ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING & RESEARCH
Owl Moon Environmental Inc. conducts environmental monitoring and research programs in areas of large and small industrial developments, from regional to local scales. Monitoring of wildlife, and in particular of wildlife colonization and habitat use in reclaimed areas, is a primary area of interest.
Our regional Boreal MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) program in the oil sands, partnered with the Institute of Bird Populations, provides data on population changes, vital rates, breeding status and diversity of songbirds in disturbed habitats in comparison to natural reference sites.
Independently or as a supplement to the MAPS program, we use automated recording units to record the songs of diurnal and nocturnal birds. The recording system is passive, causing no disturbance that may cause birds to reduce or stop calling. Species that are difficult to hear and identify by field personnel can be confidently identified using specialty software to analyze the recordings.
Other avian monitoring and research initiatives include:
• Migratory waterfowl surveys, census, and effects monitoring
• Tree swallow nest box monitoring to estimate productivity and survival
• Avian toxicology and exposure to inorganic compounds
• Nocturnal call-playback surveys for owls, yellow rail and other species of concern
• Diurnal call-playback and nest searches for raptors
• Collaborative studies, including tracking devices and feather isotopic and chemical analyses
Our main focus is the monitoring of large mammals in reclaimed, disturbed and natural areas using motion-triggered cameras (“camera trapping”). The presence, relative abundance and diversity of large mammals in an area are determined from the photographs to understand wildlife colonization of reclaimed and disturbed habitats. We also have extensive experience conducting:
• Small mammal track plate studies
• Carnivore hair snagging for DNA analysis
• Carnivore den site surveys (grizzly bear, wolf, wolverine)
• Ungulate aerial surveys (woodland & barren ground caribou, moose)
• Snow track surveys
• Scat and pellet surveys
We use automated recording units to record the ultrasonic calls of bats as they forage. The analyses of ultrasonic bat calls (an example of a Hoary Bat call shown in the top right photo) provide information on resident and migrant species relative abundance, as well as a measure of habitat quality and proximity to nearby roost locations. Our bat specialist also has experience conducting:
• Underground mine and building roost surveys, including hand capture
• Roost identification and use of road bridges
• Mist-net and harp trap capture techniques, banding
• Guano and fur collection for DNA sampling
AMPHIBIANS & REPTILES
We use automated recording units to record the calls of toads and frogs, providing data on species presence and relative abundance. Recordings allow for positive species identification and improve detection probabilities for species of concern such as the Canadian Toad, which has a complicated life cycle and variable calling patterns. We are also experienced in conducting ground-based field surveys for both amphibians and reptiles, including:
• Visual surveys for adult and juvenile amphibians, eggs, and tadpoles
• Nocturnal amphibian call surveys
• Snake hibernacula & drift fence-funnel trapping studies
FORESTS & WETLANDS
Owl Moon Environmental Inc. has extensive experience in wildlife habitat recovery, and the trajectory of wildlife colonization post-disturbance. We also provide management and technical oversight of large-scale forest monitoring and research programs, including management of teams of experts and technical specialists. The evaluation of the effects of air emissions and atmospheric deposition on boreal forest systems is also an area of expertise.
OWL MOON ENVIRONMENTAL INC.
324 Killdeer Way, Fort McMurray, AB T9K 0R3