Area: Species at risk
Region: Outaouais
Year: 2011
Client: National Capital Commission

Gatineau Park: Description of Potential Habitats and Inventory of Species at Risk

The purpose of this project, carried out by Groupe DDM, was to identify the characteristics of the potential habitats of 28 species at risk in Gatineau Park. The characteristics identified were then processed using GIS technology to prepare a preliminary map of potential habitats for each species. The inventory was carried out using a list of priority sites to be visited, and an existing map. The species present in the chosen potential habitats were inventoried and any associated protection issues were identified. 

Roughly 88% of the habitats (ecoforest polygons) in Gatineau Park were identified as offering potential for the species at risk, and 3% of these habitats were visited during the inventory process. Species at risk were observed at 30% of the sites visited.

The inventories were carried out from April to August 2011. In all, 12 of the 28 species at risk were observed, for a total of 365 observations. The obvious threats to these species were trampling, the presence of garbage, official and non-official trails, erosion, roads and flooding. 

Based on the findings from the GIS analyses and inventory data, a final map of potential habitats for each of the 28 species at risk was prepared. On the map, a distinction was made between the potential habitats where species were observed, and those where they were not. Detailed maps were then produced for each species and for all sectors in which observations had been made. Summary maps were also produced for the Park as a whole, showing potential habitats (harvesting prohibited and commercial value) for plant species at risk and wildlife species at risk. 

The information gathered for the project was also used to determine the protection measures needed to preserve the habitats of legally designated species at risk in the Park and conserve the biodiversity of Canada’s capital region.