Natural elements of the SEAWA watershed include:
Diverse wildlife habitats are provided by coulees and draws, cliffs and hoodoos, rivers and creeks, lakes and reservoirs, irrigation canals, riparian areas, wetlands, and the semi-arid native prairie or grassland.
Historically, the vast majority of land in the watershed was once native prairie. Unfortunately, only a very small portion of this land remains as native grassland, due to agricultural development, urbanization, and oil and gas production. In Alberta, it is estimated that only 43% of native grassland remains intact, with much of this being located in the southeastern corner of the province. This area is also home to the majority of Alberta's species at risk, making it a crucial region for conservation and restoration.
Biodiversity monitoring and ecological surveys are vitally important to keep track of the status of native plant and animal populations.
Below are some links to more information about conservation, species at risk, and biodiversity monitoring:
Government of Alberta:
- Species at Risk Resources
- Prairie Plants at Risk in Southern Alberta (2016)
- Wild Species Status Search
- Alberta Conservation Information Management System (ACIMS)
- Fisheries and Wildlife Management Information System (FWMIS)
- Species at Risk Guide (2015)
Government of Canada:
- MULTISAR (Grassland conservation info for landowners)
- Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI)
- Alberta Conservation Association (ACA)
- Alberta Native Plant Council
- Alberta Prairie Conservation Forum
- Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA)
- AWA - Wild Spaces Interactive Mapping Tool
- Ducks Unlimited Canada