Protected Areas, by Ecozone+
The highest percentage of protected areas is found in the Pacific Maritime ecozone (19%), while five of the ecozones+ have less than 1% of their area protected.
Ecozones with a high proportion of protected area tend to be remote or prized for recreation. This is in contrast to regions with high levels of urbanization and development. For example, ecozones+ in the Rocky Mountains have 15% or more of their area protected, but the Mixedwood Plain, in southern Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River, has only 1.6% of its area protected. Marine areas have not benefited from as strong a tradition of protection, and lower proportions are protected, ranging from 0.1% to 4.5%. Twelve percent of the area of the Great Lakes that is within Canada is protected.
Percent of ecozones+ protected in Canada, 2011
Note: Only areas recognized as protected under international standards are included.
Source: For Canada except Quebec: Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA) (2011) Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System (CARTS); data current as of 31 December, 2011. For Quebec: Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs (2011) Base de données du Registre des aires protégées au Québec; data current as of 31 December, 2011. The Ecozone+ framework is from Federal, provincial and territorial governments of Canada (2010) Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010.
Each ecozone is unique and varied, meaning that protection needs to be carefully planned to include areas representative of different parts of the ecozone and to capture sites of special value. It is much more challenging to establish protected areas in areas that are already developed for other uses, for example where cities, agriculture, fishing or industry are present. For terrestrial areas, this is in part because there is less ecologically intact land remaining, and the existing land has often been fragmented into many small parcels.
- Canada’s Protected Areas
- Protected Areas, by Province and Territory
- Protected Areas, International Comparison
 An ecozone is an ecological area with characteristic features such as climate and vegetation. This section uses a provisional adaptation ("Ecozones+") of Canada’s National Ecological Framework as a spatial framework.
- Date Modified: