Alberta is home to many different ecosystems & climates. This makes the province home to a wide variety of animals & nature. In our first post, we are going to explore the main predators in Alberta!
First up is the grizzly bear. These bears are BIG! They grow up to 800 lbs & 5-8 feet in size. During the summer, they feast of fish, berries and other prey to bulk up before hibernating (sleeping) all winter long.
If you see one on your way out to Banff, make sure to stay far away as they are dangerous. When hiking, go in a group, make lots of noise & carry bear spray!
The grizzly's smaller family member is the black bear. Not all black bears are black—their fur can range in colour from white to a cinnamon colour to very dark brown or black. These bears range in size from 200 to 600 lbs depending on gender and sit about 3 feet tall. Their diet includes roots, berries, meat, fish, insects, larvae, grass, and other succulent plants.
Black bears are fantastic climbers, run very fast and hibernate, just like the grizzly bear.
Next up is the elusive grey wolf. Their coat colour is typically a mix of grey and brown, but the colour can vary from solid white to brown or black. The average size of a wolf's body is 3 to 5 feet long. Females typically weigh 60 to100 lbs, and males weigh 70 to 145 lbs. They prefer to eat large mammals like deer, elk, bison, and moose.
Have you heard the howl of a wolf? They use this to communicate up to 16 km away!
Say hello to the cougar! This is the biggest cat in Alberta. The cougar is an ambush predator, meaning they sneak up on prey, usually from the tree tops. They are carnivores - meaning they only eat meat. Adult males are around 7 ft 10 in long from nose to tail tip, and females average 6 ft 9 in.
The cougar is capable of leaping from the ground up to 18 ft high!
This is the bobcat. It is a medium sized cat found all throughout Northern America. This animal has distinctive black lines on its legs and a black-tipped, stubby tail. It reaches a body length of up to 4 ft. The bobcat is an adaptable predator, meaning it can hunt in a number of different areas.
Unfortunately, bobcats are becoming increasingly comfortable visiting suburban areas. Make sure you keep an eye on pets, kids & keep your garbage in a safe spot.
We want to know, what is your favourite animal of Alberta?
Remember to keep yourself safe & help protect these amazing animals by:
- Staying FAR away from any wild animal. Never approach it.
- Do not feed them.
- Keep your area, hiking trail or camp spot free from garbage.
- Drive carefully where animals could be.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Make noise, travel in groups & look out for markings/droppings!
- Carry bear spray & know how to use it.