Type of Presentation

Poster

Session Title

Habitat, Habitat

Description

Over the last century, wetland ecosystems along the Lower Fraser River (LFR) have been heavily impacted by foreshore development and industry. Wetlands along the LFR provide important ecosystem services and habitat for wildlife such as rearing grounds for fish and staging grounds for migratory birds. For 30 years, habitat compensation has been the accepted method for offsetting habitat degradation; however, due to a lack of follow-up research and consistent baseline data it is yet to be determined if compensation projects truly replicate habitat lost. This project, funded by the National Wetland Conservation Fund, aims to (1) review, assess, and determine the success of selected wetland habitat compensation sites along the LFR and (2) create an open access, interactive online map to promote access to data and improve accountability. The success of each site was analysed in two ways; assessing both regulatory achievements and the ecosystem health. Regulatory success was determined by ground truthing habitats to determine if spatial obligations were fulfilled. Ecosystem health was assessed through vegetation surveys. The main indicators of health were based on the relative percent cover of native species relative to non-native species. The study also examined ecosystem health along spatial and temporal gradients, in relation to wetland structure design, as well as in relation to stressors such as waterfowl grazing and log debris. Project findings will provide tangible suggestions for increasing compensation habitat success in the region and a comprehensive source of baseline data for future studies.

Comments

The final detailed report and the field data from the 2015 field season can be viewed by following this link:

http://cmnbc.ca/atlas_gallery/fremp-bieap-habitat-atlas

Clicking to view the FREMP - BIEAP Habitat Atlas and scroll down the page to the Atlas Documents section. A final report for land managers and practitioners will be completed in November 2016 and published as above.

Share

COinS
 

Assessing Habitat Compensation in the Lower Fraser River and Estuary

2016SSEC

Over the last century, wetland ecosystems along the Lower Fraser River (LFR) have been heavily impacted by foreshore development and industry. Wetlands along the LFR provide important ecosystem services and habitat for wildlife such as rearing grounds for fish and staging grounds for migratory birds. For 30 years, habitat compensation has been the accepted method for offsetting habitat degradation; however, due to a lack of follow-up research and consistent baseline data it is yet to be determined if compensation projects truly replicate habitat lost. This project, funded by the National Wetland Conservation Fund, aims to (1) review, assess, and determine the success of selected wetland habitat compensation sites along the LFR and (2) create an open access, interactive online map to promote access to data and improve accountability. The success of each site was analysed in two ways; assessing both regulatory achievements and the ecosystem health. Regulatory success was determined by ground truthing habitats to determine if spatial obligations were fulfilled. Ecosystem health was assessed through vegetation surveys. The main indicators of health were based on the relative percent cover of native species relative to non-native species. The study also examined ecosystem health along spatial and temporal gradients, in relation to wetland structure design, as well as in relation to stressors such as waterfowl grazing and log debris. Project findings will provide tangible suggestions for increasing compensation habitat success in the region and a comprehensive source of baseline data for future studies.