Protected Areas, by Province and Territory

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The proportion of terrestrial area protected varies by province and territory, ranging from 3.1% to 15.3%. Differences in geography and historical land use influence the degree of protection. For example, Prince Edward Island is highly agricultural, while recreational use of mountainous British Columbian landscapes is more compatible with protection.

Total percentage of terrestrial area protected by province and territory, Canada, 2014

Column chart

Long description

The column chart shows the percentage of terrestrial (land and freshwater) area protected in each province and territory in 2014, ranging from 3.1% to 15.3%. British Columbia, Alberta and Yukon have the largest proportions of protected area. New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island have the lowest proportions of protected area.

Data for this chart
Total percentage of terrestrial area protected by province and territory, Canada, 2014
Province or territoryProtected area
(km2)
Provincial or territorial area
(km2)
Percentage of province or territory protected
British Columbia144 704944 73515.3
Alberta83 218661 84812.6
Yukon Territory57 274482 44311.9
Manitoba69 868647 79710.8
Ontario110 5801 076 39510.3
QuebecFootnote [A]147 2821 512 4189.7
Northwest Territories130 7591 346 1069.7
Nunavut201 1412 093 1909.6
Nova Scotia499855 2849.0
Saskatchewan54 219651 0368.3
New Brunswick337672 9084.6
Newfoundland and Labrador18 501405 2124.6
Prince Edward Island17656603.1
Canada1 026 6829 984 67010.3

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How this indicator was calculated

Note: Areas include land and freshwater but not marine areas. Not all provinces and territories report on protected areas that are privately owned.
Source: For Canada, except Quebec: Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA) (2015) Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System (CARTS). For Quebec: Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (2015) Registre des aires protégées au Québec. Data are current as of 31 December, 2014.

British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon, Manitoba and Ontario have the greatest proportion of territory under some level of protection (more than 10% for terrestrial areas).

Quebec, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan have 8 to 10% of their territories under protection.

Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have less than 5% of their territories under protection.

Related information

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