We monitor the state of Canada’s forests to provide quality information on development activity and environmental impacts.
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Global Forest Watch Canada has received funding from The Richard Ivey Foundation towards a Forest Landscape Fragments mapping project, which will build on our previous mapping of large intact forest landscapes. It will involve finer-scale mapping of intact forest areas throughout Canada and will help to identify remaining core forest areas in the range of 5,000-50,000 hectares that can become the focus of forest conservation efforts in the managed forest. By identifying these areas, we, along with others, can help set priorities for conservation efforts in more developed forest regions and identify areas where the best opportunities exist to begin rebuilding a larger intact forest matrix. While these smaller remaining forest areas may lack the full ecological integrity of larger intact forests, conversely, they also likely contain a higher degree of species and ecosystem diversity due to their more southerly and productive location.
One important aspect of monitoring forest health and productivity is the detection and analysis of changes to forest cover resulting from anthropogenic disturbances. The use of medium-resolution satellite images, as a forest cover change mapping tool, is an important tool for monitoring forest cover. It is especially relevant over large areas where costs of aerial photography and field work becomes prohibitive. Global Forest Watch Canada has an extensive library of satellite images covering the years ca. 1990 and ca. 2000 for most of Canada’s boreal forest region, a region undergoing rapid industrial development. We are currently in the process of producing digital datasets and analyses of anthropogenic changes and rates of change in Canada’s forest ecozones, using these satellite images.
We are continuing to work to make additional base data layers for Canada (hydrology, coastlines, populated places etc.) freely available for download in our Data Warehouse. These layers will be of use to those interested in creating their own maps and/or in performing their own GIS analysis.
We have also made our catalogues of Landsat and ASTER satellite images available. Users may order specific images from Global Forest Watch Canada for an administrative fee.