EBAR range mapping to support the Canada Key Biodiversity Areas project

NatureServe Canada, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada and Bird Studies Canada have partnered on a project to identify Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) in Canada. NatureServe Canada’s role in the project focuses on data mining and the production of NatureServe Canada EBAR range maps to inform KBA identification. This Environment and Climate Change Canada funded project was developed to support the Pathway to Canada Target 1 initiative.

KBAs are “'sites contributing significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity’, in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems.” The international KBA initiative is intended to support, supplement and integrate the efforts of jurisdictions around the world to advance biodiversity protection. Using broad-based consultation, the KBA partnership has developed standards and guidelines with quantitative criteria and thresholds to facilitate the identification and delineation of KBA sites. NatureServe (Arlington, VA) is a founding member of the international KBA partnership. Please see keybiodiversityareas.org for additional information.

KBA Canada is a national coalition of organizations and stakeholder groups that is implementing the KBA standard by identifying KBA sites in Canada. This includes gathering the best available biodiversity information and coordinating the process to identify, document, and where practical, delineate KBAs in Canada.  KBAs support the Pathway to Canada Target 1 objectives and provide important information for government and business decision-makers by helping with the identification of priority areas for species at risk, informing environmental assessments, guiding conservation investments and informing where development should occur in order to reduce impacts on biodiversity.  Additional information about the KBA Canada project is available at kbacanada.org.

NatureServe Canada EBAR range maps feed into the KBA identification process by providing species-level information needed to measure the quantitative KBA criteria. For example, KBA criteria are based on assessment parameters including range, area of occupancy and number of localities for threatened and geographically restricted species. EBAR range maps will also facilitate related species conservation and habitat protection initiatives, as well as environmental impact assessments and other business/development planning activities.

To learn more about NatureServe Canada's EBAR range mapping work to support the KBA Canada project please contact us at: EBAR-KBA@natureserve.ca