Beaver Hills Conservation Campaign
An ecological treasure
The Beaver Hills is an ecological island within a sea of land that has been converted for acreage development and crop production. Formed over thousands of years by natural processes, the Beaver Hills boasts an abundance of wetlands, lakes and forests that are habitat for a variety of native and migratory wildlife.
Home to provincial and national parks, including Elk Island National Park and the Miquelon Lake Provincial Park, the Beaver Hills also hosts visitors from the Edmonton area, across Canada and the globe.
Local communities have proudly advocated for the conservation of this ecological treasure for years. Residents and more than 30 organizations worked together to successfully secure the area' s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation in 2016. This achievement recognizes the Beaver Hills as one of our world's most uniquely valuable natural areas.
Conservation efforts, combined with rugged terrain, have largely protected the area from urbanization. However, due to rapidly expanding municipalities nearby, the Beaver Hills is now under threat.
There will be no second chance to Keep the Beaver Hills Wild. Please read on to learn more about this remarkable piece of our planet and how you can play a role in keeping it conserved for the long term.
"The Beaver Hills is a very special landscape — a rich mosaic of wetlands and uplands and home to an extraordinary diversity of wildlife and plants."
– Brian Ilnicki, Beaver Hills Biosphere Executive Director
Ideal wildlife habitat and a great place to connect with nature
The Beaver Hills features an extraordinarily high diversity of wildlife and is especially important for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. The long-term survival of more than 150 feathered species depends upon unrestricted access to their seasonal grounds within the Beaver Hills.
The Beaver Hills is home to two nationally recognized Important Bird Areas and Canada's first established Bird Sanctuary.
This Biosphere is also home to 48 species of mammal, including bison, moose, elk, lynx, fox, coyote, wolf, black bear and white-tailed deer. It provides habitat for five species of amphibians, including northern leopard frog, barred tiger salamander and 29 species of butterfly.
Several provincially rare plant species also occur in the area, and the Beaver Hills is one of the only places in Alberta to find wolffia — North America's tiniest flower.
American white pelican (Photo by Leta Pezderic)
Pine Martin (Photo by Ghost Bear/Shutterstock)
Eared grebe (Photo by Leta Pezderic)
What is at risk?
The areas most at risk in the Beaver Hills include a large expanse of wilderness that runs through the centre of the Biosphere, areas of land immediately surrounding federal and provincial parks and stretches between conserved lands.
An expanse of intact land, known as the spine of the Beaver Hills, provides a natural corridor or “freeway” to a wide range of wildlife searching for food, habitat and breeding areas. If access to this expanse and stretches between intact lands are not conserved, wildlife populations will become isolated and our chances to connect with nature in the Beaver Hills will be greatly reduced.
The loss of areas to enjoy and explore, like the Beaver Hills, also puts us at risk. If this ecological treasure is lost, we risk losing our deep connection to nature and its many benefits, which could result in a decreased passion to conserve and sustain our natural world.
Safeguarding the Beaver Hills is critical to the long-term survival of countless wild species and future generations’ affinity for nature.
The campaign to keep the Beaver Hills wild
This is an opportunity to make conservation history.
The Beaver Hills area is of great ecological importance to Alberta, to Canada and to our world. On March 19, 2016, the Beaver Hills was designated as a globally significant Biosphere by UNESCO.
This designation recognizes the Beaver Hills as a global example of a harmonious balance between people and nature — a balance that we must sustain and conserve without delay.
Please join others in the Capital Region who love the Beaver Hills and support the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s campaign to Keep the Beaver Hills Wild.
With your donation, we will work with landowners and local communities to conserve areas immediately adjacent to parklands, improve the connections between the existing networks of conserved lands and protect the wildlife corridor between the lakes in the south and the parks in the north.
Funds raised throughout the Keep the Beaver Hills Wild campaign will also contribute to the long-term stewardship of new and existing conserved areas as well as critical science and research within the Biosphere.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada currently stewards a number of projects within the Beaver Hills. Our work includes restoring natural wildlife habitat, removing invasive species and managing the land and water for improved overall ecological health.
With your donation we will:
Expand conserved areas
Conserve areas near existing park lands and natural areas, adding vital buffer zones for wildlife and increasing opportunities for people to connect with nature.
Provide safe passage
Sustain a wildlife corridor running the length of the Beaver Hills, safeguarding wildlife in search of food, breeding grounds and shelter.
Steward conserved lands, restore natural habitats, remove invasive plant species and manage the overall health of the land and water.
Work with partner organizations to conduct scientific research to ensure the long-term survival of the Beaver Hills species.
Visit KeepTheBeaverHillsWild.com to watch our campaign video and to make your gift online.