Renewable Energy Wildlife Habitat Sensitivity Risk

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The goal of this dataset is to help guide the site selection process to areas with lower risk to Alberta's wildlife and wildlife habitat. The dataset was developed in concert with the Wildlife Directive for Alberta Wind Energy Projects and Wildlife Directive for Alberta Solar Energy Projects and reflects potential risks to wildlife and wildlife habitat. Risk value zones and habitat features identified within the Directives have been ranked as follows: Critical Wildlife Zones and Non-Accessible Areas: Areas included in this category are either designated as protected areas or identified as critical importance for one or more wildlife species of conservation concern. These areas also included non-accessible areas such as National and Provincial Parks and Protected areas, military bases, and named waterbodies. These areas must be avoided by renewable energy projects. High Risk: Several Wildlife Sensitivity Layers are ranked as High Risk since these areas are likely used by one or more species at risk or priority management species. The Directives recommend avoiding areas ranked as high risk. Moderate Risk: These wildlife habitat areas are considered to be at a moderate risk since species at risk or priority management species can likely inhabit these areas. Due to the close proximity to native grasslands and the potential of habitat values existing for multiple species in these areas, there will likely be risks that could require mitigation considerations and potentially added costs to siting renewable energy projects in these areas. Lower Risk: The remaining areas of wildlife habitat of the province are considered to be at lower risk since the chance of a species at risk or priority management species occurring in these areas is less likely than the other ranked areas. The lower risk areas are typically between 500 - 1000 meters from native grassland. However, there is still the potential of these areas possessing quality wildlife habitat. If a species at risk feature is identified, mitigation is required as per the Directives which may impact the overall project costs, siting and operations. For more information on risk categories and methods used to create this dataset, please visit the following link:

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