Overview of wildlife habitats west of the Syncrude plant site, Lease #17

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  • This study involved evaluation of the habitat for mammals and birds in the area from the proposed tailings pond west to the MacKay River, through identification and mapping of land cover types from aerial photographs and estimation of wildlife populations from existing data. The study was completed between June and September 1977. The study area is a relatively uniform mix of young trembling aspen and open muskeg. These early successional stages support a dense growth of underbrush species of shrubs, forbs and grasses in the timbered areas and large expanses of Labrador tea, sedges and marsh plants in the muskeg. Black spruce cover is starting to develop on parts of the muskegs, while white spruce has not yet begun to enter the aspen forests. Although the early successional nature of the area provides excellent habitat for some species (moose, ruffed grouse and some furbearers), the lack of large water bodies largely precludes the occurrence of waterfowl, gulls, pelicans, cranes and small shorebirds. Muskrat and otter also are seldom seen. The absence of mature conifer stands similarly reduces the value of the area to spruce grouse, red squirrels, fisher, marten and lynx. To the extent that the area does not appear to include any rare or endangered species and the habitats in the area are common to a large portion of Northern Alberta, it can be stated that the area is not critical to any wildlife species.

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    Conditions of Use Harvey, J.M., 1979. Overview of wildlife habitats west of the Syncrude plant site, Lease #17. Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, Alberta. Professional Paper 1979-1. 27 pp. plus map. Permission for non-commercial use, publication or presentation of excerpts or figures is granted, provided appropriate attribution (as above) is cited. Commercial reproduction, in whole or in part, is not permitted without prior written consent. The use of these materials by the end user is done without any affiliation with or endorsement by Syncrude Canada Ltd. Reliance upon the end user's use of these materials is at the sole risk of the end user.