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Improving health of national parks

Target 6.2: Terrestrial ecosystems and habitat – Park protected habitat: maintain or improved the overall ecological integrity in all national parks from March 2008 to 2013.

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.

As steward of Canada's national parks, Parks Canada has a legal obligation to maintain or improve ecological integrity while providing benefit and enjoyment for present and future generations of Canadians. Parks Canada regularly monitors the state of ecological integrity and publishes the results for each national park every five years.

Each ecosystem is assessed for its ecological condition (good, fair or poor) and the trend in that condition (improving, stable or declining). Collectively, these assessments provide a basis for understanding the overall ecological integrity of a national park.

In 2011–2012, the Action on the Ground initiative entered its third year, addressing key ecological integrity issues in targeted national parks. Examples of actions are: enhancements to improve the ability of wildlife to move between watersheds in Gros Morne, Terra Nova and Kejimkujik National Parks; control of invasive species in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site and Gros Morne National Park; restoration of habitat for species at risk in Point Pelee National Park and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve; and, improvement to water quality in aquatic ecosystems in Riding Mountain National Park.

For additional information on the implementation strategies that support this target, please consult the following websites: Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Parks Canada.

Progress towards Target 6.2: Percentage of national parks with maintained or improved overall ecological integrity

The government is working to monitor the ecological integrity in 42 of Canada's national parks. As of 2011, 35 parks had reported on the ecological integrity of at least some of their ecosystems. 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, as shown in Figure 4.8.

Figure 4.8: Ecological integrity status and trends of national parks, Canada, 2011

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

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.

Figure 4.9 shows ecological integrity status and trends by province or territory, national park and ecosystem. For the most up-to-date information on this indicator, please visit CESI.

Figure 4.9: Ecological integrity status and trends of 42 national parks, Canada, 2011

 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.

 


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