Watching wildlife in the Waterton Valley
The Waterton Valley Wildlife Corridor Project examines how wildlife navigate through a portion of the valley that is naturally constricted by mountains, lakes and a canyon. It has been underway since 2015.
The study area is focused between the Waterton Golf Course and the Bertha trailhead. It hosts a high volume of human use but is vital to regional wildlife movement.
The study will inform park management in an effort to promote wildlife movement through the area into the future.
Remote wildlife cameras are the primary way of collecting information for the study. The cameras allow scientists to make observations that wouldn’t be possible with humans present.
Large mammals such as grizzly bear, black bear, moose and bighorn sheep are the focus of the study. Images of smaller animals such as flying squirrel, red fox and American marten also provide interesting insights.
Some wildlife species are more willing than others to move through areas of human habitation. A long-term goal of the project is to ensure human use of this portion of Waterton Lakes National Park does not restrict more sensitive species such as moose, grizzly bears and wolves from moving through the landscape.
The images below show a sampling of wildlife species present in the corridor project area. Many demonstrate the resilience of wildlife following the major natural disturbance of the Kenow Wildfire, which took place on September 11, 2017.
Click on images to enlarge.