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    As part of a scientific assessment of critical habitat for boreal woodland caribou (Environment Canada 2011, see full reference in accompanying documentation), Environment Canada's Landscape Science and Technology Division was tasked with providing detailed anthropogenic disturbance mapping across known caribou ranges. This data allowed researchers to better understand the attributes that have a known effect on caribou population persistence. The mapping process was established to create a nationally consistent, reliable and repeatable geospatial dataset that followed a common methodology. The methods developed were focused on mapping disturbances at a specific point of time, and were not designed to identify the age of disturbances, which can be of particular interest for disturbances that can be considered non-permanent, for example cutblocks. The resultant datasets were used for caribou resource selection function,habitat modeling, and assess overall disturbance levels on each caribou ranges. Anthropogenic disturbances within 57 caribou ranges across Canada were mapped. The ranges were defined by individual Provinces and Territories across Canada. Disturbances were mapped across these ranges using 2008-2010 Landsat-5 satellite imagery to provide the most up to date data possible. Originally some areas were mapped to match the date of collected caribou demographic data, however more recent imagery was used and additional disturbance features that were seen since the original mapping date were added. Within the context of this project, anthropogenic disturbance was defined as any human-caused disturbance to the natural landscape that could be visually identified from Landsat imagery at a viewing scale of 1:50,000. A minimum mapping unit (MMU) of 2 ha or approximately 22 contiguous Landsat pixels was selected. Each disturbance feature type was represented in the database by a line or polygon depending on their geometric description. Polygonal disturbances included: cutblocks, mines, reservoirs, built-up areas, well sites, agriculture, oil and gas facilities, as well as unknown features. Linear disturbances included: roads, railways, powerlines, seismic exploration lines, pipelines, dams, air strips, as well as unknown features. For each anthropogenic feature type, a clear description was established (see Appendix 7.2 of the science assessment) to maintain consistency in identifying the various disturbances in the imagery by the different interpreters. Various ancillary vector datasets were used as aids in detecting, classifying and digitizing disturbances on the Landsat imagery (a table listing these datasets and their sources has been included in a separate file). Ancillary data was used to guide interpretation and feature labelling since the ancillary data was often variable across the country in terms of completeness as well as scale. As a result, features were only digitized if they were visible in the Landsat imagery at a viewing scale of 1:50,000. A 2nd interpreter quality control phase was carried out to ensure high quality, completete and consistent data collection. A quality assessment analysis, since an actual accuracy assessment was not possible, using high resolution SPOT imagery was carried out on a sample basis. Results are included in accompanying documentation. The vector data was buffered by 500m (radius) representing the zone of influence impacting boreal caribou herds in order to calculate range disturbance levels as well as for use in the integrated risk assessment analysis. Fire polygons were merged into the anthropogenic footprint in order to create an overall disturbance footprint.

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    Recent efforts to model spring breeding habitats of fish in the St. Lawrence have revealed significant gaps in land use descriptions for the floodplains of Lac Saint-Pierre. In order to fill these gaps, aerial photographs taken in 1950, 1964 and 1997 were assembled in mosaic fashion and then digitized, georeferenced and interpreted to categorize 28 fish habitat classes. For each of the three periods, interpretation made it possible to categorize and georeference polygons (e.g. wet meadows, perennial crops) and linear elements (e.g. windbreaks, riparian strips, roads) and to compile these with their properties (habitat class, length, perimeter, surface area). To facilitate and refine subsequent analyses, all polygons and linear elements were delineated with the aid of several layers of information, including the boundaries of regional county municipalities, drainage basins, several flood scenarios, and three large units: the north and south shores of Lac Saint-Pierre and the Sorel archipelago. This report describes the methods used and the constraints encountered; it also presents certain interpretation limits and a summary analysis of habitat classes in the three periods studied. A temporal trend analysis of habitat dynamics in the three periods has yet to be completed. Source files containing the data have been published and are available to anyone interested in land use in the floodplains of Lac Saint-Pierre or wishing to extend the study of changes in these landscapes and habitats over the past fifty years, depending on their field of interest (e.g. fish habitats, waterfowl nesting, agricultural landscape).

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    Recent efforts to model spring breeding habitats of fish in the St. Lawrence have revealed significant gaps in land use descriptions for the floodplains of Lac Saint-Pierre. In order to fill these gaps, aerial photographs taken in 1950, 1964 and 1997 were assembled in mosaic fashion and then digitized, georeferenced and interpreted to categorize 28 fish habitat classes. For each of the three periods, interpretation made it possible to categorize and georeference polygons (e.g. wet meadows, perennial crops) and linear elements (e.g. windbreaks, riparian strips, roads) and to compile these with their properties (habitat class, length, perimeter, surface area). To facilitate and refine subsequent analyses, all polygons and linear elements were delineated with the aid of several layers of information, including the boundaries of regional county municipalities, drainage basins, several flood scenarios, and three large units: the north and south shores of Lac Saint-Pierre and the Sorel archipelago. This report describes the methods used and the constraints encountered; it also presents certain interpretation limits and a summary analysis of habitat classes in the three periods studied. A temporal trend analysis of habitat dynamics in the three periods has yet to be completed. Source files containing the data have been published and are available to anyone interested in land use in the floodplains of Lac Saint-Pierre or wishing to extend the study of changes in these landscapes and habitats over the past fifty years, depending on their field of interest (e.g. fish habitats, waterfowl nesting, agricultural landscape).

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    Recent efforts to model spring breeding habitats of fish in the St. Lawrence have revealed significant gaps in land use descriptions for the floodplains of Lac Saint-Pierre. In order to fill these gaps, aerial photographs taken in 1950, 1964 and 1997 were assembled in mosaic fashion and then digitized, georeferenced and interpreted to categorize 28 fish habitat classes. For each of the three periods, interpretation made it possible to categorize and georeference polygons (e.g. wet meadows, perennial crops) and linear elements (e.g. windbreaks, riparian strips, roads) and to compile these with their properties (habitat class, length, perimeter, surface area). To facilitate and refine subsequent analyses, all polygons and linear elements were delineated with the aid of several layers of information, including the boundaries of regional county municipalities, drainage basins, several flood scenarios, and three large units: the north and south shores of Lac Saint-Pierre and the Sorel archipelago. This report describes the methods used and the constraints encountered; it also presents certain interpretation limits and a summary analysis of habitat classes in the three periods studied. A temporal trend analysis of habitat dynamics in the three periods has yet to be completed. Source files containing the data have been published and are available to anyone interested in land use in the floodplains of Lac Saint-Pierre or wishing to extend the study of changes in these landscapes and habitats over the past fifty years, depending on their field of interest (e.g. fish habitats, waterfowl nesting, agricultural landscape).

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    Recent efforts to model spring breeding habitats of fish in the St. Lawrence have revealed significant gaps in land use descriptions for the floodplains of Lac Saint-Pierre. In order to fill these gaps, aerial photographs taken in 1950, 1964 and 1997 were assembled in mosaic fashion and then digitized, georeferenced and interpreted to categorize 28 fish habitat classes. For each of the three periods, interpretation made it possible to categorize and georeference polygons (e.g. wet meadows, perennial crops) and linear elements (e.g. windbreaks, riparian strips, roads) and to compile these with their properties (habitat class, length, perimeter, surface area). To facilitate and refine subsequent analyses, all polygons and linear elements were delineated with the aid of several layers of information, including the boundaries of regional county municipalities, drainage basins, several flood scenarios, and three large units: the north and south shores of Lac Saint-Pierre and the Sorel archipelago. This report describes the methods used and the constraints encountered; it also presents certain interpretation limits and a summary analysis of habitat classes in the three periods studied. A temporal trend analysis of habitat dynamics in the three periods has yet to be completed. Source files containing the data have been published and are available to anyone interested in land use in the floodplains of Lac Saint-Pierre or wishing to extend the study of changes in these landscapes and habitats over the past fifty years, depending on their field of interest (e.g. fish habitats, waterfowl nesting, agricultural landscape).

  • Habitat and ecosystem data used to conduct a baseline survey of coastal habitat in Lake Ontario, Niagara River and the St. Lawrence River (up to the Quebec border) are included in this dataset. The Lake Ontario Survey methodology consists of four general steps; 1) delineating the coastal ecosystem into coastal units based on water flow, ecology, and geology; 2) selecting key habitat types including wetlands, uplands (natural and anthropogenic), tributaries, and inland lakes and ponds, and the measures to assess each habitat type and the entire coastal ecosystem; 3) conducting a spatial analysis and summarizing results; and 4) sharing results.

  • Habitat and ecosystem data used to conduct a baseline survey of coastal habitat in Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, and St. Marys River are included in this dataset. The Lake Huron Survey methodology consists of four general steps; 1) delineating the coastal ecosystem into coastal units based on water flow, ecology, and geology; 2) selecting key habitat types including wetlands, uplands (natural and anthropogenic), tributaries, and inland lakes and ponds, and the measures to assess each habitat type and the entire coastal ecosystem; 3) conducting a spatial analysis and summarizing results; and 4) sharing results.

  • Habitat and ecosystem data used to conduct a baseline survey of coastal habitat in the Canadian Great Lakes in support of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (Annex 7, Habitat and Species). The baseline habitat survey integrates various internal and external data sources that are collected or produced by various government and non-government organizations and integrated into this dataset. The geographic scope of the survey focuses on the coastal margin (from the shoreline to approximately 2 kilometers inland) of the Canadian Great Lakes and connecting channels. The scope of the survey includes metrics for coastal wetland habitat, coastal terrestrial habitat, tributary habitat and habitat protection and restoration.

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    The generation of geospatial thematic information for managing and monitoring Canada's boreal ecosystem is essential for researchers, land managers, and policy makers. Canada's boreal region is a vast mosaic of forests, wetlands, rivers and lakes, but anthropogenic disturbances have impacted these ecosystems resulting in habitat loss, fragmentation and threats to biodiversity. Across Canada various geospatial datasets representing anthropogenic disturbance exist for timber harvesting, hydro-electric activity, settlement and oil & gas activities; however, these products often vary in scale, attributes, time period, and mapping technique. Driven by the need for national data as part of the 2011 boreal caribou science assessment, a standardized methodology was developed and implemented to create a single geospatial dataset representing anthropogenic disturbances across a significant portion of Canada’s boreal ecosystem. The boreal ecosystem anthropogenic disturbances (BEAD) data is a vector disturbance dataset of individual linear and polygonal disturbance types that were manually collected through the interpretation of 2008 to 2010 Landsat imagery at a 1:50,000 viewing scale. Summary results identified a total polygonal anthropogenic disturbance footprint of approximately 24 million ha with forest cutblocks accounting for more than 60 % of mapped polygonal disturbance. Linear disturbance features across the boreal total approximately 600,000 km with roads and seismic exploration lines contributing to more than 80 % of the mapped linear disturbances.

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    This file includes the spatial boundaries for the Pacific Great Blue Heron Potential Area of Occupancy for its entire Canadian range. The Potential Area of Occupancy is a simple model that highlights the heron's preferred forest habitat at a high level. Potential Area of Occupancy is defined as terrestrial areas within the Coastal Douglas Fir and Coastal Western Hemlock Biogeoclimatic zones that are less than 10 km from a potential foraging area and west of the Cascades mountain range. Potential foraging areas are defined as the entire coastline and major river systems less than 1000 m in elevation. Refer to the "Management Plan for the Great Blue Heron fannini subspecies (Ardea herodias fannini) in Canada" on the SARA Regristry for more information.