Protected Areas, by Ecological Region
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EcozonesFootnote  are regions with distinct or characteristic ecological features, such as climate and vegetation. Three ecozones, the Tundra Cordillera, the Pacific Maritime and the Arctic Cordillera have more than 20% of their area protected, while less than 1% of the area of five ecozones is protected.
Terrestrial ecozones with a high proportion of area protected tend to be remote or have high recreation value. This is in contrast to regions with high levels of urbanization and development, which tend to have small proportions of area protected. For example, ecozones in the western mountain ranges have 17% or more of their area protected, but the Mixedwood Plains, in southern Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River, has only 1.8% of its area protected.
While marine areas have not benefited from as long a tradition of protection, 7.0% of the Northern Shelf off the coast of British Columbia is protected. In the other marine ecozones, much smaller proportions, ranging from 0.02% to 4.7%, are protected. Thirteen percent (13%) of the Canadian area of the Great Lakes is protected.
Percentage of ecozones protected, Canada, 2015
The map shows the percentage of each ecozone that is protected. The Pacific Maritime, the Arctic Cordillera and the Tundra Cordillera ecological regions have the largest proportion of protected area. Less than 1% of the Arctic Basin, the Arctic Archipelago, the Hudson Bay Complex, the Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves, and the Scotian Shelf marine regions are protected.
Data for this map
|Map label||Ecozone name||Ecozone area|
|Percentage of region protected|
|L01||Arctic Cordillera||233 618||53 699||23.0|
|L02||Northern Arctic||1 481 480||106 291||7.2|
|L03||Southern Arctic||957 139||150 760||15.8|
|L04||Taiga Plains||554 014||38 160||6.9|
|L05||Taiga Shield||1 322 786||105 763||8.0|
|L06||Boreal Shield||1 897 362||183 766||9.7|
|L07||Atlantic Maritime||110 590||7712||7.0|
|L08||Mixedwood Plains||116 206||2092||1.8|
|L09||Boreal Plains||779 471||58 045||7.4|
|L10||Prairies||465 990||27 246||5.8|
|L11||Montane Cordillera||437 761||80 006||18.3|
|L12||Pacific Maritime||216 942||52 449||24.2|
|L13||Boreal Cordillera||557 937||97 311||17.4|
|L14||Taiga Cordillera||231 161||19 302||8.4|
|L15||Hudson Plains||350 693||43 774||12.5|
|L16||Tundra Cordillera||28 980||7159||24.7|
|L17||Atlantic Highlands||93 017||3552||3.8|
|L18||Semi-Arid Plateaux||56 434||5263||9.3|
|W01||Strait of Georgia||8969||425||4.7|
|W02||Southern Shelf||28 158||783||2.8|
|W03||Offshore Pacific||315 724||6200||2.0|
|W04||Northern Shelf||101 663||7141||7.0|
|W05||Arctic Basin||752 053||165||0.02|
|W06||Western Arctic||539 807||9697||1.8|
|W07||Arctic Archipelago||268 792||2267||0.84|
|W08||Eastern Arctic||782 636||8656||1.1|
|W09||Hudson Bay Complex||1 244 670||8857||0.7|
|W10||Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves||1 054 240||215||0.02|
|W11||Scotian Shelf||416 296||2399||0.6|
|W12||Gulf of Saint Lawrence||246 648||4688||1.9|
|W13||Great Lakes||88 250||11 672||13.2|
Download data file (Excel/CSV; 1.95 KB)
Note: Ecozones are elements of a framework delineating broad areas with distinctive biophysical characteristics and similar sets of species. Ecozones are numbered and coded with an "L" for terrestrial regions and "W" for aquatic regions.
Source: Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (2016) Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System (CARTS). Data are current as of December 31, 2015. For Ecozones, Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (2014) Canada Ecozones V5b.
Each ecozone is unique and protection involves the inclusion of areas that are representative of different parts of the ecozone and sites of special value. Challenges to establishing protected areas include competition from other uses, such as agriculture, fishing, industry or living space, and may be limited by the extent of ecologically intact areas within the ecozone.
- Canada's Protected Areas
- Terrestrial Protected Areas, by Province and Territory
- Marine Protected Areas, by Jurisdiction
- Global Trends in Protected Areas
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