Ecological Integrity of National Parks

Parks Canada is working to monitor ecological integrity in 42 of Canada's national parks.Footnote [1] Ecological integrity is assessed by monitoring selected measures of major park ecosystems (e.g., forest, freshwater, wetlands). Thirty-five parks had reported on the ecological integrity of at least some of their ecosystems by 2011. Of the 102 ecosystems that Parks Canada has assessed, 92% (94) are reported to be in good or fair condition. Trends are more difficult to assess, but of the 81 ecosystems with reported trends, 46 (57%) are stable or improving.

Ecological integrity status and trends of national parks, Canada, 2011

Stacked column chart

Long description

The stacked bar chart shows whether ecological integrity of ecosystems in Canada's national parks is "good", "fair" or "poor" as of 2011. Each stacked bar status provides the number of ecosystems where the trend in ecological integrity is classified as "undetermined", "declining", "stable" or "improving". The majority of the 102 ecosystems assessed (94 ecosystems) from 35 of Canada's national parks are reported to be in good or fair condition. Eighty-one of the 102 ecosystems reported trends, 46 of which are stable or improving.

Data for this chart
Ecological integrity status and trends of national parks, Canada, 2011
Ecological integrity statusEcological integrity trend (improving)Ecological integrity trend (stable)Ecological integrity trend (declining)Ecological integrity trend (not rated)Total

Download data file (Excel/CSV; 503 B)

How this indicator was calculated

Note: Park ecosystems include forests, freshwater, grasslands, tundra, marine and others, depending on what is present in each park.
Source: Parks Canada (2011) The State of Canada's Natural and Historic Places, 2011 Report.

Ecosystems have integrity when their components (including native species and physical elements) and processes (e.g., energy flow, nutrient and water cycles, predation) are intact.Footnote [2],Footnote [3] Although the parks are currently in generally good condition, they are affected, despite their protected status, by many of the same pressures we place on the environment in general. Parks Canada has invested in management and restoration to address a prioritized list of ecological issues.

Parks Canada identifies some of the major stressors of national parksFootnote [4] as being the following:

  • Habitat loss
  • Habitat fragmentation (e.g., building of roads)
  • Losses of large carnivores
  • Pollutants, including pesticides and air pollution
  • Invasive species
  • Climate changeFootnote [5]

The conditions of ecosystems within a park are determined by a series of monitoring measures that are designed to track biodiversity and natural processes within those ecosystems. More information about individual parks can be found in Parks Canada's State of Park Reports.

Ecological integrity status and trends of 42 national parks, Canada, 2011


Long description

The table shows whether ecological integrity of ecosystems in Canada's 41 national parks is "good" (green), "fair" (yellow), "poor" (red), "not rated" (grey) or "not applicable" (no fill) as of 2011 for each park by province or territory. The ecosystems include: forests, lakes, streams/rivers, wetlands, tundra/barrens, coastal, glaciers, grasslands, marine/subtidal and other (includes badlands, Peace Athabasca Delta, intertidal zones, islets, native biodiversity, non-forest and shrublands). Trends, when available, are also provided indicating whether the ecological integrity of the ecosystem is "improving", "stable/no change" or "declining". The majority of the 102 ecosystems assessed (94 ecosystems) from 35 of Canada's national parks are reported to be in good or fair condition. Eighty-one of the 102 ecosystems reported trends, 46 of which are stable or improving.

Data for this graphic
Ecological integrity status and trends of 42 national parks, Canada, 2011
Province or territoryNational parkEcosystem typeEcological integrity statusEcological integrity trend
NLGros MorneNote 1Forestpoordeclining
NLGros MorneNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticgoodstable/no change
NLGros MorneNote 1Wetlandsfairdeclining
NLGros MorneNote 1Tundra/Barrensfairdeclining
NLGros MorneNote 1Coastalfairimproving 
NLTerra NovaNote 1Forestgoodimproving 
NLTerra NovaNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticgoodimproving 
NLTerra NovaNote 1Wetlandsnot ratednot rated
NLTerra NovaNote 1Tundra/Barrensnot ratednot rated
NLTerra NovaNote 1Coastalgoodstable/no change
NLTorngat MountainsNote 1,Note 2Freshwater/Aquaticgoodnot rated
NLTorngat MountainsNote 1,Note 2Tundra/Barrensgoodnot rated
NLTorngat MountainsNote 1,Note 2Coastalfairnot rated
NLTorngat MountainsNote 1,Note 2Glaciersnot ratednot rated
PEPrince Edward IslandNote 1Forestpoordeclining
PEPrince Edward IslandNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticgoodstable/no change
PEPrince Edward IslandNote 1Wetlandsgooddeclining
PEPrince Edward IslandNote 1Coastalfairdeclining
NSCape Breton HighlandsNote 1Forestfairdeclining
NSCape Breton HighlandsNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticgooddeclining
NSCape Breton HighlandsNote 1Wetlandsnot ratednot rated
NSCape Breton HighlandsNote 1Tundra/Barrensnot ratednot rated
NSCape Breton HighlandsNote 1Coastalgoodstable/no change
NSKejimkujikNote 1,Note 2Forestgoodnot rated
NSKejimkujikNote 1,Note 2Freshwater/Aquaticgoodnot rated
NSKejimkujikNote 1,Note 2Wetlandsnot ratednot rated
NSKejimkujikNote 1,Note 2Coastalpoornot rated
NBFundyNote 1Forestfairstable/no change
NBFundyNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticfairstable/no change
NBFundyNote 1Wetlandsgoodstable/no change
NBFundyNote 1Coastalfairstable/no change
NBKouchibouguacNote 1Forestnot ratednot rated
NBKouchibouguacNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticgoodstable/no change
NBKouchibouguacNote 1Wetlandsgoodstable/no change
NBKouchibouguacNote 1Coastalgoodstable/no change
QCForillonNote 1Forestgooddeclining
QCForillonNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticgoodstable/no change
QCForillonNote 1Coastalfairdeclining
QCForillonNote 1Marine/ Subtidalfairdeclining
QCLa MauricieForestfairdeclining
QCLa MauricieStreams & Riversfairdeclining
QCLa MauricieWetlandsfairdeclining
QCMingan Archipelago (Reserve)Forestgoodstable/no change
QCMingan Archipelago (Reserve)Wetlandsnot ratednot rated
QCMingan Archipelago (Reserve)Tundra/Barrensnot ratednot rated
QCMingan Archipelago (Reserve)Coastalnot ratednot rated
QCMingan Archipelago (Reserve)Other Systems (Islets)not ratednot rated
ONBruce PeninsulaNote 2Forestgoodstable/no change
ONBruce PeninsulaNote 2Lakesnot ratednot rated
ONBruce PeninsulaNote 2Streams & Riversfairnot rated
ONBruce PeninsulaNote 2Wetlandsgoodnot rated
ONBruce PeninsulaNote 2Other ecosystems (non-forest)not ratednot rated
ONGeorgian Bay IslandsNote 2Forestgoodnot rated
ONGeorgian Bay IslandsNote 2Freshwater/Aquaticnot ratednot rated
ONGeorgian Bay IslandsNote 2Lakesnot ratednot rated
ONGeorgian Bay IslandsNote 2Wetlandsnot ratednot rated
ONGeorgian Bay IslandsNote 2Coastalgoodnot rated
ONPoint PeleeForestfairstable/no change
ONPoint PeleeWetlandsfairdeclining
ONPoint PeleeCoastalpoordeclining
ONPoint PeleeOther ecosystems (non-forest)fairdeclining
ONPukaskwaNote 2Forestgoodnot rated
ONPukaskwaNote 2Lakesnot ratednot rated
ONPukaskwaNote 2Streams & Riversnot ratednot rated
ONPukaskwaNote 2Coastalfairnot rated
ONSt. Lawrence IslandsNote 2Forestgoodstable/no change
ONSt. Lawrence IslandsNote 2Streams & Riversgoodnot rated
ONSt. Lawrence IslandsNote 2Wetlandsfairnot rated
MBRiding MountainForestfairstable/no change
MBRiding MountainLakesfairstable/no change
MBRiding MountainStreams & Riversfairstable/no change
MBRiding MountainWetlandsfairstable/no change
MBRiding MountainGrasslandsfairdeclining
MBWapuskNote 1Forestnot ratednot rated
MBWapuskNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticnot ratednot rated
MBWapuskNote 1Wetlandsnot ratednot rated
MBWapuskNote 1Tundra/Barrensnot ratednot rated
MBWapuskNote 1Coastalnot ratednot rated
MBWapuskNote 1Marine/ Subtidalnot ratednot rated
SKGrasslandsNote 1Forestnot ratednot rated
SKGrasslandsNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticfairstable/no change
SKGrasslandsNote 1Wetlandsnot ratednot rated
SKGrasslandsNote 1Grasslandsfairstable/no change
SKGrasslandsNote 1Other ecosystems (badlands/shrublands)not ratednot rated
SKPrince AlbertNote 2Forestgoodnot rated
SKPrince AlbertNote 2Lakesgoodnot rated
SKPrince AlbertNote 2Wetlandsnot ratednot rated
SKPrince AlbertNote 2Grasslandsnot ratednot rated
ABBanffNote 1Forestfairdeclining
ABBanffNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticfairstable/no change
ABBanffNote 1Other ecosystems (native biodiversity)fairstable/no change
ABElk IslandForestgoodstable/no change
ABElk IslandLakesfairdeclining
ABElk IslandWetlandsnot ratednot rated
ABElk IslandGrasslandsnot ratednot rated
ABJasperNote 1Forestfairstable/no change
ABJasperNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticfairimproving 
ABJasperNote 1Other ecosystems (native biodiversity)fairstable/no change
ABWaterton LakesNote 1Forestpoordeclining
ABWaterton LakesNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticgooddeclining
ABWaterton LakesNote 1Other ecosystems (native biodiversity)goodstable/no change
BCGulf Islands (Reserve)Note 2Forestnot ratednot rated
BCGulf Islands (Reserve)Note 2Lakesfairnot rated
BCGulf Islands (Reserve)Note 2Streams & Riversnot ratednot rated
BCGulf Islands (Reserve)Note 2Coastalnot ratednot rated
BCGulf Islands (Reserve)Note 2Marine/ Subtidalgoodnot rated
BCGulf Islands (Reserve)Note 2Other ecosystems (islets, intertidal zones, non-forest)not ratednot rated
BCGwaii Haanas (Reserve and Haida Heritage Site)Note 2,Note 3Forestfairdeclining
BCGwaii Haanas (Reserve and Haida Heritage Site)Note 2,Note 3Lakesnot ratednot rated
BCGwaii Haanas (Reserve and Haida Heritage Site)Note 2,Note 3Streams & Riversgoodnot rated
BCGwaii Haanas (Reserve and Haida Heritage Site)Note 2,Note 3Coastalgoodstable/no change
BCGwaii Haanas (Reserve and Haida Heritage Site)Note 2,Note 3Marine/ Subtidalpoorstable/no change
BCGwaii Haanas (Reserve and Haida Heritage Site)Note 2,Note 3Other ecosystems (intertidal zones, non-forest)not ratednot rated
BCKootenayNote 1Forestfairdeclining
BCKootenayNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticgoodstable/no change
BCKootenayNote 1Other ecosystems (native biodiversity)fairstable/no change
BCMount Revelstoke & GlacierNote 1,Note 4Forestfairdeclining
BCMount Revelstoke & GlacierNote 1,Note 4Freshwater/Aquaticgooddeclining
BCMount Revelstoke & GlacierNote 1,Note 4Other ecosystems (native biodiversity)fairstable/no change
BCPacific Rim (Reserve)Forestgoodstable/no change
BCPacific Rim (Reserve)Streams & Riversfairstable/no change
BCPacific Rim (Reserve)Coastalfairstable/no change
BCPacific Rim (Reserve)Marine/ Subtidalpoordeclining
BCPacific Rim (Reserve)Other ecosystems (intertidal zones)fairstable/no change
BCYohoNote 1Forestfairdeclining
BCYohoNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticfairimproving 
BCYohoNote 1Other ecosystems (native biodiversity)fairdeclining
YTIvvavikNote 1,Note 5Forestnot ratednot rated
YTIvvavikNote 1,Note 5Freshwater/Aquaticnot ratednot rated
YTIvvavikNote 1,Note 5Tundra/Barrensnot ratednot rated
YTIvvavikNote 1,Note 5Coastalnot ratednot rated
YTKluane (and Reserve)Note 1,Note 2Forestfairdeclining
YTKluane (and Reserve)Note 1,Note 2Freshwater/Aquaticnot ratednot rated
YTKluane (and Reserve)Note 1,Note 2Wetlands not ratednot rated
YTKluane (and Reserve)Note 1,Note 2Tundra/Barrensgooddeclining
YTKluane (and Reserve)Note 1,Note 2Glaciersfairnot rated
YTVuntutNote 1Forestnot ratednot rated
YTVuntutNote 1Wetlandsgoodstable/no change
YTVuntutNote 1Tundra/Barrensnot ratednot rated
NTAulavikNote 1,Note 2Freshwater/Aquaticnot ratednot rated
NTAulavikNote 1,Note 2Tundra/Barrensfairnot rated
NTAulavikNote 1,Note 2Coastalnot ratednot rated
NTNahanni (Reserve)Note 1Forestgoodstable/no change
NTNahanni (Reserve)Note 1Freshwater/Aquaticgoodstable/no change
NTNahanni (Reserve)Note 1Wetlands not ratednot rated
NTNahanni (Reserve)Note 1Tundra/Barrensfairdeclining
NTNahanni (Reserve)Note 1Glaciersfairdeclining
NTTuktut NogaitNote 1,Note 5Freshwater/Aquaticnot ratednot rated
NTTuktut NogaitNote 1,Note 5Tundra/Barrensnot ratednot rated
NTWood BuffaloNote 2Forestgoodstable/no change
NTWood BuffaloNote 2Lakesnot ratednot rated
NTWood BuffaloNote 2Streams & Riverspoordeclining
NTWood BuffaloNote 2Wetlandsnot ratednot rated
NTWood BuffaloNote 2Grasslandsnot ratednot rated
NTWood BuffaloNote 2Other ecosystems (Peace Athabasca Delta)gooddeclining
NUAuyuittuqNote 1,Note 5Freshwater/Aquaticnot ratednot rated
NUAuyuittuqNote 1,Note 5Tundra/Barrensnot ratednot rated
NUAuyuittuqNote 1,Note 5Coastalnot ratednot rated
NUAuyuittuqNote 1,Note 5Glaciersnot ratednot rated
NUQuttinirpaaqNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticnot ratednot rated
NUQuttinirpaaqNote 1Tundra/Barrensnot ratednot rated
NUQuttinirpaaqNote 1Coastalnot ratednot rated
NUQuttinirpaaqNote 1Glaciersnot ratednot rated
NUSirmilikNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticnot ratednot rated
NUSirmilikNote 1Wetlands not ratednot rated
NUSirmilikNote 1Tundra/Barrensnot ratednot rated
NUSirmilikNote 1Coastalnot ratednot rated
NUSirmilikNote 1Glaciersnot ratednot rated
NUUkkusiksalikNote 1Freshwater/Aquaticnot ratednot rated
NUUkkusiksalikNote 1Tundra/Barrensnot ratednot rated
NUUkkusiksalikNote 1Coastalnot ratednot rated

Download data file (Excel/CSV; 10.0 KB)

How this indicator was calculated

1 These parks combine "Lakes" and "Streams and Rivers" into a single "Freshwater/Aquatic" ecosystem.
2 Though an ecological integrity status is reported, there were not enough years of data available to report an ecological integrity trend for these ecosystems.
3 Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage site.
4 Information for Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks is collected together.
5 Ecosystem conditions for these parks were identified after March 31, 2009.
Source: Parks Canada (2011) The State of Canada's Natural and Historic Places, 2011 Report.

Related indicators

Other information

This indicator is used to measure progress toward Target 4.4: Improving the Health of National Parks Improve the condition of at least one Ecological Integrity Indicator in 20 national parks by 2015 of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy 2013–2016.

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