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All eyes and ears on wildlife

We've created a time-lapse video that showcases a selection of images captured.

June 2018 – We’re using remote cameras and specialized acoustic (audio) recording units to keep close tabs on wildlife around our oil sands operations located in northern Alberta. This monitoring improves our understanding of which species of animals are in the areas near our operations and how they interact with our facilities. We use the data and results to help us minimize our overall environmental impact.

We’ve been documenting wildlife activity since 2010, using cameras placed along pipelines, winter access roads, seismic lines and natural wildlife trails. To improve how we watch for and listen to wildlife, we recently installed 135 new cameras equipped with better monitoring technology and added 75 acoustic recording stations.

“With advances in technology, we’ve been able to detect an incredible number of animals around our operations,” says Jesse Wong, Senior Environmental Advisor. “We’re now doing more analysis to see how this information can further improve our understanding of wildlife in our operating areas and what other steps we can take to improve our environmental performance.”

Our new cameras and audio recording units give us an even larger data set from which to draw information and contribute to better-informed development decisions. These new monitoring techniques also reduce the amount of field-based human monitoring required, which reduces safety risks and disturbance to animals within our project areas.

This data may also be used in the latter part of 2018, during our winter clearing and construction period, to help us avoid areas where sensitive species have been observed.

By the numbers

  • More than 200,000 days of combined video footage
  • Footage of 23 distinct species including caribou, bears, deer, marten, lynx, wolves and coyotes
  • 3,120 hours of audio recordings
  • 109 distinct animal sounds including 98 bird, 8 bat and 3 amphibian species

Wildlife at Cenovus

To read more examples about our work with wildlife, biodiversity and land, check out our most recent corporate responsibility report.

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