The ABMI surveys 1656 randomly selected sites across Alberta, spaced approximately 20 km apart.
At each ABMI site, both land and wetland surveys are conducted.
The ABMI surveys all land types in Alberta including:
- Public and recreational lands
- Industry lands (energy, forestry and agricultural)
- Private rural lands and grazing leases
- First Nation and Metis lands
- Provincial and federal protected areas
- Urban and municipal lands
Surveying all land types in Alberta allows us to identify the relationships between human land use and biodiversity. It also lets us track Alberta’s changing biodiversity and landscapes.
Choosing Our Sites
The ABMI’s 1656 sites are randomly selected using a 20 km by 20 km grid across the whole province. This type of survey design is known as systematic random sampling. Using this grid, we can systematically visit different areas across the province. Randomly selecting our survey locations in each of these areas, ensures that each land type -- and its biodiversity -- has an equal chance (probability) of being surveyed. If a land type is more common in an area (e.g. agriculture in Southern Alberta), it is more likely to be surveyed. This allows us to survey different land types in Alberta in relation to their distribution to accurately assess trends in biodiversity and human footprint.
It’s not always about finding something, too! By randomly selecting our sites, we end up surveying a lot of different land types. Sometimes this means we might even do our surveys in a parking lot! But, knowing where we don’t see things is an important part of understanding the relationship between species and their habitats. Plus, you never really know what you might find until you go out and look for it!