Providing the                                                  scientific basis                                            ...
Who We Are             NatureServe Canada is a network of             conservation data centres and natural             he...
Nine conservation data centres (CDCs)          NatureServe   • Atlantic Canada CDC (PEI, NS, NB and                       ...
Mission and Goals                                                               GOAL 2                    GOAL 1          ...
Conservation Data                       Centre Activities                       ‣ Coordinate and conduct field surveys and ...
How does NatureServe Canada                         add value?Monday, 25 March, 13
Develop and consistently          apply methods and standards          ‣ Science-based methods and standards allow        ...
Natural Heritage          MethodologyMonday, 25 March, 13
NatureServe’s Business          Processes and ToolsMonday, 25 March, 13
NatureServe’s Business          Processes and ToolsMonday, 25 March, 13
NatureServe’s Business          Processes and Tools                       Refine Core      Promote      Conduct data    Ide...
NatureServe’s Business          Processes and Tools                       Refine Core      Promote      Conduct data    Ide...
NatureServe’s Business          Processes and Tools                       Kestrel   Biotics   Explorer   Vista            ...
Resources & ToolsMonday, 25 March, 13
Monday, 25 March, 13
Tracker                       Supports tabular data management, including efforts to rank                       elements, ...
Kestrel - Observational          Data Management SystemMonday, 25 March, 13
Kestrel - Observational          Data Management SystemMonday, 25 March, 13
Our Focus             ‣ Add value to “primary” source data               (observations)               ‣ Access directly an...
How much data do we          have?          ‣ Canadian dataset includes more than               48,000 elements (species) ...
What is the value of NatureServe                           data?Monday, 25 March, 13
Types of data             Taxonomy             Element occurrences             RanksMonday, 25 March, 13
Taxonomy               NatureServe Canada not focused on creating taxonomy                       Consumer of taxonomic inf...
Value in context of SARA          implementationMonday, 25 March, 13
Value in context of SARA          implementation          ‣ SARA requires                                  ‣ The value of ...
Value in context of SARA          implementation          ‣ SARA requires                                 ‣ The value of a...
Example             Identifying regulatory habitatMonday, 25 March, 13
A process for protecting          habitat based on EOs                           EO                                       ...
‣Habitat         ‣ Needed for every listed species                           ‣ Must include at least one EO               ...
Integrated Conservation          Planning          ‣ Having spatially defined habitats               in a single system all...
NatureServe Ranks          ‣ Use a suite of factors to assess the               extinction or extirpation risk            ...
Who is using network data and                              how?Monday, 25 March, 13
NatureServe Canada data          requests                                                                                 ...
How is our data being used?          ‣ Assessment and conservation          ‣ Program planning               ‣       Gener...
What is the status of biodiversity                       data in Canada?Monday, 25 March, 13
Canada’s Biodiversity   Fragmented,           Data Deficit Well        Inaccessible,           Documented              Inco...
Monday, 25 March, 13
NatureServe Data:          Taxonomic Gaps                        Identification difficult, field work inaccurate,            ...
Data are not effective in                         supporting decision making                         Example: Environmenta...
How can we improve access to                       biodiversity data?Monday, 25 March, 13
A Vision: National institute          for biodiversity data          True cooperation:               Ensures access, catal...
- Join fragmented efforts (FBIP,                       NatureServe, Canadensys, BSC, CMoN,                       CWS, DFO,...
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An Introduction to NaturServe Canada

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Canada, the world’s second-largest nation, is home to an extraordinary collection of landscapes and wildlife. Spanning the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans, Canada has the world’s longest coastline and is home to more than 70,000 wild species. Identifying, mapping, and understanding the biodiversity of this vast landscape is an extraordinary challenge—and an essential one for Canada to protect its natural heritage.

NatureServe Canada provides scientific information about Canada’s species and ecosystems to help guide effective conservation action and natural resource management. A part of the international NatureServe network, it is a leading source for reliable information and analysis on the distribution and conservation status of Canada’s plants, animals, and ecological communities. NatureServe Canada works in close partnership with key federal and provincial agencies as well as international and multi-lateral initiatives concerned with environmental protection.

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An Introduction to NaturServe Canada

  1. 1. Providing the scientific basis for effective conservation action An Introduction to NatureServe Canada Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity January 20th.. 2013 Doug Hyde Hans HerrmannMonday, 25 March, 13
  2. 2. Who We Are NatureServe Canada is a network of conservation data centres and natural heritage programs across the country ‣Experts committed to a consistent set of science-based methods and standards ‣These support the collection, processing and sharing of biodiversity information ‣This information supports conservation NatureServe Canada supports international action vegetation classification standards.Monday, 25 March, 13
  3. 3. Nine conservation data centres (CDCs) NatureServe • Atlantic Canada CDC (PEI, NS, NB and Newfoundland and Labrador) Canada • Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec • Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre • Manitoba CDC • Saskatchewan CDC • Alberta CIMS • British Columbia CDC • Yukon CDC • NWT CDC Invest $6 million annually Standards and consistent methods Data aggregated on a national basis Membership expandingMonday, 25 March, 13
  4. 4. Mission and Goals GOAL 2 GOAL 1 Build Conservation Advance Scientific Capacity Understanding Providing the scientific basis for effective conservation action GOAL 3 Inform Natural Resource DecisionsMonday, 25 March, 13
  5. 5. Conservation Data Centre Activities ‣ Coordinate and conduct field surveys and inventories for rare and threatened species and ecological communities ‣ Collect, manage, analyze and distribute detailed locality and status data ‣ Some programs directly manage natural areas information, invasive alien species information ‣ Act as primary data custodians ‣ Provide data access at provincial/territorial level ‣ Support environmental reviews, assessments (COSEWIC and General Status) and planningMonday, 25 March, 13
  6. 6. How does NatureServe Canada add value?Monday, 25 March, 13
  7. 7. Develop and consistently apply methods and standards ‣ Science-based methods and standards allow data to aggregated, compared and shared ‣ Standardized “elements” - based on common taxonomy (species, ecological) ‣ Standardized “occurrences” - based on processing of primary observational data ‣ Standardized “ranks” - based on assessments using consistent criteria ‣ The only comprehensive national database on species at risk in Canada ‣ Access to primary data is fundamental to NatureServe and the CDCsMonday, 25 March, 13
  8. 8. Natural Heritage MethodologyMonday, 25 March, 13
  9. 9. NatureServe’s Business Processes and ToolsMonday, 25 March, 13
  10. 10. NatureServe’s Business Processes and ToolsMonday, 25 March, 13
  11. 11. NatureServe’s Business Processes and Tools Refine Core Promote Conduct data Identify user Connect Heritage Observational processing needs, build Apply data to zoologists, Methods; Data steps, data web and modelling, and botanists, Conduct Standards; enhancements other other multi- ecologists, Natural Develop data and information variate data Heritage sharing apply mapping sharing analysis managers, Training agreements standards services developersMonday, 25 March, 13
  12. 12. NatureServe’s Business Processes and Tools Refine Core Promote Conduct data Identify user Connect Heritage Observational processing needs, build Apply data to zoologists, Methods; Data steps, data web and modelling, and botanists, Conduct Standards; enhancements other other multi- ecologists, Natural Develop data and information variate data Heritage sharing apply mapping sharing analysis managers, Training agreements standards services developersMonday, 25 March, 13
  13. 13. NatureServe’s Business Processes and Tools Kestrel Biotics Explorer Vista Hand Web Land- Taxi Services Held ScopeMonday, 25 March, 13
  14. 14. Resources & ToolsMonday, 25 March, 13
  15. 15. Monday, 25 March, 13
  16. 16. Tracker Supports tabular data management, including efforts to rank elements, occurrences Mapper Supports basic digital mapping, spatial analyses, and data visualization Exchanger Supports data exchange efforts, and will be enhanced through the development of Taxi, a system to manage taxonomic informationMonday, 25 March, 13
  17. 17. Kestrel - Observational Data Management SystemMonday, 25 March, 13
  18. 18. Kestrel - Observational Data Management SystemMonday, 25 March, 13
  19. 19. Our Focus ‣ Add value to “primary” source data (observations) ‣ Access directly and through partnerships ‣ Review quality and process data into “element occurrences” (EOs) ‣ Update ranks, and inform a range of decisions that affect conservation ‣The processing into EO’s, promotes data access and sharingMonday, 25 March, 13
  20. 20. How much data do we have? ‣ Canadian dataset includes more than 48,000 elements (species) and 1,500 elements (communities), including all COSEWIC-assessed species ‣ Of these, 10,500 are actively tracked ‣ Approximately 100,000 EOs nationally ‣ Adding new data each yearMonday, 25 March, 13
  21. 21. What is the value of NatureServe data?Monday, 25 March, 13
  22. 22. Types of data Taxonomy Element occurrences RanksMonday, 25 March, 13
  23. 23. Taxonomy NatureServe Canada not focused on creating taxonomy Consumer of taxonomic information (list of elements) Aims to compare and reconcile taxonomic differences Act as a facilitator of common taxonomy within the network Taxonomic data and expertise used to inform Species assessments (General Status WG, COSEWIC) Data exchange Other networks (VasCan, ITIS)Monday, 25 March, 13
  24. 24. Value in context of SARA implementationMonday, 25 March, 13
  25. 25. Value in context of SARA implementation ‣ SARA requires ‣ The value of an EO ‣ an identification of the ‣ A basic unit of information to species’ critical habitat, to the identify critical habitat, to be extent possible, based on the complemented by knowledge best available information, of the biology of a species, including the information e.g. an assessment report or provided by COSEWIC recovery planner ‣ a schedule of studies to ‣ Where this basic unit of identify critical habitat, where information is not in place or available information is is incomplete, survey and inadequate inventory work neededMonday, 25 March, 13
  26. 26. Value in context of SARA implementation ‣ SARA requires ‣ The value of an EO ‣ an identification of the ‣ A basic unit of information to species’ critical habitat, to the identify critical habitat, to be extent possible, based on thenetwork (all provincesby knowledge The NatureServe Canada complemented and one territory) collects and manages EO’s the a consistentspecies, best available information, of on biology of a basis, includingcovering 85% of the species listed in SARA report or the information e.g. an assessment provided by COSEWIC recovery planner ‣ a schedule of studies to ‣ Where this basic unit of identify critical habitat, where information is not in place or available information is is incomplete, survey and inadequate inventory work neededMonday, 25 March, 13
  27. 27. Example Identifying regulatory habitatMonday, 25 March, 13
  28. 28. A process for protecting habitat based on EOs EO Species Habitat Buffered Species (unrefined, Habitat refined) Regulatory Species Habitat Mapping Habitat Guidelines Guidelines Clipped Species HabitatMonday, 25 March, 13
  29. 29. ‣Habitat ‣ Needed for every listed species ‣ Must include at least one EO (refined) Guidelines? ‣ Should not be based on historic observational records (>25 years old) ‣ Reflect a specific understanding of the biology of the species, in particular dissemination patterns/ behaviour ‣ Do not include habitat areas with poor habitat quality and context (i.e. dense development) ‣ Habitat of certain listed species may not be best addressed through regulation (eg. Peregrine falcon) ‣ In Canada, connected to vegetation classification effortsMonday, 25 March, 13
  30. 30. Integrated Conservation Planning ‣ Having spatially defined habitats in a single system allows for integrated planning - taking action for multiple species ‣ Protect habitats for multiple species simultaneously ‣ Focus also on controlling key Assisting to find lands of high activities likely to affect these conservation priority habitats, these species ‣ Refined EO basis for identifying individual species habitatsMonday, 25 March, 13
  31. 31. NatureServe Ranks ‣ Use a suite of factors to assess the extinction or extirpation risk ‣ Rarity (6 factors) ‣ Trends (2 factors) ‣ Threats (2 factors) ‣ NatureServe Canada develops S- ranks (provincial ranks), N-ranks (national ranks) and some G-ranks (for endemics and some cross- boundary species)Monday, 25 March, 13
  32. 32. Who is using network data and how?Monday, 25 March, 13
  33. 33. NatureServe Canada data requests ‣BC CDC tracks Total Data Requests Consultants Government Academic client requests ~ ENGO Public Industry 900 per year Press USA CAN Requests: Government Breakdown ‣Response time from Int Unknown 6.5 to 2.7 days since Govt Local 2004 ‣Time to process Requests: Consultant Breakdown Govt Provincial Govt Federal First Nations requests from 0.5 Consultant - Industry Consultant - Govt hours in 2004 to Consultant - ENGO Consultant - unknown 0.25 hours in 2008 Consultant - Govt Federal Consultant - First Nations Consultant - Govt Local Consultant - Govt ProvincialMonday, 25 March, 13
  34. 34. How is our data being used? ‣ Assessment and conservation ‣ Program planning ‣ General Status program ‣ HSP ‣ COSEWIC ‣ Provincial Naturalists ‣ National Ranking Scheme ‣ Land use planning and environmental assessment ‣ Recovery Teams/RENEW (Sage Grouse) ‣ Suncor ‣ Agency planning and ‣ BC Hydro, Manitoba Hydro implementation ‣ Many other ‣ PCA, CWS ‣ Property management ‣ NRCan ‣ NRC ‣ CFIA ‣ NCC ‣ These partners and many ‣ No one else in Canada offers more contribute data this dataMonday, 25 March, 13
  35. 35. What is the status of biodiversity data in Canada?Monday, 25 March, 13
  36. 36. Canada’s Biodiversity Fragmented, Data Deficit Well Inaccessible, Documented Incomplete Gaps in key areas of Canada, for many species/ecosystems More records are accessible from institutions outside Canada about Canada than from Canada Cost of data access has been higher than acquisition of new data Data can be of suspect quality; taxonomic capacity eroded, reference collections need investmentMonday, 25 March, 13
  37. 37. Monday, 25 March, 13
  38. 38. NatureServe Data: Taxonomic Gaps Identification difficult, field work inaccurate, traditional taxonomic capacity eroding in timeMonday, 25 March, 13
  39. 39. Data are not effective in supporting decision making Example: Environmental Assessment Implication? 3500 federal screenings per year. The costs of obtaining data generally outweigh the benefits to decision making. Adaptations? Sufficing: • Aggregate trusted data in the time available - hit known focal points Do it yourself data • Reinforces fragmentation • Solves short term problem, introduces new issues • Accuracy of identification • ParataxonomyMonday, 25 March, 13
  40. 40. How can we improve access to biodiversity data?Monday, 25 March, 13
  41. 41. A Vision: National institute for biodiversity data True cooperation: Ensures access, catalyzes programs and funds efforts at a national scale Lean & efficient: Enhances flow of data from critical sectors and data providers Cost effective: Shared systems and services to support individual efforts, allow broad scale queries of data Measurable and verifiable: Evaluated and recognized as meeting national need, avoid “whose data” HAS TO BE UNIQUELY CANADIANMonday, 25 March, 13
  42. 42. - Join fragmented efforts (FBIP, NatureServe, Canadensys, BSC, CMoN, CWS, DFO, BIO...) Focus? - Promote a Canadian biodiversity data standards (based on DwC), creates spatial data products (range maps, predictive maps...) - Build on and invest in Canadian innovations (DNA Barcoding, +) to rapidly address data gaps - Set priorities every 3 years for a national biological survey, based on (1) an understanding of demand, (2) a synthesis of existing data (identification of gaps); updates the dynamic layer - Ensure data is accessible to conservation data centres (regulators), researchers, land use planners, private companies... - Produce reports based on expert input to address issues of the dayMonday, 25 March, 13

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