Hay-Zama Lakes Complex Wildlife Monitoring, 2002


Kenneth D. Wright


The Hay-Zama Lakes Complex Wildlife Monitoring Project is a cooperative
venture implemented by the Hay-Zama Committee (a joint industry / government / public
committee designed to advise on operations within the complex). The oil and gas
industry has proliferated on the complex, with numerous wells situated within the
wetland boundaries. Monitoring of wildlife populations on the complex during critical
waterfowl migration periods allows oil and gas production to continue with the provision
that a well be shut-in when a large congregation of waterfowl is present. The alternative,
as defined by Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, is a general shut-in of production for
the migration periods. In addition to waterfowl monitoring, a single, bald eagle nesting
success survey was completed. Migrating waterfowl populations during this study period
were generally well dispersed throughout the complex. There were no wells shut-in due
to waterfowl presence during the 2002 migration periods. Bald eagle nesting success
increased to six breeding pairs, from a record low of three nesting pairs in 2001.

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