Delegated Aerial Ungulate Surveys 2010-2011 Survey Season
Mike Ranger and Robert Anderson
Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) uses levies on hunting and fishing licenses to collect and analyze population inventory data that can be used by Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (ASRD) in setting hunting and fishing seasons and regulations. Aerial ungulate surveys (AUS) are the primary method used to determine the population status and trends for ungulates in Alberta, and therefore are an integral component for setting hunting guidelines. Beginning in 2007, ACA became an active partner in delivering the AUS program, and now works collaboratively with ASRD to plan and conduct surveys and to summarize survey data. ASRD continues to set provincial priorities for survey locations and rotations, and uses these data in the management of ungulate populations. A portion of the overall survey plan is delegated to ACA for delivery (D-AUS) in collaboration with ASRD. During the 2010/2011 fiscal year, ACA funded and delivered 261 AUS across Alberta. These surveys included summer range trend surveys for pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana) and mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), winter range trend surveys for bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), elk (Cervus elaphus) and bison (Bison bison), and random stratified block surveys for elk, moose (Alces alces), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). This document summarizes the methods used to conduct these surveys, as well as the survey results.