Biodiversity Publications

In November 2018, Canada submitted its 6th National Report to the CBD. Summary Report CoverThe 6th National Report takes stock of efforts by Canadian governments and their partners in biodiversity conservation.

A Summary of Canada's 6th National Report to the United Nation's Convention on Biological Diversity is ava

  1. Introduction
  2. Figures and Tables
  3. Threats
  4. Trends in protected caribou habitats
  5. Herd-specific assessments
  6. References

Document Information

Woodland caribou, boreal population, trends in Canada

C. Callaghan,[1] S. Virc[2] and J. Duffe[3]

Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and

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Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010 Evidence for Key Findings Summary Report No. 9 Published by the Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers
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The Taiga Plains Ecozone+ is the large extent of boreal forest sweeping from the Arctic coast south along the Mackenzie River. The ecozone+ with its extensive peatlands, wetlands and intact blocks of forest provides important habitat for wildlife, especially waterfowl, endangered whooping cranes, the threatened wood bison, and caribou, including the threatened boreal caribou. The footprint from human development is greatest in the south (especially northeastern BC), along parts of the Mackenzie Valley, and around Inuvik. Oil and gas projects and pipelines, existing and potential, are the focus of industry and economic development, though hunting, fishing, trapping, and berry gathering remain very important to residents. Climate change is apparent in the ecozone+, with an average increase of 2°C year-round and over 5°C in winter since 1950 and corresponding changes in growing season, permafrost, and river ice.
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The Prairies Ecozone+, shown in Figure 1 and described in Table 1, is characterized by a semi arid to sub-humid climate supporting vast, temperate grasslands. Most of the ecozone+ was glaciated and consequently much of the land surface is made up of glacial deposits of varying thicknesses. The predominant land use is agriculture (Figure 2), of which the primary use is cultivation of annual crops, with areas of remaining native and tame grasslands used for livestock grazing and hayland. Small areas of forest remain, mainly in the Aspen Parkland Ecoregion. The Prairies are known for the many wetlands, or potholes, across the landscape. Figure 3 shows the seven ecoregions that comprise the ecozone+.
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This report, Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+ Evidence for Key Findings Summary, presents evidence from the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+related to the 22 national key findings and highlights important trends specific to this ecozone+. It is based on the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+ Status and Trends Assessment—with an emphasis on Ontario,4 as well as further synthesis done to specifically address the national key findings. Additional information was provided by the Quebec Region of Environment Canada. The report is not a comprehensive assessment of all ecosystem-related information. The level of detail presented on each key finding varies and important issues or datasets may have been missed. As in all ESTR products, the time frames over which trends are assessed vary—both because time frames that are meaningful for these diverse aspects of ecosystems vary and because the assessment is based on the best available information, which is over a range of time periods. Many experts from a broad range of disciplines, including university researchers, government scientists, and renewable resource and wildlife managers, contributed to the technical report as authors and reviewers (see Acknowledgements section). This key finding summary report was also reviewed by federal and territorial government scientists and managers and, in part or as a whole, by several university researchers.
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The Hudson Plains Ecozone+ is a low-lying northern region that has been little altered by human activities; however, it is increasingly under threat from climate change and pressure for new development
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A slightly modified version of the Terrestrial Ecozones of Canada, described in the National Ecological Framework for Canada,Footnote9 provided the ecosystem-based units for all reports related to this project.
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Extending from northeastern British Columbia, across northern and central portions of Alberta and central Saskatchewan, to Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, the Boreal Plains Ecozone+ is characterized by a cool climate, generally flat topography, thick surface organic soil layers, poor drainage, low nutrients, and discontinuous permafrost.11 Over 60% forested, with low tree species diversity and relatively slow tree growth, the ecozone+ is interspersed with wetlands, shrublands, and some of Canada’s largest water bodies. Frequent wide-spread natural disturbances including fire, insect outbreaks, and wind drive the structure of the ecozone+. The Boreal Plains Ecozone+ is rich in renewable and non-renewable resources, with resource-based industries being the primary economic drivers. At almost 21% of its landbase, the region provides Canada’s second largest contribution of agriculture land. It has a robust forestry industry, and a rapidly growing energy sector (including the oil sands).
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The Atlantic Maritime Ecozone+ (AME) is located on the southern Atlantic coastline of Canada and fully encompasses the three Canadian Maritime provinces as well as a portion of southern Quebec.
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This report is the technical report for the Arctic Ecozone+ which includes all or portions of Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador. A range of authors and reviewers contributed to the report from government, academia, non-governmental, and consulting sectors. No claim is made that the information presented is exhaustive. As in all ESTR products, the time frames over which trends are assessed vary – both because time frames that are meaningful for these diverse aspects of ecosystems vary and because the assessment is based on the best available information, which is over a range of time periods.
Canada has a significant responsibility with respect to shorebirds because it contains a considerable proportion of North American breeding habitat (especially in the Arctic) and very important staging sites on the coasts and in the interior of the country. A total of 47 species breed or occur regularly in Canada, and approximately a third of those have more than half of their global breeding range in Canada (Donaldson et al., 2000). Trend data exist from several monitoring schemes. Migration surveys such as the Atlantic Canada Shorebird Survey (ACSS) (Morrison et al., 1994), Ontario Shorebird Survey (OSS) (Ross et al., 2001), and Quebec checklist (Aubry and Cotter, 2007) have provided information on trends in shorebird numbers, particularly for Arctic breeders migrating through the east. The Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) (Sauer et al., 2008) provides trend information for some southern or boreal breeding species, although this roadside singing bird survey is not optimally designed for most shorebirds, particularly those associated with wetlands. It works best for shorebirds such as Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) and Upland Sandpipers (Bartramia longicauda). Species such as the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) have dedicated surveys on the breeding grounds in Canada. Studies in specific arctic areas have shown trends at some sites (for example Rasmussen Basin), and winter surveys in South America have been used to show trends in species such as Red Knot (Calidris canutus). The PRISM (Program for Regional and International Shorebird Monitoring) Arctic Surveys Program (Bart et al., 2005) will eventually provide trend information across the Canadian Arctic. Currently, survey coverage for this group of birds is rather patchy.
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This report, Western Interior Basin Ecozone+ Evidence for Key Findings Summary, presents evidence from the Western Interior Basin Ecozone+ related to the 22 national key findings and highlights important trends specific to this ecozone+. It is not a comprehensive assessment of all ecosystem-related information. The level of detail presented on each key finding varies and important issues or datasets may have been missed. Some emphasis has been placed on information from the national Technical Thematic Report Series. As in all ESTR products, the time frames over which trends are assessed vary – both because time frames that are meaningful for these diverse aspects of ecosystems vary and because the assessment is based on the best available information, which is over a range of time periods.
Document cover page: Ecological classification system for the ecosystem status and trends report
When embarking on Canada’s first ecosystem assessment, the Ecosystem Status and Trends Reporting (ESTR) Steering Committee recognized that an ecological classification framework was required. They envisioned one framework that covered terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. They developed some principles and criteria, conducted a series of interviews with experts and users of ecological frameworks from across Canada, and selected four options for further consideration prior to making a decision. This report documents the process and rationale for the framework selected.
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This 2010 assessment is a collaborative project of the Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial governments. The assessment was designed and prepared under the guidance of a federal-provincial-territorial steering committee, and is published by the Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers.
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The Fourth National Report is a review of the actions Canada is taking to protect biodiversity adherent to the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is organized around four main chapters: Overview of Biodiversity Status, Trends and Threats, Current Status of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, Sub-national Planning and Mainstreaming of Biodiversity and Conclusions - Progress Towards the 2010 Target. The report also includes a separate annex on implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and the Programme of Work on Protected Areas.
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Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are harmful organisms whose introduction or spread threatens Canada’s environment, economy, or society. IAS pose a significant and growing threat in Canada, causing ecological impacts that are often irreversible. Once established, they are extremely difficult and costly to control and eradicate. Canada has recognized the importance of this issue through endorsement of a variety of international accords.
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For more than ten years, federal, provincial and territorial governments have been working together to sustain Canada’s biodiversity. Together they designed a blueprint for the conservation and sustainable use of Canada’s living resources called the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy. Some provinces and territories also have their own biodiversity strategies.
Download Canada’s 5th National Report
Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments, National Aboriginal Organizations, and a range of stakeholders provided information for the 5th National Report, which was submitted to the Convention in March 2014. The report provides an update on the status of biodiversity in Canada and profiles significant actions taken since Canada's last report.
This report describes a new method developed to estimate the “natural subsidy” value of ecological goods and services (EG&S) in the production of various nature-related economic products.