Most park boundaries were not established with ecological processes in mind. As parks are strongly influenced by their landscape context, biodiversity conservation requires ecological data from inside a Park that can be reliably compared to data from the larger landscape.

The Willmore Biodiversity Research Project was launched to collect ecological data on plant, bird, and mammal communities in the Willmore Wilderness Park. The Willmore is a pristine protected landscape of upper foothills and high alpine habitats and a component of the Yellowstone to Yukon conservation corridor. Understanding its biodiversity and its context is crucial to conservation for the whole region.

Quantifying biodiversity on a protected landscape with this scale and topographic complexity poses special challenges that required us to design and test new approaches for quantifying biodiversity in protected mountain landscapes, while still integrating with Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute data from across the Province.

We are collecting and analysing biodiversity data in the Willmore Wilderness to test different sampling designs for rare and uncommon species of conservation importance; examine ecological relationships between these communities; extrapolate ecological relationships to other protected areas and landscapes, to help inform management decisions ranging from the Park to the entire Province; and describe Willmore’s biodiversity in relation to the surrounding landscape, to allow us to inform regional planning under Alberta’s Land-Use Framework, and Parks’ conservation management decisions under Alberta’s Plan for Parks.

The Willmore Biodiversity Research Project is a partnership between The Government of Alberta (Parks Division), Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures, and the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute.

We are also affiliated with the Mountain Legacy Project and the Alberta Wolverine Working Group.

DOWNLOAD the 2011 Year-End Report:
Rocky Mountain Biodiversity: Willmore Biodiversity Research Report 2011

The 2012 Final Report is coming soon!