Identify, protect, restore and enhance areas of ecological interest

Loss and alteration of habitats are the biggest threats to biodiversity. Wetlands are particularly sensitive habitats. They are very important for both fauna and flora because they allow many species to carry out all or part of their life cycle and they contribute to the purification of water and the regulation of water levels. The marine biodiversity of the St. Lawrence River also merits particular attention because the pressures put on marine ecosystems are becoming greater and greater.

Learn more about our projects that stem from this orientation.

Develop and share unified habitat mapping

Human activity exerts constant pressure on remaining habitats and the species using them. Production of detailed maps of land use and natural environments, including woodlands and wetlands, will assist in identifying areas subjected to the greatest pressure with a view to focusing actions relating to habitat conservation.

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Create a portrait of protected areas and other complementarty conservation measures

Numerous administrative and legal means exist for contributing to biodiversity conservation, including acquisition, conservation easements and the establishment of nature reserves and protected areas. The creation of a database of information on all Crown and private land in conjunction with the use of a geographic information system will enable the identification of gaps and conservation opportunities available to support more effective conservation action planning.

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Identify important fish habitats and protect them or restore their connections

The life cycle phases of numerous fish species play out in multiple habitats. These sequences of habitats and the connections between them must be preserved in order to provide for the survival of these species. The creation of an atlas documenting these important habitats in the St. Lawrence region will support the creation of habitat models and the development of geomatic tools for improving the selection of areas with the highest conservation potential.

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Develop an integrated plan for "priority conservation areas"

Land analysis that combines information collected from unified habitat mapping, identification of habitats important to fish and the portrait of protected areas and other conservation measures will enable the identification of priority areas in order to enlarge the area of protected habitats, restore and preserve the connections between them and create transition zones to help reduce the pressure on these habitats from human activity. Moreover, the development of conservation scenarios will help to increase the effectiveness of measures targeting the preseervation of biodiversity.

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Implement a biodiversity monitoring program in and around protected areas

A monitoring mechanism is essential for tracking the effectiveness of conservation actions. The implementation of a biodiversity monitoring program in and around protected areas will enable verification of the extent to which protecting these areas promotes long-term maintenance of biodiversity and identification of any necessary improvements.

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Proceed with 3 marine protected area (MPA) initiatives

The pressure on marine ecosystems is increasing with the passage of time. To date, activities under the St. Lawrence Action Plan have led to creation of the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, the first marine protected area in Quebec. The establishment of additional marine protected areas in conjunction with local stakeholders will help to strengthen the protection of the St. Lawrence's marine biodiversity.

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Participate in the creation of a model interventions for the conservation of biodiversity in the agricultural setting

Numerous best management and development practices are recognized in agriculture in terms of supporting and increasing biodiversity. The joint implementation of these practices with agricultural producers across the region will help to raise awareness among producers about their positive impact on biodiversity and the benefits to them of following best practices.

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Launch an online interactive version of the Atlas of Bank Restoration Sites of the St. Lawrence River

The purpose of this project is to enhance the Atlas of Bank Restoration Sites of the St. Lawrence River, which was originally published in 2007, in order to better serve users’ needs. In collaboration with the St. Lawrence Global Observatory (SLGO), an interactive Web application was developed to make the Atlas more user friendly. The project team took advantage of this upgrade to update some of the data and create a tool that meets accessibility standards. The Atlas provides an overview of wildlife habitats with restoration potential along the St. Lawrence. Its purpose is to foster stakeholder engagement in the conservation and restoration of sites of ecological interest along the St. Lawrence.

Read the backgrounder for this project.




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