The Bow Island Gas Field consists of abandoned gas well sites and a compressor station. We managed assessment, remediations, and reclamation activities within the Gas Field, which included a pre-development wildlife inventory survey at native grassland habitat sites where proposed ground disturbance work was to occur.
The Gas Field is located on native grassland habitat that includes one of five isolated sub-populations of eastern short-horned lizards (ESHL) in Alberta. ESHLs are federally endangered (COSEWIC and SARA) and provincially at risk (ASRD). Therefore, we completed pre-development wildlife inventory surveys that focused on species risk assessments. Any ESHL or its habitat was recorded, and mitigation measures were applied to limit risk to its populations.
A focal point was to manage project timelines that allowed completion of the surveys against the Phase II ESAs, remediation, and reclamation activities.
There are five isolated sub-populations of ESHL in Alberta, with evidence suggesting an overall population decline. Due to their cryptic nature, ESHLs are difficult to detect and have very specific habitat requirements. We were able to identify critical habitat areas in relation to proposed ground disturbance work slated to occur (Phase II ESAs & Remediation and Reclamation Programs). With that, we made targeted recommendations that supported timely work completion and limited risk to ESHL populations.