Biodiversity Conservation in Canada:
From Theory to Practice


Table of Contents    


1. An Introduction to Conservation

Defining Biodiversity

  • Species diversity
  • Genetic diversity
  • Ecosystem diversity

The Biocentric and Social Models of Conservation


2. The Historical Foundations of Conservation

A New World

Nation Building

Early Twentieth‐Century Conservationists

  • Game management
  • Forest management
  • Parks

Rise of the Machines

  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Oil and gas
  • Mining

The Advent of Modern Conservation

  • Origins of the environmental movement
  • Indigenous influences
  • From game to biodiversity

The War in the Woods


3. The Social and Political Dimensions of Conservation

The General Public

  • Understanding public opinions and values
  • Insights from social psychology

Environmentalists

  • Who are the environmentalists?
  • The ENGO ecosystem
  • Setting priorities

Industry

  • Industry and the environment
  • Market forces
  • Variability in company attitudes and approaches

Indigenous Communities

Government

  • Policy equilibrium
  • Policy change
  • Current conservation policy
  • Current conservation legislation

4. The Scientific Dimension of Conservation

The Evolution of Conservation Science

  • Ecosystem services and “new conservation”

The Role of Science in Conservation Practice

  • Policy-relevant research
  • Challenges

The Role of Conservation Practitioners

  • Institutional connections
  • The controversy over advocacy

5. Threats to Biodiversity

Patterns of Decline

General Causes of Decline

Major Threats by Region

  • The Agricultural South
  • The Industrial Forest
  • The Far North
  • Marine

6. Species‐Level Conservation

Theoretical Foundation

  • Insights from simple population models
  • The natural range of variability
  • Population decline
  • Ecological thresholds
  • Extinction dynamics
  • Spatially structured populations
  • Species range

Tactical Modelling

  • Habitat models
  • Population models
  • Landscape models

Recovery Planning

  • Overview of SARA
  • Incorporating genetic diversity
  • Setting objectives
  • Identifying critical habitat

Taking Action

  • Habitat protection
  • Mitigating threats
  • Augmentation and reintroduction

Trade‐Offs

  • Prioritizing species: triage
  • Lessons learned

7. Ecosystem‐Level Conservation

Objectives

  • What are we trying to achieve?
  • Defining the ecological reference state

Institutional Context

The Forestry Sector

  • The natural disturbance model
  • The natural disturbance model in practice
  • Zonation

The Agricultural Sector

  • Agricultural best practices
  • The natural disturbance model in rangelands
  • Restoration

Other Industrial Sectors

  • Environmental impact assessment and mitigation
  • Reclamation

Connectivity

Invasive Species Control

Integrated Regional Planning

  • Ecosystem management
  • Strategic environmental assessment
  • Regional land-use planning
  • Barriers to integration

8. Protected Areas

Theoretical Foundations

How Much Is Enough?

  • Stretch targets

Systematic Conservation Planning

  • Decision framing
  • Selecting biodiversity surrogates
  • Design objectives
  • Generating design options
  • Selecting the optimal design

The Social Dimension of Reserve Design

Regional Variations

  • The Agricultural South
  • The Industrial Forest
  • The Far North
  • Marine environments
  • Other variations

Managing Reserves

  • Threats
  • Taking action

9. Climate Change

Canada’s Changing Climate

Ecological Responses

  • Bioclimatic envelope models
  • Vegetation responses
  • Animal responses
  • Indirect effects
  • Change versus threat

The Foundations of Climate‐Ready Conservation

  • Dynamic baselines
  • Climate scenarios
  • Robust decision making
  • Institutional support

Ecosystem‐Level Conservation

  • Protected areas
  • Climate refugia
  • Connectivity
  • The natural disturbance model
  • Restoration and reclamation
  • Invasive species

Species‐Level Conservation

  • Recovery plans
  • Protected areas
  • Assisted migration
  • Population-level triage

10. Structured Decision Making

Introduction to Structured Decision Making

  • The decision hierarchy
  • The role of conservation practitioners

Decision Framing

  • Obtaining social input

Objectives and Indicators

  • Setting objectives
  • Selecting indicators

Developing Management Alternatives

Predicting Outcomes

  • Modelling approaches
  • Handling uncertainty
  • Expert opinion
  • Traditional ecological knowledge

Identifying the Optimal Approach

  • Stakeholder-based selection
  • Systematic searches

Implementation and Learning

  • Biodiversity monitoring
  • Outcome monitoring
  • Adaptive management

11. Case Studies

Introduction

1. Ecosystem Management

  • Background
  • The natural disturbance model
  • The triad approach
  • Integrated landscape management
  • Decision making
  • Analysis and conclusions

2. Land‐Use Planning

  • Background
  • The Alberta Land-use Framework
  • The Lower Athabasca Regional Plan
  • Protected areas
  • Surface Water Quantity Management Framework
  • The Biodiversity Management Framework
  • Analysis and conclusions

3. Woodland Caribou

  • Background
  • Triage
  • The federal recovery strategy
  • The Alberta Range Plan
  • Analysis and conclusions

4. Swift Fox

  • Background
  • Reintroduction program
  • Multispecies action planning
  • Analysis and conclusions

5. Walleye

  • Background
  • Recovery planning
  • Analysis and conclusions

6. Reserve Design

  • Background
  • Selection criteria
  • Identifying priority areas
  • Analysis and conclusions

12. Conclusions

Conservation in Practice

Correlates of Success

Making a Difference



Glossary

Photo Credits

Bibliography

Index




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