Mammals

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

How do bears hibernate?

9 November 2020

How do bears survive the winter? Find out more!

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Why do skunks stink?

9 November 2020

Learn about why our furry friends smell so bad!!

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Big brown bat

Bat House Monitoring at Ellis Bird Farm

15 October 2020

BY SHAYE HILL, MYRNA PEARMAN, CLAUDIA LIPSKI, AND NATALIA LIFSHITZ

Bats are fascinating creatures, playing a critical role in supporting biodiversity.

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Gail Michener with a rotund ground squirrel.

Underground Life

16 August 2020

BY GAIL MICHENER

Richardson’s ground squirrels are regularly seen above ground during daylight hours for seven to eight months of the year, but rarely from late October through late February, generating the perception that they hibernate for a four-month period encompassing winter. Winter does not last that long, so what accounts for such extraordinarily long hibernation seasons?

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Rabbits and Hares

16 August 2020

BY MYRNA PEARMAN

It has been my good fortune to have spent, over the past few years, some quality time in the company of each of Alberta’s three native “bunny” species. All three species — which include two hares and one rabbit — have adapted well to human habitation, taking up residence in farmyards, towns, and cities across the province.

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Recovery of Ord’s Kangaroo Rats on the Suffield National Wildlife Area

30 April 2020

BY PAT FARGEY

Kangaroo rats get their name from their large back legs and feet that they use to hop in a fashion reminiscent of Australian kangaroos. They are sometimes confused with the smaller western jumping mouse, which is also a hind foot jumper.

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Fisher in a tree.

A Story of Mammals in Alberta’s Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve

15 January 2020

BY FRANCES STEWART

I was walking through an aspen forest in the UNESCO Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve (BHB), 50 km east of Edmonton and south of Elk Island National Park. The first rays of sunlight were peeking through the trees and shining off the fresh snow on this crisp January morning. It was silent, still. I could see my breath shimmering in front of me like the beautiful hoar frost on the surrounding branches. A perfect morning for live-trapping fisher.

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