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Ecological Monitoring

Monitoring for species at risk near wetland | Photo: Larry Halverson, Parks CanadaQuality information on ecosystem status and trends is vital to maintain a healthy, sustainable environment and economy.

Ecological monitoring generates the information required to assess and respond to ecosystem changes. Monitoring can assist with the identification of new environmental concerns, the prioritization of issues, and the evaluation of trends over time. 

This information can be used to develop appropriate strategies to mitigate, adapt and respond to environmental pressures and to tailor programs and policies to meet environmental challenges.  Long-term, multidisciplinary research and monitoring provides decision-makers with particularly valuable information.

Future ecosystem monitoring expert | Photo: Larry Halverson, Parks CanadaFrom 1994 to 2010, the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (EMAN) was established as a national network of organizations involved in ecological monitoring in Canada to better detect, describe, and report on ecosystem changes. The network was made up of government and non government organizations, academic institutions, aboriginal organizations and community groups. EMAN CO, in partnership with Nature Canada and Provincial and Territorial Coordinators, initiated NatureWatch, a national citizen science monitoring program.

The Network was managed by the EMAN Coordinating Office of Environment Canada.  Key products of the EMAN network were:

Ecological Monitoring Protocols

Working with its partners - formerly under the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network- Environment Canada endorses standard protocols and develops them in areas where either consolidation is required, or no work has been done. The development of protocols is done through consultation with scientists, researchers, and experts.

Monitoring protocols allow for standardization in study design, sampling procedures, sample and data analysis, and reporting methods. This ensures that information gathered in Canada is useful for issues analysis and ecological understanding at the local, national and international scale.

 

Ecological Assessments and Reports

Learn about key overarching ecological assessments and reports supported or coordinated by EC, EMAN and partners.

Tools and Resources

Find meeting summaries, guides, and other tools to assist in a number of activities around ecological monitoring, including; setting up a plot based ecological monitoring program, study design, data analysis, data management and communicating monitoring results to key target audiences.