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September 25, 2018

Calgary ring road opponents say province not enforcing Weaselhead protection order

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The Weaselhead Preservation Society has been gathering information for the past seven years as part of their southwest Calgary ring road impact study.

Members have been keeping track of everything from birds to bears to water quality. Now, biologists are raising concerns about the impact of construction noise on bird populations and how  roadwork is keeping animals from moving freely.

“Wildlife movement is a huge concern right now,” says local wildlife biologist Lisa Dahlseide. “We think that there is quite a barrier to wildlife movement in and out of the park, which overall, could affect genetic diversity.

“We have been doing the noise monitoring and definitely there’s an increase in noise. It starts at 6:30 in the morning and some nights it goes quite late, and so that will definitely affect the presence of species.”

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But Dahlseide says thanks to citizen involvement, Alberta Transportation has improved the wildlife corridor significantly, expanding it and raising a bridge to accommodate large mammals getting through.

“It was largely as a response to the Weaselhead Preservation Society and the members that sent letters providing that science to back it all up,” Dahlseide says.

Last summer, work on part of the ring road was halted as part of an environmental appeal asking for protection of several wetlands, including the popular beaver pond.

Keep reading on Global News


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