We monitor the state of Canada’s forests to provide quality information on development activity and environmental impacts.
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(2016-09-20) The second and third bulletins in this series on disturbance issues in the Castle Wilderness examine the length of linear disturbances and their density in the newly proposed parks. There was a total of 1,823 km of linear features (e.g. roads, trails, and transmission lines). The density of linear disturbances in the provincial park was 3.5 km/km2, while in the wildland provincial park it was just over 1 km/km2. Thresholds described in the scientific literature to maintain core habitat for grizzly bears are 0.6 km/km2 and 0.69 km/km2 for bull trout. The third bulletin details findings of analyses regarding the density of disturbances in relation to grizzly bear habitat, as well as westslope cutthroat and trout habitat.
(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.
(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.”
(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 km2 of 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.
(2014-12-11) Woodland caribou are in trouble throughout their range in Canada. “Thanks to new high-resolution global satellite data developed by Dr. Matthew Hansen at the University of Maryland, we can systematically and accurately determine the rate of forest change across all the range of Canada’s woodland caribou and pinpoint exactly where in the boreal forest these animals are most under threat.”
(2014-12-11) Woodland caribou numbers are dropping because of habitat loss and high levels of predation by wolves, the result of vast changes in their herd ranges from a variety of development pressures. Now, thanks to a new study, we can for the first time systematically and accurately determine the rate of landscape change across all the range of woodland caribou and pin point where in the boreal forest these animals are most under threat. Our analysis clearly indicates the threat to boreal caribou is highest in Alberta.
(2014-06-26) New Global Forest Watch satellite data reveals extensive forest loss in Alberta’s Eastern Slopes during the period 2000-2012. 6.8% of the forests in the Eastern Slopes were lost between 2000 and 2013 due to industrialization. This amount of loss is more than double that of the average throughout Canada’s forests and is also significantly greater than in Alberta’s tar sands region.
(2013-12-05) “We updated the data from satellite imagery to map what remains of Canada’s intact forest landscapes. Although there were some methodology changes from our previous version dated approximately 2001, the results show an overall steady decline in Canada’s intact forest landscapes, with some areas dramatically declining.”
(2013-12-05) This bulletin accompanies a revision to Global Forest Watch Canada's Intact Forest Landscapes dataset in which we updated the extent of IFLs in Alberta forest ecozones and Canada's woodland caribou boreal population herd ranges to circa 2010.
(2013-12-05) This revision to Global Forest Watch Canada's Intact Forest Landscapes dataset updates the extent of IFLs in Alberta forest ecozones and Canada's woodland caribou boreal population herd ranges to circa 2010.