Prince Albert National Park of Canada

Management and Research

The Sturgeon River plains bison are free ranging, meaning they are not confined within fences or the park boundaries. Bison occasionally venture onto private agricultural land, impacting the neighbouring landowners. Prince Albert National Park is working with other jurisdictions, stakeholders, and landowners to create a management strategy for the Sturgeon River bison in order to reduce these impacts. Read more .

Research on bison movements and habitat use is underway in order to minimize bison activity on agricultural lands.

Estimating distance from bison using a telemeter.
Estimating distance from bison using a telemeter.
© S. Courant

University of Laval – Dr. Daniel Fortin

The conservation of the Sturgeon River Plains Bison population faces an important challenge: to minimize the impact of this population on private lands adjacent to the park. Our research on bison ecology is meant to help managers face this challenge. The aim is also to better understand the interactions between bison, and other wildlife species and plant communities found in their habitat. To reach our objectives, we are conducting empirical and theoretical research on the foraging behaviour, food and habitat selection, and movement pattern of bison in PANP.

Visit Dr. Fortin’s website.

Read more about the current status of the biological research.

Another type of research that was conducted focused on the people involved with, or impacted by, the Sturgeon River plains bison:

Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba – Dr. Micheline Manseau

A group of stakeholders surveys the Sturgeon River Valley.
A group of stakeholders surveys the Sturgeon River Valley.
© Parks Canada
Creating a framework for plains bison conservation

We will develop a framework for the creation of a community-based conservation initiative. This organization will foster bison conservation and promote the social, biological, and economic benefits of conservation. This research is a step in understanding the process of promoting collaboration, self-organization, and learning in communities about conservation issues. Without effective partnerships and communication between stakeholders, a conservation initiative would be missing some important perspectives that can influence wildlife populations: the concerns, attitudes, and knowledge of stakeholders in defining issues and potential solutions.

Visit Dr. Manseau’s website.