Working with Alberta’s Trappers to Monitor Furbearer Population Trends
We were asked to assist Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) and Alberta Trappers’ Association (ATA) with a pilot project to develop logbooks for trappers to record information about their trapping activities and fur harvesting results.
After revisions to the logbook for 2017/18 and a concerted communication effort, the number of logbooks submitted increased ten-fold from the previous year. Trappers spent an average of 186 hours on trapping-related activities during the year, with 42% of that time dedicated to setting and checking traps.
On average, trappers set 34 marten traps for about 53 days, catching one marten for every 142 trap nights of effort.
We compared age class estimation provided by trappers who used a skull muscle development method to results provided by a lab based on tooth analysis. Overall, there was no difference between the trapper and lab counts. However, trappers were more accurate with their male classification than female.
Our results suggest that additional training and exposure to a larger number of skulls can produce accurate results for both sexes.
ALBERTA TRAPPERS ARE THE SOLUTION!
One thing has been made clear with all academia that have worked with trappers,
we have an immense amount of knowledge that needs to be utilized!
There is an endless supply of undergraduates, post graduates, Master's and PhD thesis that are dying for more field experience and help with locating mammals specifically in order to study them.
They often fall short as a result of insufficient data gathered. We are the answer!
An entire field of academic study will look to us because we are proving that we can provide this data.
It is becoming harder and more challenging to continue trapping these days between
operating costs and fur prices.
The wolf program has been a great source of additional income to trappers participating in it.
This is only the tip of the iceberg.
The Log Books provide us a tremendous amount of opportunity to not only mark ourselves as essential to the understanding and management of wildlife in this province, but also a real opportunity for us to find alternative ways to generate extra revenue.
This revenue is all one government or university grant away from happening.
Logbooks are the vessel that will get us there.
President, Calgary Local 1031
780 405 6704
Your participation is key to the results!
We need as many trappers as possible to participate in this joint program between The Alberta Trappers Association & The Alberta Conservation Association
Click Here to complete your form online
Click Here to download a PDF Form
Participants are required to keep a paper copy of their logbook entries, to be updated regularly
Participants should return their completed logbooks (digital or hard copy) by JULY 15th, 2023
A big thank you to everyone who submitted a logbook last season!
To simplify the logbook process, we are asking participants to complete one page of required information, and two pages of optional additional information (regarding quota species). We wanted to make it easier for our participants to get us information.
Other required information will include keeping track of how many traps are set for marten and the quota species, and the duration those traps are set. We will still require gender and age class information for marten and gender-only information for quota species.
Participants are strongly encouraged to submit their logbooks using the digital version as it will allow for automated compilation and reporting of the results.
Read the Alberta Furbearer Project Updates below
Your logbooks provide key, critical data ensuring the future of sustainable trapping