Protected Areas Data

Trends in land and freshwater and marine areas protected, Canada, 1990 to 2012
YearLand and freshwater area protected
(km2)
Percent land and freshwater area protectedMarine area protected
(km2)
Percent of marine area protected
1990522 1825.218 5910.26
1991522 6825.218 6170.26
1992525 5215.318 9770.27
1993536 1185.419 2290.27
1994539 5815.419 2360.27
1995579 2845.821 0150.30
1996598 2496.021 8720.31
1997609 5706.121 8880.31
1998636 9756.423 9000.34
1999648 5536.523 9010.34
2000659 9466.624 0240.34
2001718 3017.224 5310.35
2002741 8277.424 7540.35
2003800 3488.028 0940.40
2004810 1728.130 4950.43
2005839 6298.432 2210.45
2006845 0078.532 5080.46
2007870 0918.732 5390.46
2008921 0669.239 8160.56
2009974 4439.840 3700.57
2010981 8719.849 5920.70
2011998 16110.049 5920.70
20121 005 15310.149 5920.70

Note: The land area of Canada is 9 984 670 km2 and its marine territory is approximately 7.1 million km2. Protected areas that lack information on creation date have been allocated to a date earlier than 1990. Overlaps between protected areas are not corrected for in this analysis.

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Land and freshwater and marine areas protected by federal jurisdictions, Canada, 2012
JurisdictionLand and freshwater area protected
(km2)
Marine area protected
(km2)
Total
(km2)
Parks Canada Agency308 99611 636320 633
Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service104 90119 589124 490
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada53 847053 847
Fisheries and Oceans Canada010 37910 379
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada*910309103
Parks Canada / MDDEFP, Quebec**012461246
National Capital Commission (NCC)4490449
Grand Total477 29642 850520 146

* These lands are to be returned to provincial management by 2015.
** Parks Canada and the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs, Quebec, share jurisdiction.

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Protected area by IUCN category, Canada, 2012
CategoryArea protected
(km2)
IA10 611
IB341 153
II536 769
III71 110
IV24 907
V840
VI52 961
Unclassified16 393

Note: Land and freshwater and marine areas are included in these totals. Category definitions are derived from the IUCN’s standards based on management objectives. Categories I through IV are generally considered “strictly protected,” but these are based on purpose of management and do not reflect effectiveness. Unclassified areas are recognized as protected but have not yet been assigned a numbered category.
Source for Categories: Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (2008) Canadian Guidebook for the Application of IUCN Protected Areas Categories.

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Total land and freshwater protected by province and territory, Canada, 2012
Province or territoryProtected area
(km2)
Provincial or territorial area
(km2)
Percentage of province or territory protected
British Columbia135 840944 73514.4
Alberta82 559661 84812.5
Yukon Territory57 414482 44311.9
Manitoba70 124647 79710.8
Ontario110 1781 076 39510.2
Nunavut 208 5882 093 19010.0
Northwest Territories124 6471 346 1069.3
Quebec137 0171 513 8799.1
Nova Scotia459855 2848.3
Saskatchewan51 925651 0368.0
Newfoundland and Labrador18 535405 2124.6
New Brunswick223472 9083.1
Prince Edward Island15956602.8
Canada1 001 3439 984 67010.0

Note: Marine areas are excluded from the provincial area and from the protected area estimate.

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Total area protected by ecological region, Canada, 2012
Region nameMap labelRegion area
(km2)
Area protected
(km2)
Percentage of region protected
Arctic12 491 008295 73711.9
Atlantic Maritime2205 42910 8085.3
Boreal Cordillera3444 65173 12516.4
Boreal Plains4690 58856 3468.2
Boreal Shield51 764 053158 2779.0
Hudson Plains6348 01645 13513.0
Mixedwood Plain7118 92419491.6
Montane Cordillera8423 65878 79818.6
Newfoundland Boreal9111 72986957.8
Pacific Maritime10204 76838 83519.0
Prairie11460 24629 1286.3
Taiga Cordillera12339 39353 60715.8
Taiga Plains13584 70941 9697.2
Taiga Shield141 317 09693 9137.1
Western Interior Basin1556 63452049.2
Great Lakes9991 51411 06312.1
Arctic ArchipelagoM7268 79722250.83
Arctic BasinM5752 0531690.02
Eastern ArcticM8782 63988851.14
Gulf of Saint LawrenceM12247 18444071.78
Hudson Bay ComplexM91 244 64488800.71
Newfoundland-Labrador ShelvesM101 041 6562280.02
Northern ShelfM4101 32853795.31
Offshore PacificM3315 72461961.96
Scotian ShelfM11416 48524000.58
Southern ShelfM228 1587192.55
Strait of GeorgiaM189703523.93
Western ArcticM6539 79397531.81

Note: For this report, ecozones+ are used for terrestrial (including land and freshwater) areas, and marine bioregions for marine areas. Both are frameworks delineating broad areas with distinctive biophysical characteristics and similar sets of species. Ecozones are numbered; bioregions are coded with an ‘M’ and numbered in a separate series.

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