This website accompanies the following research publication:Informing Canada’s Commitment to Biodiversity Conservation: A science-based framework to help guide protected areas designation for Target 1 and beyond
Authors: Laura Coristine*⁑, Aerin Jacob*⁑, Richard Schuster*⁑, Sarah P. Otto*⁑, Nancy Baron, Nathan J. Bennett*, Sarah Joy Bittick*, Cody Dey*, Brett Favaro*, Adam Ford*, Linda Nowlan, Diane Orihel*, Wendy Palen*, Jean Polfus*, David S. Shiffman*, Oscar Venter, Stephen Woodley
* Liber Ero Fellowship Program
⁑ Lead authors
Link to paper
Generate a new Protected Area Index
About this website
Canada has a well-deserved global reputation as a country rich and diverse in natural beauty, wildlife and resources. Protecting 17% of land and inland freshwater areas within Canada by the year 2020 – Target 1 of the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada – would build on this reputation, protecting wild places and wild species from biodiversity loss associated with the global extinction crisis. For such large-scale protected area planning to be most effective, it must be informed by the best available evidence. Here, we explain key environmental science principles associated with terrestrial conservation protected area planning and illustrate their application in Canada.
We identify guiding principles of area-based conservation planning as: (1) protecting species at risk, (2) representing ecosystems, (3) conserving intact natural landscapes, (4) ensuring landscape connectivity, and (5) preserving landscapes that are less susceptible to climate change. These conservation principles differ in the extent to which they focus on conserving intact areas (proactive approaches) versus managing habitats that are already threatened (reactive approaches). A mix of complementary approaches based on these scientific principles will help ensure that Canada moves forward to protect its most vulnerable and most intact biological communities.
By applying these principles, we determine gaps and suggest a framework to identify areas for protection with the aim of stemming biodiversity loss. Successfully conserving biodiversity, however, requires integration of these principles with social, cultural, economic, and governance considerations and requires conservation efforts in unprotected areas. The research presented here provides a first step in the broader process of protected area decision-making and is intended to help identify opportunities to protect Canada’s rich natural heritage.
The data and maps on this website are intended for illustrative purposes only, not for site-specific planning or final decisions about conservation, land-use, or management. See Coristine et al. (In Press) for details about the principles and data involved in these analyses. Contact us to obtain higher resolution data outputs.
Users may notice peculiarities in species at risk layer along the coasts and political boundaries (e.g., low or high values). This is caused by averaging over land and water. Data at this broad scale are intended for exploratory purposes, not site-specific prioritization of protected areas.
Interactive tool developed by:Richard Schuster, PhD
Liber Ero Fellow, Carleton University
Adjunct Professor, UNBC
Email: Send Mail
Website: www.richard-schuster.com/ Last update: February 12 2018