the March

2 October 2022

Initially, wild boar numbers were low and they went largely unnoticed. However, their high reproductive rate is a recipe for exponential growth, which is exactly what has happened.

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