Environment Canada


  • To identify and quantify species richness (biodiversity) at a site using genetic material gathered from pitfall trapping, soil, water and benthic sampling.
  • To obtain biodiversity sample sets from wetland sites in Wood Buffalo National Park for DNA sequencing analysis.
  • To obtain local habitat information associated with the biodiversity samples collected – including historical trend information, GIS data, and local physico-chemical analysis.


  • This project will utilize DNA barcoding which is a genomics tool used to identify individual species from only a short segment of DNA whose sequence is unique to that species.
  • Aquatic and terrestrial microhabitats will be sampled for both macro-organisms (such as benthic macroinvertebrates) and micro-organisms using standard collection techniques.
  • Water and soil samples, along with other field survey information, will be collected to provide relevant physico-chemical data for interpretation of biodiversity patterns resolved by DNA sequencing.


Wood Buffalo National Park. Eight biodiversity sites will be established within the Peace-Athabasca Delta, and eight within the Whooping Crane nesting area.


Biodiversity samples will be collected in June and August of each year, beginning in August 2011 and ending in August 2012 (5 sampling periods).

Project Lead:

Donald Baird
Environment Canada
Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick
10 Bailey Drive, P.O. Box 45111
Fredericton, NB E3B 6E1

Phone: 506-458-7048
E-mail: djbaird@unb.ca