Alberta Fish and Wildlife records show that over 250 wildlife species (fish, mammals, amphibians and birds) have inhabited the Battle River and Sounding Creek watersheds in recent years (Prescott 2010). Of these species, 2.7% are currently classified as “at risk,” 1.9% as “may be at risk,” and 21.8% as “sensitive” in Alberta, according to Alberta Sustainable Resource Development’s “General Status of Alberta Wild Species 2010” report (Government of Alberta 2011).
Fish and wildlife species may be indicative of the overall health of our watersheds; the interconnectedness of life tells us that the impacts we have on even one species may have much farther reaching impacts on the web of life as a whole. The biological integrity and diversity of our watersheds is essential to the health of our environment and our society.
As well as providing major breeding habitat for waterfowl, the watershed also contains habitat for white-tailed deer, pronghorn, coyote, snowshoe hare, cottontail, red fox, northern pocket gopher, Franklin’s ground squirrel, and bird species like sharp-tailed grouse and black-billed magpie.
The Battle River and Sounding Creek watersheds are also home to a number of species considered to be endangered or threatened, including: Piping Plover, Peregrine Falcon, Ferruginous Hawk, and Burrowing Owl.
Of special concern are Sprague’s Pipit, Loggerhead Shrike, Long-billed Curlew, White-winged Scoter, and Prairie Falcon.
Species that have not been seen recently in the area include Bison, Wolf, and Whooping Crane