Linear Disturbances in the Alberta Castle (2012)

(2016-09-20) Global Forest Watch Canada (GFWC) mapped linear disturbances in the Alberta Castle using ancillary data sources and air photographs from the summer of 2012, and then refined the dataset to categorize roads. This dataset was used in GFWC's analyses of the extent of linear disturbance and its impact on species at risk in Alberta's Castle region. The methodology used to create this data can be found in Bulletin 2.

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Human Footprint in Alberta’s Newest Proposed Parks Already an Issue

(2016-09-20) “Our analysis shows the extent of linear disturbances in the Castle is already too high to maintain or enhance ecological integrity, particularly in the proposed provincial park,” said Wynet Smith, Executive Director of GFWC. “Much of the linear disturbances need to be removed and rehabilitated if the Castle is to meet its ecological objectives of water security and habitat for species at risk.” 

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New Analysis Shows Proposed Castle Protected Areas Require Restoration

(2016-09-06) The proposed Castle protected area has been subject to fragmentation due to its long history of human use. However, it has the potential to protect some of the last remaining intact forest landscape fragments in the Southern Alberta foothills. As per GFWC’s results (which are summarized in its first bulletin on the issue), Executive Director Wynet Smith notes: “if we are truly to protect one of the greatest water sources and some of the most diverse habitat in Southern Alberta, the Government needs to actively restore this landscape.”  

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Bulletin 1. Anthropogenic Disturbance and Intactness in the Castle

(2016-09-06) -  This is GFWC's first bulletin in a special series on the Castle Wilderness, which is currently proposed for protection. As input to the management planning process for the new protected areas, GFWC has conducted analysis to update disturbance and intactness information for this important ecological region. This first bulletin looks specifically at fragmentation in the area - and provides some analysis of the intact forest landscape fragments (IFLFs) that remain. 

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Five percent of Canada's Intact Forest Landscapes Degraded/Fragmented Over 13 years

(2016-08-16) GFWC's new IFL layer showed a 5 percent (216,199 km2) decrease in Canada's pristine forests due to degradation and fragmentation between 2000 and 2013. GFWC’s analysis also shows 92 percent of the reduction in Canadian IFLs occurred in areas that are home to one endangered species, while 14 percent of reduction occurred in habitats of at least six endangered species. See a summary and maps of these and other key results on the Global Forest Watch Blog.

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A Fresh Look at Canada's Virgin Forests

(2016-08-16) Visit the Global Forest Watch Blog for a good summary of GFWC's newest (updated to 2013) intact forest landscape (IFL) layer, including how it compares to the global IFL layer. 


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Canada's Intact Forest Landscapes 2000-2013: Interactive Map

(2016-07-05) Global Forest Watch Canada (GFWC) is pleased to release its first interactive map: Intact Forest Landscapes of Canada, 2000-2013. This map helps democratize data by enabling viewers to view GFWC's intact forest landscapes as of 2000 and 2013 and the areas of degradation and fragmentation.

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Decrease in Canada’s large intact forest landscapes between 2000 and 2013

(2016-07-05) Global Forest Watch Canada has just released its newest iteration of Canada’s intact forest landscapes layer, noting a significant decrease in their area. Intact forest landscapes are becoming increasingly rare at the global level. They are also growing in importance as reference points for understanding managed forest landscapes and designing management schemes that preserve or restore significant aspects of the natural forest landscape.

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Canada's Intact Forest Landscapes 2013 Dataset

(2016-07-05) GFWC has updated its circa 2000 intact forest landscape (IFL) layer and created a 2013 version. GFWC, as per its core principles, is sharing all three datasets: updated circa 2000 IFL layer, 2013 IFL layer, and the IFL change 2000-2013 layer.  See the metadata plus the bulletin for further details on the methodology and results.

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Canada's Intact Forest Landscapes Updated to 2013 (Bulletin)

(2016-07-05) Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs) are the last remaining areas of forest and non-forest ecosystems that are at least 500 km2 in size and untouched by roads or other significant human activity. Canada, together with Russia and Brazil, contain 65% of all the world’s IFLs. But these pristine forests are becoming increasingly disturbed, and research shows that even without deforestation this degradation and fragmentation is enough to threaten biodiversity around the world. Global Forest Watch Canada (GFWC) has recently updated its IFL data to 2013, using the best available data, including Landsat satellite imagery and Environment Canada disturbance data.

GFWC found that:

  • Almost 5% (216,199 km2) of Canada’s IFLs were degraded or fragmented by human activity between 2000 and 2013. IFLs covered 4.5 million km2 of Canada in 2000 compared to 4.3 million km2 in 2013.
  • Four provinces—Quebec, Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia—accounted for 71% of the 216,199 kmof human disturbances. 
  • 11.7% (just over 500,000 km2) of IFLs were located within forestry tenures as of 2013.
  • 25.5% of Canada’s forestry tenures were covered by IFLs in 2013.
  • 17.5% (750,851 km2) of 2013 IFLs were located within interim and permanent protected areas. 

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