Habitat Secured for Waterfowl

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As of 2015, approximately 80 700 square kilometres (km2) of habitat for waterfowl had been secured in Canada through the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). The large increase in 2008 is the result of the securement of habitat in the Western Boreal Forest region through Crown designation.

Cumulative waterfowl habitat secured in Canada by NAWMP partners, 1990 to March 2015

Line chart

Long description

The line chart shows cumulative waterfowl habitat secured in Canada through the North American Waterfowl Management Plan from 1990 to March 2015. The graph shows that in 2007 there were 34.0 thousands of square kilometres of habitat secured for waterfowl in Canada, which rose to 70.4 thousands of square kilometres in 2008, and eventually to 80.7 thousands of square kilometres in March 2015.

Data for this chart
Cumulative waterfowl habitat secured in Canada by NAWMP partners, 1990 to March 2015
YearHabitat secured
(thousands of km2)
19900.9
19913.9
19925.0
19935.8
19946.1
19957.0
19968.6
19979.0
19989.6
199911.3
200012.3
200113.0
200218.0
200320.6
200422.6
200524.0
200632.7
200734.0
200870.4
200978.1
201079.0
201179.5
201279.9
201380.3
201480.5
2015Footnote [A]80.7

Note: For each year, the cumulative habitat secured is calculated by adding newly secured area to the existing securement base and subtracting the area of expired agreements. Entries are the cumulative total from the inception of the NAWMP program in 1986.

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How this indicator was calculated

Note: The line tracks the cumulative habitat secured under the NAWMP in Canada between the inception of the program in 1986 until 2015. For each year, the cumulative habitat secured is calculated by adding the area of newly secured habitat to the existing securement base and subtracting the area for which agreements have expired. The 2015 total includes only habitat secured by March of that year.
Source: Environment and Climate ChangeCanada (2015) Canadian Wildlife Service, Habitat Conservation Unit.

In Canada, 45 species of waterfowl rely on healthy wetlands for living and for raising their young.Footnote [1] In the mid-1980s, North American waterfowl populations had plummeted to record lows, largely because of human activities that resulted in the loss and/or degradation of wetlands. Recognizing this problem, and the fact that migratory waterfowl habitat needs are international in scope, the NAWMP was launched. The NAWMP is a tri-national (Canada, United States of America, and Mexico) partnership, composed of federal, state, provincial and municipal governments, non-governmental organizations, industry, and private individuals. Its aim is to return waterfowl populations to their 1970s levels by securing and restoring, and sustainably managing wetland and associated upland habitat. Actions under the NAWMP are conducted by government and non-governmental partners in Canada, the United States of America and Mexico.

The NAWMP aims to conserve important wetlands and related habitat for the benefit of waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. The highest priority landscapes are identified through the use of long-term monitoring datasets and scientific models. Then these priority landscapes are secured through a variety of tools, such as agreements, easements, and purchases. The NAWMP considers habitat to be "secured" when it has been protected, either through purchase or with legally binding agreements of at least 10 years duration.

While the accomplishments under the NAWMP are significant, waterfowl habitat is under increasing pressure from urban sprawl, agriculture, invasive species and climate change.

Regional habitat secured for waterfowl

The NAWMP operates through a series of joint ventures, some of which plan and implement regional habitat conservation programs and projects. A joint venture is a multi–stakeholder partnership, including governments at all levels, industry, Aboriginal groups, non-government organizations, universities and landowners. The NAWMP habitat joint venture activities in Canada are coordinated by the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada). Four habitat joint ventures actively secure habitat for waterfowl in Canada according to regional implementation plans.

Scope of habitat joint ventures in Canada, 2015

Map

Long description

The map of Canada shows the areas associated with the four Canadian habitat joint ventures. The Pacific Birds Habitat Joint Venture includes British Columbia's coastal areas. The Canadian Intermountain Joint venture includes the remaining areas within the province of British Columbia, excluding the north-eastern part of the region. The Eastern Habitat Joint Venture includes the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador; and finally, the Prairie Habitat Joint Venture, which includes the Western Boreal Forest region (diagonal stripes), focuses on areas within the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the north-eastern part of British Columbia, the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

How this indicator was calculated

Note: The regions outlined on the map represent the areas associated with each Canadian habitat joint venture. For the Pacific Birds Habitat Joint Venture,Footnote [2] only the Canadian portion of this international joint venture is shown.
Source: North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada) (2010) Strategic Plan 2010–2020.

Cumulative habitat secured by habitat joint venture in Canada, March 2015
Habitat joint ventureArea of habitat secured
(square kilometres)
Pacific Birds Habitat (Canada portion)522
Canadian Intermountain1425
Prairie Habitat (including Western Boreal Forest region)72 953
 Western Boreal Forest region (included in the Prairie Habitat total above)45 482
Eastern Habitat5791

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How this indicator was calculated

Note: See habitat joint ventures websites and implementations plans, along with the annual Habitat Matters Canadian NAWMP Report for further details on each region. Adjustments have been made as the NAWMP tracking system improves; habitat secured for each region may differ from other published reports.
Source: Environment and Climate ChangeCanada (2015) Canadian Wildlife Service, Habitat Conservation Unit.

Related information


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This indicator is used to measure progress toward Target 4.3: Terrestrial Ecosystems and Habitat Stewardship; Contribute to the proposed national target that by 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial areas and inland water are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy 2013–2016.

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