Canadian Wildlife Service
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Designated as a Species of Special Concern in 2008, the entire range and potential area of occupancy for the Great Blue Heron 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 (potential foraging areas are defined as the entire coastline and major river systems). The distribution of the Pacific Great Blue Heron is confined to the coast from Prince William Sound, Alaska south to Puget Sound, Washington. The major factors currently limiting the persistence of heron populations are nesting failure and reduced nesting productivity arising from eagle predation, human disturbance and habitat declines from development. Refer to the, "COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias fannini) in Canada," for more information.
The main purpose of the Conservation Atlas of Wetlands is to develop a portrait of the wetlands of the St. Lawrence Valley using innovative mapping methods in order to favor bird conservation by helping land managers to make decisions about land use and bird habitat conservation. Another objective was to develop methods needed to allow a monitoring of the St. Lawrence Valley wetlands and make a link to a potential national mapping project of that type as an indicator on environment quality in Canada. The Atlas is considered a large-scale project because of the area covered, the great variability in the area’s characteristics and the various types of wetlands encountered. Using Canadian RADARSAT satellite images, along with other sources of information available (e.g., digital hydrological and hypsometric data) and data from Landsat-TM images, the mapping has required certain adjustments and the use of innovative methods. Achieving the objectives set at the start of the project in the spring of 1999 has resulted in the following products: - A global mosaic of the distribution of wetlands in southern Québec - A 1:50 000 scale map showing the location of wetlands in each of the area’s MRCs - Descriptive statistics on wetlands' characteristics (number, category, average area, etc.) to complement the maps, - Information and links to to sites that promote wetland conservation.