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Spatial Analysis and Modeling

Focus Project

Project Title:Prioritizing Sites for Protection and Restoration for Western Chorus Frog in Ontario Using Systematic Conservation Planning Analysis

Client: ECCC, Canadian Wildlife Service - ON


In consultation with CWS –ON, Spatialworks developed spatial analytical and modeling procedures and products to meet the key project goals:

  • Assess current habitat suitability and breeding landscape potential for western chorus frog in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence River faunal province within Ontario

  • Evaluate the likelihood of persistence, restoration and protection potential using a suite of variables that quantify socio-economic pressures (e.g. road density, land value) and existing conservation / protection values (e.g. within existing protected areas, distance to nearest protected area)

  • Quantify habitat connectivity and potential movement pathways between potential habitat areas incorporating socio-economic pressures to evaluate habitat integrity, likelihood of persistence, restoration and protection potential.

  • Package project inputs and results into a simple decision support system for further analysis in the future


Focus Project

Project Title: Systematic Conservation and Potential Protected Areas Planning Analysis to meet FSC Certification

Clients: Resolute Forest Products, Abitibi River Forest Management, Aditya Birla


Performed systematic conservation planning with Marxan to incorporate landscape composition (e.g. landform, enduring features, caribou and species at risk habitats), landscape structure (e.g. topographic diversity, age-class structure), and landscape function (e.g. Intact forest landscapes, soil organic carbon) components to identify robust, spatially-explicit candidate protected areas. Resulting candidate protected areas were key components in each company's success in achieving FSC forest certification.


Other Example Projects

  • Developed a process to identify, map, and classify existing formal protected areas and other web of conservation lands components for the Boreal Softwood Shield Bird Conservation Region for Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service - ON.

  • Completed extensive spatial analysis, mapping and summary products of Boreal and Southern Mountain Caribou ranges and several Species at Risk critical habitats with respect to national forest tenures for the Forest Products Association of Canada (ongoing).

  • Mapped and analyzed upland habitat patterns within the Boreal Shield / Hudson Plain transition in Ontario for Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service - ON. Land cover patterns and associations with geology were assessed and terrain analysis was used to help identify levee and esker features.

  • Developed a Classification and Regression Tree-based approach to identifying biophysical potential for grassland landscapes within the Ontario Mixedwood Plains for Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service - ON. Grassland biophysical potential was identified using associations of existing and historic grasslands with biophysical attributes (climate, geology, terrain, soils). Conservation potential was assess based on socio-economic and cultural attributes (e.g. agricultural potential, land value, road density etc.).

  • Analyzed forest habitat and composition spatial pattern (e.g. interior forest, distance to forest edge) in BCR 13 and BCR 12 and detailed analysis for areas surrounding Breeding Bird Survey and Forest Bird Monitoring Program point locations for Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service - ON.

  • Developed over 20 spatial habitat models in conjunction with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Neave Resource Management, Eastern Ontario Model Forest for Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Species at Risk program.

  • Developed and applied a suite of landscape analytical algorithms and methods to quantify landscape pattern and wildlife habitat values for current and projected landscapes for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s National Agri-Environmental Standards Initiative (NAESI).

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