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Taiga Shield Ecozone+ Evidence for Key Findings Summary

Theme: Human/Ecosystem Interactions

 

Protected areas

Key finding 8
Theme: Human/ecosystem interactions

National key finding
Both the extent and representativeness of the protected areas network have increased in recent years. In many places, the area protected is well above the United Nations 10% target. It is below the target in highly developed areas and the oceans.

Prior to 1992 (the signing of the Convention on Biological Diversity), 1.1% of the Taiga Shield ecozone+ was protected. This was increased to 7.0% of the ecozone+ by May 2009 (Figure 10 and Figure 11), broken down as follows:

  • 5.2% (29 protected areas) as IUCN(International Union for Conservation of Nature) categories I-III. These categories include nature reserves, wilderness areas, and other parks and reserves managed for conservation of ecosystems and natural and cultural featuresFootnote51
  • 0.5% (three protected areas) as IUCN category V, a category that focuses on sustainable use by established cultural traditionFootnote51
  • 1.4% (five protected areas established since 2005) not classified by IUCN category
Figure 10: Growth of protected areas, Taiga Shield ecozone+, 1922-2009.
Data provided by federal, territorial and provincial jurisdictions, updated to May 2009. Only legally protected areas are included. IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) categories of protected areas are based on primary management objectives (see text for more information). There are no Category IV protected areas in the ecozone+. Note: the grey "unclassified" category represents protected areas for which the IUCN category was not provided. The last bar labelled "TOTAL" includes protected areas for which the year established was not provided.
Graph
Source: Environment Canada, 2009,Footnote 52 data from the Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System (CARTS), v.2009.05 Footnote 53
Long Description for Figure 10.

This bar graph shows the following information:

YearIUCN Categories I-III (km2)IUCN Category V (km2)Unclassified (km2)
1922-192616200
1927-198614,39400
1987-198814,42200
1989-199414,81800
1995-199734,14600
199835,07000
1999-200135,15200
200251,06300
2003-200454,33300
2005-200754,354024
200863,036016,501
200969,508018,295
Total69,5126,06018,295

Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary was created in 1927, Numaykoos Lake, Caribou River, and Sand Lakes Provincial Parks (Manitoba) in 1995 and Lacs-Guillaume-Delisle-et-l'Eau-Claire National Park Reserve (Quebec) in 2002.

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Figure 11: Map of the Taiga Shield ecozone+ protected areas, May 2009.
Map
Source: Environment Canada, 2009,Footnote 52 data from the Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System (CARTS), v.2009.05 Footnote 53
Long Description for Figure 11.

This map shows the locations of protected land in the eastern and western section of the Taiga Shield Ecozone+ as of May 2009. Protected areas are generally evenly distributed between the eastern and western parts of the ecozone+.

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Stewardship

Key finding 9
Theme: Human/ecosystem interactions

National key finding
Stewardship activity in Canada is increasing, both in number and types of initiatives and in participation rates. The overall effectiveness of these activities in conserving and improving biodiversity and ecosystem health has not been fully assessed.

Many Aboriginal people of the Taiga Shield continue to live off the land, in whole or in part, as their ancestors did, and they retain traditional stewardship approaches to the land and wildlife. For example, the Aboriginal peoples of the Taiga Shield observe heightened respect for caribou, a value embedded in spiritual beliefs and customs.54 Many Dene elders attribute the absence of caribou in some years to a lack of respect shown for the land and animals. Good hunting practices and proper harvesting and preservation of meat are some ways to demonstrate this respect.Footnote 54 Footnote 55 Footnote 56

The Cree have a customary land-tenure system that ensures the continuity of resources vital to the local subsistence economy. Tallymen or "hunting bosses" act as stewards for hunting grounds under their responsibility and oversee both hunting and trapping on those hunting grounds.Footnote 57

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Traditional stewardship and science

Traditional approaches to stewardship and the land can occasionally come into conflict with scientific approaches. Many Aboriginal elders consider some contemporary wildlife management techniques, especially capture and handling, disrespectful to the animals.Footnote 58 Footnote 59 Footnote 60 For example, 80% of Dene elders involved in a set of interviews disagreed with the practice of tracking caribou with radio-collars.Footnote 61

 

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Ecosystem conversion

Theme: Human/ecosystem interactions

Ecosystem conversion was initially identified as a nationally recurring key finding and information was subsequently compiled and assessed for the Taiga Shield Ecozone+. In the final version of the national report,Footnote 3 information related to ecosystem conversion was incorporated into other key findings. This information is maintained as a separate key finding for the Taiga Shield Ecozone+.

The largest land conversion in the Taiga Shield ecozone+ is the flooding of land for hydroelectric development in northern Quebec.

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Dams and reservoirs

Churchill Falls in Labrador and the La Grande (James Bay) complex in Quebec have flooded about 14,150 km2 of landFootnote 30, enlarging existing water bodies and creating large reservoirs. The La Grande complex (Figure 12) created eight reservoirs, filled between 1979 and 1993, ranging from 70 to 4,275 km2 in size. Areas converted from natural lakes to reservoirs, land area flooded, and area deforested (due to reservoirs and infrastructure) are shown in Figure 13. A third project, the Churchill-Nelson development in Manitoba, straddles the Taiga Shield, Hudson Plains, and Boreal Shield ecozones+. Other, smaller hydro projects in the Taiga Shield do not involve reservoirs or river diversions. The majority (88%) of the 177 dams completed in the ecozone+ were built between 1970 and 1990.Footnote 17

Figure 12: La Grande hydroelectric complex
map
Source: Hayeur, 2001Footnote 30
Long Description for Figure 12.

This map shows the hydroelectric infrastructure of the La Grande hydroelectric complex. The map depicts the series of reservoirs, dams, hydroelectric generating stations, roads, and transmission lines in the complex, as well as village locations. From east to west, the Caniapiscau, Laforge, La Grande, Robert-Bourassa, and Opinaca reservoirs are pictured. Major transmission lines extend south from generating stations on Robert-Bourassa and La Grande 3 and 4. The inset map in the bottom right shows the location of the La Grande complex in central Quebec.

 

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Figure 13: Cumulative area affected by hydro development in La Grande Complex, James Bay, 1970-2005
The total land area flooded is about half the size of Lake Winnipeg, or double the size of Prince Edward Island. Deforested area is land that was covered by trees at least 5 m tall, with a crown closure of 25% before inundation. Landsat imagery and aerial photography were used for the analysis.
Bar and line graph
Source: CFS deforestation statistics from Leckie et al., 2006;Footnote 62 total land area and total lake area converted to reservoir from Hayeur, 2001Footnote 30
Long Description for Figure 13.

This bar and line graph presents the following information:

Area (km2, cumulative)
YearLand area converted to reservoirLake area converted to reservoirArea deforested
1970--13
1971--27
1972--40
1973--50
1974--64
1975--78
1976--93
1977--111
1978--758
19792,6302051,613
19803,3705051,636
19813,3705053,448
19823,3705053,943
19834,0705705,079
19849,8461,7575,153
19859,8461,7575,162
19869,8461,7575,171
19879,8461,7575,180
19889,8461,7575,188
19899,8461,7575,207
19909,8461,7575,224
19919,8461,7575,260
19929,8461,7575,301
199310,8092,1525,658
199410,8092,1525,665
199510,8092,1525,673
199610,8092,1525,683
199710,8092,1525,694
199810,8092,1525,733
199910,8092,1525,794
200010,8092,1525,802
200110,8092,1525,809
200210,8092,1525,905
200310,8092,1525,921
200410,8092,1525,947
200510,8092,1525,983

Future major projects planned for the eastern Taiga Shield include the Lower Churchill development, with two reservoirs totalling 300 km2 and associated dams and power lines,32 and the next phase of the James Bay project, involving diversion of half the annual flow of the Rupert River and construction of a 600 km2 reservoir.Footnote 63

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Ecological change in La Grande project reservoirs

Reservoir creation caused a number of physical changes: rapid increase in water surface area, volume and residence time; change from river to lake conditions in flooded sections of rivers; mixing of waters from different watersheds; changes in flood cycles; changes in freezing and thawing timing; and reduced surface water temperatures.Footnote 37

Models based on data from the reservoirs of the La Grande complex indicate that reservoir creation has a net effect of increasing carbon (CO2 and methane) emissions to the atmosphere on a long-term basis, mainly due to the increase in the length of time water is stored (an increase of about two years for the Robert-Bourassa reservoir).Footnote 64 This increase in storage time increases emissions from organic matter present in the water column. Globally, reservoirs are estimated to account for 4% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.Footnote 64

Highlights of results of a comprehensive program of freshwater aquatic ecological monitoring related to the La Grande reservoirs, undertaken by Hydro-Québec, 1977-2000,Footnote 30 are presented below.

Water quality

Changes in physical and chemical characteristics of the reservoirs peaked within two to three years of filling, while remaining within ranges favourable to biological productivity (Figure 14). The greatest changes occurred in late winter, under ice, with the formation of deep-water zones with low oxygen. After 9 to 10 years, the main parameters had returned to or approached pre-construction levels in the Opinaca and Robert-Bourassa reservoirs, while this cycle, especially for phosphorus and silica, occurred more slowly in the Caniapiscau reservoir

Figure 14. Changes over the first decade of impoundment in water chemistry parameters linked with the decomposition of submerged organic matter, La Grande complex reservoirs
Measurements are in the zone exposed to sunlight (top about 10 m) during the ice-free period.
Graphic
Source: Hayeur, 2001Footnote 30
Long Description for Figure 14.

This set of 6 line graphs shows the change in water chemistry parameters related to submerged organic matter two years before and ten years after reservoir creation. The parameters include dissolved oxygen (% saturation), pH, total inorganic carbon (mg/L), total phosphorus (µg/L-1 of P), Chlorophyll-a (µg/L), and silica (mg/L-1). Data is from three reservoirs (Opinaca, Robert-Bourassa, and Caniapiscau) and measurements were taken in the top 10 m of water during the ice-free period. All parameters show substantial variation in the first five years after impoundment, but within the decade most parameters were fairly similar to the pre-impoundment level, except that total inorganic carbon increased slightly in all reservoirs. Most parameters showed similar patterns in Opinaca and Robert-Bourassa reservoirs, but the parameters in Caniapiscau showed different trends in some cases, including a greater increase total phosphorus and chlorophyll-α, and generally lower silica measurements.

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Plankton and benthos

Apart from creating new aquatic environments, the flooding changed planktonic and benthic ecosystems - some on a short-term basis, and some apparently permanently.

  • Phytoplankton levels, tracked through measurement of chlorophyll-a (Figure 14), rose rapidly from the time of impoundment, then declined and stabilized at levels comparable to natural values. Increases in primary productivity are attributed mainly to the increase in phosphorus.
  • Zooplankton abundance and biomass increased in all reservoirs as a result of the increase in nutrients and in organic matter produced by the decomposition of flooded plants (Figure 15). The cycle of change tracked changes in water quality and phytoplankton, with a lag of about a year.
  • Benthic communities experienced shifts in species. Diversity declined after impoundment, due to the loss of less mobile species and of species adapted to fast-running water. The reservoirs were rapidly colonized by lake-dwelling species.
Figure 15. Changes in zooplankton biomass: Robert-Bourassa reservoir.
Graph
Source: Hayeur, 2001Footnote 30
Long description for Figure 15

This line graph presents changes in zooplankton biomass (mg/m3) one year before and six years after reservoir creation.  Total biomass increased in year four, driven by increases in cladocerans and calanoids.  Cyclopoids, nauplii, and rotifers remained at relatively constant levels across years.

 

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FishFootnote 37

Monitoring of fish communities was carried out over a period of more than 20 years, from 1977, two years before the creation of the first reservoir, to 2000, and included monitoring of unaltered lakes as control sites. The general pattern of change was an increase in total fishing yields followed by a gradual return, after about a dozen years, to values comparable to pre-construction. Total fishing yield dropped quickly after impoundment, followed by a rapid increase as the added nutrients during the period of decomposition of flooded plant material influenced food webs (Figure 16).

Some shifts occurred in species composition. Lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), the dominant species in all reservoirs, increased in abundance. Northern pike (Esox lucius) also thrived and increased in abundance in some reservoirs. Recruitment was poor in lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), likely because of winter drawdown (low water levels). In the Robert-Bourassa reservoir, 17 years after impoundment, there were relatively fewer suckers (Catostomus commersonii) and walleye and more pike, whitefish, and burbot (Lota lota) (Figure 17).

Figure 16. Relative abundance of fish caught in Robert-Bourassa reservoir, 1977-1996.
Graph
Source: Therrien et al., 2004Footnote 37
Long description for Figure 16

This stacked percentage bar graph shows relative changes in the types of fish caught in surveys in Robert-Bourassa reservoir from 1977-1996.  Following impoundment, there were shifts in the relative abundance of all species.  The most notable changes include lower relative abundance of white sucker and longnose sucker by 1996: at impoundment in 1979 these two species accounted for 40% of the catch, but accounted for less than 10% by 1996.  Lake whitefish, northern pike and burbot increased in relative abundance after 1983.  The relative abundance of cisco increased immediately after impoundment and then delined. Walleye and the generic category of other fish had a lower relative abundance after impoundment.

 

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Figure 17. Fishing yields in Robert-Bourassa reservoir, 1977-1995.
Fishing yield data from Lake Detcheverry, a natural lake, are shown for comparison.
Graph
Source: Therrien et al., 2004Footnote 37
Long description for Figure 17

This line graph presents the total yield by weight (kg/net per day) of fish caught in the Robert-Bourassa reservoir and Lake Detcheverry, a natural lake, between 1977 and 1995.  Total yield remained relatively constant in Lake Detcheverry during this time period.  In contrast, total yield showed substantial changes in Robert Bourassa: there was a sharp decrease the year of impoundment, a generally steady increase until 1988 followed by a decrease to pre-impoundment levels by 1992.

 

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Invasive non-native specie

Key finding 10
Theme: Human/ecosystem interactions

National key finding
Invasive non-native species are a significant stressor on ecosystem functions, processes, and structure in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments. This impact is increasing as numbers of invasive non-native species continue to rise and their distributions continue to expand.

Invasive species are still rare in the Taiga Shield. Lack of roads limits access for many species, and the severe environment may limit the survival of some species. Those species associated with human settlements, such as European house sparrows (Passer domesticus), are uncommon, but exist in the western Taiga Shield (in Yellowknife, NWT). Invasive non-native plants are mostly associated with roads and other anthropogenic disturbances. A 2006 roadside survey in the western Taiga ShieldFootnote 65 found 39 species of non-native vascular plants, including species with known invasive potential in Canada.Footnote 66

The Taiga Shield's aquatic ecology may be especially vulnerable to invasive species since it has relatively few species. The distribution of fish species such as smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), a predatory species that is known to alter species assemblages, is shifting northwards in eastern North America due to warming temperatures.Footnote 67 Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were introduced near Yellowknife, NWT, as recently as 1990 to enhance recreational fishing,Footnote 68 but these species have not spread.Footnote 69

A few exotic forest pests have been introduced to the western Taiga Shield.Footnote 70 These include the larch sawfly (Pristiphora erichsonii), birch leaf edgeminer (Scolioneura betuleti), and the amber-marked birch leafminer (Profenusa thomsoni). Larch sawfly has been attacking tamarack stands since the late 1960s. Both birch leaf miner species were recently (1994-2003) found in the western Taiga Shield and commonly exist near communities. The amber-marked birch leafminer is now abundant in Yellowknife, extending into the surrounding wild birch stands, mostly along roads.

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Contaminants

Key finding 11
Theme: Human/ecosystem interactions

National key finding
Concentrations of legacy contaminants in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems have generally declined over the past 10 to 40 years. Concentrations of many emerging contaminants are increasing in wildlife; mercury is increasing in some wildlife in some areas.

Most contaminants in this ecozone+ are legacy contaminants, transported from long distances away and deposited on snow and vegetation. From there, they make their way into the food chain. Some heavy metals that are considered contaminants if they reach high levels, such as cadmium, are contained in the regional geology. Mercury has three sources in the Taiga Shield Ecozone+: 1) like cadmium, it is found naturally in the environment; 2) it is a component of industrial emissions around the world and is transported to the region through the atmosphere; 3) mercury in the environment becomes more biologically available in freshwater ecosystems through the flooding of land to create reservoirs.

Caribou

The Northern Contaminants Program has monitored persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals for the last two decades, including in several caribou herds that range into the Taiga Shield ecozone+.Footnote 71

POPs such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, and furans, were found at very low levels in barren ground caribou and are not of concern for the health of either caribou or humans who eat caribou. Compared to other herds, cadmium levels are relatively high in the kidneys and livers of Beverly caribou, which range into the Taiga Shield in fall and winter. The probable source is cadmium from the underlying rocks, which accumulates in lichen and is then eaten by caribou. Mercury levels are changing over time in some herds across the country, but results are as yet inconclusive. Monitoring will continue through the Northern Contaminants Program on selected herds to track mercury trends from industrial sources and the degree to which mercury becomes incorporated into terrestrial food chains.

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Fish

Contaminants move into the aquatic system as well and become concentrated in higher-level predators such as some species of fish. Mercury is increasing significantly for burbot and lake trout caught in the West Basin and burbot caught in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, while the trend is not significant for East Arm lake trout (Figure 18). Comparison of these results with analysis of mercury in fish from smaller lakes in the Taiga Plains Ecozone+ indicates that the rates of mercury increase are more pronounced in small, shallow lakes than in Great Slave Lake.Footnote 72 There is no clear relationship between increases in mercury in fish in the Great Slave Lake area and climate metrics such as mean air temperature and precipitation. The most recent increases in mercury may be related to increasing global industrial mercury emissions. In Asia, for example, mercury-emitting industrial activities such as coal-fired power plants and steel production are increasing, a trend that is likely to continue in coming decades.Footnote 73

Figure 18: Trends in mercury, PCBs, and HCH for Great Slave Lake, 1993-2008.
The East Arm of Great Slave Lake is in the Taiga Shield ecozone+. Samples were collected in the Lutsel K'e area. The West Basin of the lake is in the Taiga Plains ecozone+. Samples were collected in the Hay River area (lake trout) and Slave River outflow (burbot). Lines show significant trends (p less than 0.05). PCBs show no significant trends.
three scatter plots
Source: Evans, 2009Footnote 72
Long description for Figure 18

These three scatter plots combined with linear graphs show the following information:

Mercury (ug/g)
YearHay River trout (West Basin trout)Lutsel K'e trout (East Arm trout)Hay River burbot (West Basin burbot)Lutsel K'e burbot (East Arm burbot)
1993----
1994----
1995-0.12--
1996--0.08-
1997----
1998----
19990.110.140.110.08
2000-0.260.130.12
20010.200.150.180.12
20020.160.130.160.12
2003----
20040.170.150.180.17
20050.180.190.11-
20060.210.160.16-
20070.210.190.24-
20080.270.190.250.19
Average PCBs (ng/g)
YearHay River trout (West Basin trout)Lutsel K'e trout (East Arm trout)Hay River burbot (West Basin burbot)Lutsel K'e burbot (East Arm burbot)
1993142575138
1994----
1995-21--
1996--96-
1997----
1998----
1999281411880
2000-17168127
20011126180126
20023783112
2003----
20041729101174
2005155072-
2006171864-
2007726--
2008----
Average HCH (ng/g)
YearHay River trout (West Basin trout)Lutsel K'e trout (East Arm trout)Hay River burbot (West Basin burbot)Lutsel K'e burbot (East Arm burbot)
199323711
1994----
1995-1--
1996--7-
1997----
1998----
19993153
2000-168
20012267
20020136
2003----
20041113
2005003-
2006002-
200700--
2008----

 

Legacy POPs are unchanged or declining in Great Slave Lake fish. PCB and DDT trends were unchanged from 1992-2007, while hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) decreased significantly in three of the four sample groups (Figure 18). Changes in lake ecology and fish trophic structure in Great Slave Lake may either be accentuating or masking trends in contaminants. For example, organic contaminants accumulate more in fatty tissues and the lake trout fat levels have decreased in recent years, which may be related to changes in the relative numbers of different species in the lake or to other changes in lake ecology.Footnote 72

A study of Mackenzie River burbotFootnote 74 concluded that increasing trends in mercury and PCBs may be related to increased productivity in the aquatic environment due to climate change. Contaminants may move more readily into the food web under conditions of higher productivity. The picture may be further complicated by changes in forest fire regime. Kelly et al., 2006Footnote 75 in a study in the Jasper, Alberta area, demonstrated that fish from lakes with recent forest fires in their catchment areas had elevated levels of mercury. This was attributed both to increases in mercury input to the lakes and to increases of nutrients that enhanced productivity and altered food webs.

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Mercury in fish affected by reservoirs

When new reservoirs are created, the flooded vegetation decomposes, increasing the mercury load, creating low-oxygen conditions and increasing the carbon source for bacteria that convert inorganic mercury to methylmercury – which is then taken up by aquatic organisms, including plankton, insects, and fish. Creation of a reservoir typically leads to a rapid increase in mercury in the food chain, followed by a slower reduction in methylmercury as the store of flooded, rotting vegetation is depleted.Footnote 76

In the James Bay region in the eastern Taiga Shield, the La Grande hydroelectric development affected mercury levels in the associated rivers and wetlands. Mercury levels in fish at the La Grande complex have been monitored since the late 1970s.Footnote 77 All La Grande reservoirs show the same pattern of increase and subsequent decrease in fish mercury levels (Figure 19). Concentrations of mercury in fish usually peak between 5 to 13 years after flooding. Peak levels range from to three- to eight-fold increases compared to background levels. Mercury concentrations then gradually decline, 10 to 35 years after flooding, to the range of concentrations measured in natural lakes of the area. The broad time ranges reflect different species, different trophic levels (Table 3), and differing reservoir characteristics. Northern pike, as top predators, acquire the highest levels of mercury and take longest to return to background levels.

Figure 19: Mercury in northern pike in reservoirs of the La Grande complex, 0 to 29 years following impoundment.
Size class is 700 mm length. Note that the mercury limit for themarket of fish is 0.5 mg/kg. Dates of flooding (beginning of filling period): Robert-Bourassa-1978, La Grande 3-1981, La Grande 1-1993, Caiapiscau-1981, and Laforge 2-1983.
Graph
Graph
Source: updated from Schetagne et al., 2003Footnote 77 based on data provided by Hydro-Québec
Long description for Figure 19

These two line graphs show total mercury levels in northern pike in five reservoirs in the La Grande complex. Mercury levels in Robert-Bourassa, La Grande 3 and La Grande 1 reservoirs (top graph) spike between 10 and 15 years, at triple or quadruple the range of mean levels measured under natural conditions for that size class of fish (700 mm). The mercury limit for the market of fish is 0.5 mg/kg. Mercury levels in the pike in the Caniapiscau and Laforge 2 reservoirs (bottom graph) peaked slightly earlier (10-12 years after impoundment) and at lower levels than the other reservoirs. After the spike, the levels decline steadily; after 25 years, mercury levels in the La Grande 1, Caniapiscau and Laforge 2 were nearing pre-impoundment levels, and Robert-Bourassa and La Grande 3 exhibit downward trends.

 

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Table 3: Rise and fall of mercury levels in fish of different trophic levels, La Grande complex
Increasing trophic levelSpeciesPeak mercury levelsTiming of peakReturn to background
Non-fish-eating (longnose sucker and lake whitefish)0.3-0.7 mg/kg (3 to 6 times background levels)5 to 10 years after flooding10 to 20 years after flooding
Fish-eating (walleye and lake trout)2.4-3.1 mg/kg (4 to 6 times background levels)10 years after flooding20 to 30 years after flooding
Northern pike (fish-eating and, in some reservoirs, consuming other fish-eating fish)1.9-4.7 mg/kg (3 to 8 times background levels)10 to 13 years after flooding20 years to (projected) 35 years after flooding

Source: Therrien and Schetagne, 2008, 2009Footnote 78 Footnote 79 Footnote 80

The increases in mercury from impoundment and flooding of land affected streams and lakes downstream of the reservoirs. Mercury was transported downstream mainly dissolved in the water and in suspended particulate matter, but also in plankton.Footnote 81 Mercury from flooded soils was taken up by plankton in the reservoirs, a process that was enhanced by the high levels of carbon and nutrients released from decomposing flooded plants.Footnote 82 The main route of mercury transfer into downstream fish was through zooplankton drifting down from the impounded waters.Footnote 81 Lake whitefish caught in Cambrien Lake, 275 km downstream from the Caniapiscau reservoir, had elevated mercury levels but there was no effect on fish caught 355 km below the reservoir.Footnote 81 Mercury returned to pre-development levels in Cambrien Lake whitefish 10 years after impoundment.

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Nutrient loading and algal blooms

Key finding 12
Theme: Human/ecosystem interactions

National key finding
Inputs of nutrients to both freshwater and marine systems, particularly in urban and agriculture-dominated landscapes, have led to algal blooms that may be a nuisance and/or may be harmful. Nutrient inputs have been increasing in some places and decreasing in others.

The main anthropogenic source of nutrient addition to freshwater systems in the Taiga Shield ecozone+ has been hydroelectric development, through flooding and reservoir creation. This is discussed under Dams and reservoirs on page 23.

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Climate change

Key finding 14
Theme: Human/ecosystem interactions

National key finding
Rising temperatures across Canada, along with changes in other climatic variables over the past 50 years, have had both direct and indirect impacts on biodiversity in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems.

Coverage and distribution of climate trend data are poor for this ecozone+. Temperatures increased whereas precipitation was variable; snow cover duration decreased at the three stations with measurements.7 Most obvious ecological impacts are from changes in permafrost in the south and east of the ecozone+, and changes in hydrology. There are indications of other impacts, for example caribou may be affected by the increase in ice content in snow (see box on page 41).

Climate change will have wide-ranging impacts on the Taiga Shield, because climate is a strong driver of the region's ecological structure and processes. However, with little current monitoring within the ecozone+, most impact projections for the Taiga Shield are based on data collected elsewhere. The land cover is mainly boreal forest and forest tundra. Boreal forest ecosystems and fire regimes are projected to change as trends in climate alter vegetation or fuels, lightning, and fire severity. Climate change will likely reduce the area of boreal forest and increase fragmentation.Footnote 83 Warmer temperatures could also introduce new pests and wildlife diseases.

Climate trends

Increasing temperatures and shorter duration of snow cover are the most pronounced trends observed at climate stations in the Taiga Shield Ecozone+ (Table 4).

Table 4: Overview of climate trends for Canada and for the Taiga Shield ecozone+, 1950-2007
Climate variableTrends since 1950Representativeness of trends
TemperatureCanada: annual mean temperatures have increased more (>2oC) in northern and northwestern Canada and less (<1oC) in eastern Canada. Taiga Shield: annual mean temperatures generally increased; Yellowknife and Kuujjuarapik (on the coast of Hudson Bay) showed significant increases of >1.5oC. Seasonal trends are shown in Figure 20.The Taiga Shield ecozone+ includes two distinct climate regions either side of Hudson Bay with a poor distribution of stations for computing an ecozone+ average. There are few stations in the western Taiga Shield and those east of Hudson Bay are mainly coastal. Trends are thus described for specific locations.
PrecipitationCanada: total annual precipitation has generally increased, though there are few individual stations with significant trends. Taiga Shield: total annual precipitation changed little at most stations – Fort Reliance being the exception, with a significant increase. Seasonal trends were quite variable – predominantly increasing, but included significant decreases at some seasons at two stations in Labrador (Figure 21).The Taiga Shield ecozone+ includes two distinct climate regions either side of Hudson Bay with a poor distribution of stations for computing an ecozone+ average. There are few stations in the western Taiga Shield and those east of Hudson Bay are mainly coastal. Trends are thus described for specific locations.
Snow

Canada: the duration of snow cover showed the most pronounced decreases in the spring, especially in western and northern stations. Taiga Shield: significant decreases in snow cover duration (1950-2006) occurred in the spring (February-June), at the three stations with sufficient data for analysis:

  • Yellowknife (11 days)
  • Kuujjuarapik (13 days)
  • Kuujjuaq (36 days)
The Taiga Shield ecozone+ includes two distinct climate regions either side of Hudson Bay with a poor distribution of stations for computing an ecozone+ average. There are few stations in the western Taiga Shield and those east of Hudson Bay are mainly coastal. Trends are thus described for specific locations.

Source: Zhang et al., 2011Footnote 7 and data provided by the authors

Table Summary

This table presents highlights of an analysis of Canadian climate records, checked and corrected for sources of systematic error and excluding stations with strong urban warming effects.

 

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Figure 20: Trends in temperature by season, 1950-2007.
Total change in temperature over the 58-year time period is indicated for sites for which the trend is statistically significant. Season definitions – spring: March-May; summer: June-August; fall: September-November; winter: December-February.
Map
Source: Zhang et al., 2011Footnote 7
Long description for Figure 20

This set of four maps depicts change in mean annual temperature in spring, summer, fall, and winter (oC) in cities and towns in the Taiga Shield Ecozone+ between 1950 and 2007. Various locations have shown significant increases in mean annual temperature, with winter temperatures in Yellowknife, NT and Uranium City, SK increasing by 4.8o and 4.7o respectively. Kuujjuarapik, QC experienced an increase of 2.5o in the summer and 1.6o in the fall, and fall temperature in Kuujjuaq, QC increased by 1.7o.

 

Figure 21: Change in the amount of precipitation, 1950-2007 by season.
Change is expressed as a percentage of the 1961-1990 mean. Season definitions – spring: March-May; summer: June-August; fall: September-November; winter: December-February.
Map
Source: Zhang et al., 2011Footnote 7
Long description for Figure 21

In this set of four maps, change is expressed as a percentage of the 1961-1990 mean for spring, summer, fall, and winter. Several cities experienced a significant increase in precipitation (>40%) in one of the four seasons, including Fort Reliance, NT (spring, fall and winter), Uranium City, SK (spring), Brochet, MB (winter) and Nitchequon, QC (spring and winter). A couple cities experienced more moderate increases (10-40%) in the summer (Nain, NF and Kuujjuaq, QC) and fall (Kuujjuaq and Kuujjuarapik, QC). Churchill Falls, NF (winter) and Hopedale, NF and the Yellowknife Hydro station (summer) were the only places to experience significant decreases in precipitation.

 

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Aboriginal knowledge of climate trends

Aboriginal people recognize the trends in increasing temperatures and note that temperatures are more variable and less predictable than in the past.Footnote 84 Regional differences are also apparent and highlight how much climate trends vary at local scales. Some specific observations of climate-related change related to winds in the Taiga Shield:

  • Winds are stronger and change direction more frequently (Lutsel K'eFootnote 54).
  • The strongest winds are coming later in the fall (NunutsiavutFootnote 85).
  • From the mid-1980s to the mid 1990s, April and May winds blew mostly from the north, reducing the size of Canada goose flocks, slowing spring melt, and contributing to spring and summer cooling trends in eastern Hudson Bay.Footnote 86

Aboriginal knowledge describes a decline in rainfall in some regions (Northern Saskatchewan, 2006,Footnote 87 Nunutsiavut, 2007,Footnote 85 James Bay, 2008Footnote 88).

A suite of similar changes in snowfall has been reported for several regions of the eastern Taiga Shield. Snow arrives later in the season and typically there is less of it. Heavy snowfalls are rare, and the snow melts more rapidly, leading to less accumulation, possibly because of increased winds (Nunutsiavut, 2007,Footnote 85 Hudson and James Bay regions, 2007-2008Footnote 88 Footnote 89).

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Climate trends and caribou habitat: Bathurst caribou winter range

The Bathurst Caribou Herd's winter range is in the western Taiga Shield. The 2009 calving ground census for the herd indicates a severe recent population decline (Figure 27 ), the causes of which are not known. A study of ecological change related to the herd's winter and pre-calving migration conditions found changes in two important climate-related habitat indicators.

  1. Caribou tend to move quickly through or avoid areas of recent burns which have low lichen abundance.Footnote 90 Footnote 91 The extent of mature (older than 50 years) forest declined significantly on the winter range since 1959, due to increased fire, which was in turn positively correlated with summer (June-September) temperature increases. Analysis is based on data from the large fire database presented under Fire trends on page 59, combined with analysis of satellite imagery and of climate records.
  2. Caribou dig holes in the snow to access lichens in the winter and adverse snow conditions result in them using up more energy – resulting in changes to body condition, calf survival the following spring, or, in extreme cases, resulting in starvation.Footnote 92, Footnote 93 Accessibility of lichens in winter for the Bathurst caribou may have deteriorated because the snow has become harder. Ice content in snow, estimated from climate and snow data, increased significantly from 1963-2006. The ice was mainly (90%) from freeze-thaw cycles in spring, with rain-on-snow events accounting for, on average, 10% of the ice content. Researchers have suggested a threshold value for major impacts on caribou of approximately 10 mm water equivalent of ice content in snow.Footnote 94 Figure 22 shows the increasing trend in the percent of years in which snow hardness exceeded this threshold. The observation of increasingly "hard" snow or icy crust in the snowpack corresponds with Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge on the subject, as well as with projections of global climate change models.

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Figure 22: Trend in years with high ice content in snow, Bathurst Caribou Herd winter range, 1963-2006.
Ice content in snow (ICIS) is estimated from climate and snow depth data (based on analysis of data to detect conditions that produce layers of ice in snow). ICIS values are based on an average of four climate stations: Yellowknife, Fort Reliance, Rae Lakesand Uranium City.
Graph
Source: based on Chen et al., In prep.Footnote 95
Long description for Figure 22

This bar graph shows the following information:

YearPercent of years with Ice in Snow index > 10 mm water equivalent
1963-6914
1970s20
1980s20
1990s30
2000-0643

This figure also has a photograph of Bathurst caribou in late winter in the western Taiga Shield.

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Ecosystem services

Key finding 15
Theme: Human/ecosystem interactions

National key finding
Canada is well endowed with a natural environment that provides ecosystem services upon which our quality of life depends. In some areas where stressors have impaired ecosystem function, the cost of maintaining ecosystem services is high and deterioration in quantity, quality, and access to ecosystem services is evident.

Historically, the ecosystem services of the Taiga Shield Ecozone+ supported Aboriginal people, and traditional/country foods and resources remain important, especially in medium and small size communities (Figure 23). Many non-Aboriginal residents also make extensive use of country foods. There are regional and cultural variations. For example, geese account for as much as a quarter of wild meat consumption for the James Bay Cree,Footnote 57 Footnote 96 Footnote 97 while barren ground caribou are important traditional food for the Dene and Innu.Footnote 54 Footnote 84 Footnote 98 Footnote 99 Fish are also an important traditional food throughout the ecozone+. Other traditional and contemporary uses of plants and animals include medicinesFootnote 100 and crafts.Footnote 101

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Figure 23: Proportion of households consuming traditional/country foods, 1999 and 2004, NWT communities in the Taiga Shield ecozone+.
Percent of households reporting thatmore than 75% of their meat and fish was harvested from the NWT. Communities surveyed: Behchokò (Rae-Edzo), Detah, Gamètì (Rae Lakes), Lutselk'e, Wekweètì, Yellowknife.
Graph
Source: data from NWT Bureau of Statistics and 2004 NWT Regional Employment and Harvesting Survey, reported in Northwest Territories Environment and Natural Resources, 2009Footnote 69
Long description for Figure 23

This bar graph shows the following information:

Percentage of households
YearCommunity size - Large (Yellowknife)Community size - MediumCommunity size - Small
19998%56%63%
20045%38%53%

 

Changes in availability of traditional/country foods

Maintaining strong populations of targeted species is not enough to ensure ongoing supply and access to traditional/country foods. Socio-economic factors are important, as are a range of ecosystem characteristics. The examples below illustrate some categories of threats to the ongoing provision of ecosystem goods and services in the Taiga Shield Ecozone+.

Animal population declines

In the western Taiga Shield, barren ground caribou herds have been in decline since the mid-1990s and the Bathurst Herd in particular (which winters in the western Taiga Shield) has declined severely in the past few years (see Migratory tundra caribou on page 47). This has resulted in the implementation of emergency management measures that directly affect hunting in the ecozone+.

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Environmental change affecting access to hunting and fishing areas

Trail networks linking communities and harvesting areas in regions with no roads provide access to hunting and fishing areas. Climate change in northern Quebec has affected timing and security of access to local environments and to key food resources along these traditional trail networks.Footnote 102

Deterioration in quality or safety of foods

Contaminants from long-range atmospheric transport (see Contaminants on page 30) present ongoing concerns about food safety across the ecozone+. In the James Bay region, Aboriginal communities were affected by the increases in mercury from the reservoirs of the La Grande complex (see Mercury in fish affected by reservoirs on page 33). Mercury in the Cree population increased to levels of concern, then declined as the levels in fish went down and as people changed their traditional fishing patterns and reduced their consumption of fish.Footnote 103 Contaminant-related health advisories have impacts on local economies, nutrition and on social and mental well-being. The threat of harm from a traditional food sources leads to pervasive and persistent anxiety and social effects.Footnote 104

Changes in wildlife

Although the populations of Canada geese have increased since the mid-1990s in the eastern Taiga Shield,Footnote 105 hunting success has declined among the James Bay Cree.Footnote 106 Hunters sayFootnote 106 Footnote 107 that a number of behavioural changes in both geese and hunters are causing this problem – for example: goose migratory patterns have changed; geese fly higher and the migration period is shorter; geese have changed their migration route, going further inland than they used to. Hunters relate these observations to a range of causes, such as changes in weather patterns, reduction of eelgrass, impacts from hydroelectric development, and changes in hunting practices. Some changes in hunting practices are in turn linked to environmental change. Traditional hunting relies on rotating use of many hunting sites to minimize disturbance to the migrating geese, but in some places environmental change has led to fewer hunting sites being used (Figure 24), reducing the success of the hunt.

Figure 24: Map of hunting sites used for the spring goose hunt, Blackstone Bay, Wemindji territory, 1979 and 2006.
The reduction in number of sites used and their clustering around a central point, was due to two causes: 1) environmental changes in some sites made them no longer suitable as goose habitat; 2) some sites could not be reached because ice on the bay has become thinner and unsafe in the spring. The triangle indicates the location of the camp.
Map
Source: Scott, 1983 in Peloquin, 2007Footnote 107
Long description for Figure 24

This bar graph shows the following information:

Percentage of households
YearCommunity size - Large (Yellowknife)Community size - MediumCommunity size - Small
19998%56%63%
20045%38%53%

 

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What is the value of a caribou herd?

A holistic approach to valuation of ecosystem goods and services

A study conducted for the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board in 2008Footnote 108 examined the value of provisioning and cultural goods and services provided by the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Herds. The study was built on a model that considered the value of these services to include:

  • direct-use values: primarily meat, but also hides and antlers as input to arts, crafts and cultural products;
  • indirect values:
    • values of experiences and other intangible benefits: for example, recreational enjoyment, kinship and bonding, education in traditional ways of life;
    • values of the existence of the caribou: as a bequest to future generations and for options to hunt at a later time.

Only the direct-use values can be quantified in terms of market value (Table 5). The Beverly Herd's estimated direct-use value was $4.8 million in 2005/06, primarily ($4.1 million) as domestic harvest, with 76% of the harvest that year being by Aboriginal communities in northern Saskatchewan.

Table 5: Estimates of the annual direct-use value of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Herds

Estimates of the annual direct-use value of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Herds(total $19.9 million/year)

Table 5.1 by jurisdiction
Jurisdiction$ million/yearPercent
Nunavut11.859
Manitoba3.820
Saskatchewan3.417
NWT0.84
Table 5.2 by harvest
Harvest$ million/yearPercent
Domestic (Aboriginal)14.774
Outfitter4.121
Commercial and licensed1.05
Table 5.3 by herd
Herd$ million/yearPercent
Qamanirjuaq1576
Beverly4.824

Calculated for domestic and resident (licensed), outfitting and commercial harvests, based on value of replacing meat and hides (taking into account the costs of hunting and regional differences in costs such as transport). Outfitting was treated as an economic activity and its annual net contribution to the GDP was calculated. Estimates are based on 2005/06 statistics.
Source: data from InterGroup Consultants Ltd, 2008Footnote 108

Indirect values were examined based on previous studies in the region augmented with questionnaires and interviews. The authors concluded that hunting caribou and associated activities (such as preparation of and sharing of meat, and community feasts) were viewed by the people throughout the ranges of the two herds as integral to the maintenance and transfer of knowledge, skills, and cultural norms. Many people interviewed talked about how important hunting caribou was to their identity and to the revitalization of their communities.

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Small industries

Fur trapping, once a major part of the Taiga Shield's economy, is still pursued by a relatively small number of Taiga Shield residents (Figure 25). Despite the shrinking of the industry, due to changes in social values and consumption patterns, it remains an important source of income in many small communities.

Figure 25: Active trappers in the Northwest Territories portion of the Taiga Shield, 2001-2008.
Graph
Source: data from the NWT Fur Harvest Database,2008, reported in Northwest Territories Environment and Natural Resources, 2009Footnote 69
Long description for Figure 25

This line graph shows the following information:

YearNumber of trappers
2001165
2002140
2003166
2004180
2005157
2006145
2007151
2008117

 

 

Small-scale wood harvesting is another modest consumer of Taiga Shield ecosystem services. Most wood is harvested for firewood or by small-scale local businesses selling lumber and fuel. While the level of harvest is too low to have a serious impact on the Taiga Shield's boreal forest, it is an important contributor to the cash and non-cash economy of many small communities.Footnote 69

Footnotes

Footnote 3

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments of Canada. 2010. Canadian biodiversity: ecosystem status and trends 2010. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. vi + 142 p.

Return to footnote 3

Footnote 7

Zhang, X., Brown, R., Vincent, L., Skinner, W., Feng, Y. and Mekis, E. 2011. Canadian climate trends, 1950-2007. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Technical Thematic Report No. 5. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. iv + 21 p.

Return to footnote 7

Footnote 17

Monk, W.A. and Baird, D.J. 2011. Biodiversity in Canadian lakes and rivers. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Technical Thematic Report No. 19. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. Draft report.

Return to footnote 17

Footnote 30

Hayeur, G. 2001. Summary of knowledge acquired in northern environments from 1970 to 2000. Hydro-Québec. Montréal, QC. x + 110 p. .

Return to footnote 30

Footnote 37

Therrien, J., Verdon, R. and Lalumière, R. 2004. Environmental monitoring at the La Grande complex. Changes in fish communities. Summary report 1977-2000. GENIVAR Groupe Conseil Inc. and Direction Barrages et Environnement, Hydro-Québec Production. 129 p. + appendices.

Return to footnote 37

Footnote 51

IUCN. 1994. Guidelines for protected area management categories. Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas with the assistance of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, International Union for Conservation of Nature. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. x + 261 p.

Return to footnote 51

Footnote 52

Environment Canada. 2009. Unpublished analysis of data by ecozone+ from: Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System (CARTS), v.2009.05 [online]. Canadian Council on Ecological Areas. (accessed 5 November, 2009).

Return to footnote 52

Footnote 53

CCEA. 2009. Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System (CARTS), v.2009.05 [online]. Canadian Council on Ecological Areas. (accessed 5 November, 2009).

Return to footnote 53

Footnote 54

Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation, Parlee, B., Basil, M. and Casaway, N. 2001. Final report: Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the Kaché Tué study region. Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation. 87 p.

Return to footnote 54

Footnote 55

Berkes, F. and Turner, N. 2005. Knowledge, learning and the resilience of social-ecological systems. In Managing the commons: conservation of biodiversity. Edited by Merino, L. and Robson, J. Instituto Nacional de Ecologia. Mexico City, Mexico. pp. 21-31.

Return to footnote 55

Footnote 56

Parlee, B., Manseau, M. and Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation. 2005. Using traditional knowledge to adapt to ecological change: Denesoline monitoring of caribou movements. Arctic 58:26-37.

Return to footnote 56

Footnote 57

 Bussières, V. 2005. Towards a culturally-appropriate locally-managed protected area for the James Bay Cree community of Wemindji, northern Québec. Thesis (Master of Public Policy and Public Administration). Concordia University, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment. Montréal, QC. 125 p.

Return to footnote 57

Footnote 58

Byers, T. 1999. Perspectives of Aboriginal peoples on wildlife research. Wildlife Society Bulletin 27:671-675.

Return to footnote 58

Footnote 59

Van Kessel, J.C. 2002. Taking care of bison: community perceptions of the Hook Lake Bison Recovery Project in Fort Resolution, NT, Canada. Thesis (M.Sc.). University of Alberta, Department of Renewable Resources. Edmonton, AB. 155 p.

Return to footnote 59

Footnote 60

Spak, S. 2005. The position of indigenous knowledge in Canadian co-management organizations. Anthropologica 47:233-246.

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Footnote 61

Kendrick, A., Lyver, P.O.B. and Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation. 2005. Denesoline (Chipewyan) knowledge of barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) movements. Arctic 58:175-191.

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Footnote 62

Leckie, D., Burt, W., Johnson, L., Hardman, D., Hill, D., Paradine, D. and Tammadge, D. 2006. Deforestation mapping activity summaries for Canada's national deforestation estimate 2006. Canadian Forest Service. Victoria, BC. 25 p.

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Footnote 63

Hydro-Québec. 2004. Eastmain-1-A powerhouse and Rupert diversion. Environmental impact statement executive summary. Hydro-Québec Production. ii + 17 p.

Return to footnote 63

Footnote 64

Weissenberger, S., Lucotte, M., Houel, S., Soumis, N., Duchemin, E. and Canuel, R. 2010. Modeling the carbon dynamics of the La Grande hydroelectric complex in northern Quebec. Ecological Modelling 221:610-620.

Return to footnote 64

Footnote 65

Oldham, M.J. 2007. 2006 Survey of exotic plants along Northwest Territories highways. Environment and Natural Resources, Government of the Northwest Territories. 44 p.

Return to footnote 65

Footnote 66

Canadian Botanical Conservation Network. 2008. Invasive plant lists [online]. Royal Botanical Gardens. http://archive.rbg.ca/cbcn/en/projects/invasives/i_list.html Archived website.

Return to footnote 66

Footnote 67

Jackson, D.A. and Mandrak, N.E. 2002. Changing fish biodiversity: predicting the loss of cyprinid biodiversity due to global climate change. In Fisheries in a changing climate. Edited by McGinn, N.A. American Fisheries Society Symposium 32. American Fisheries Society. Bethesda, MD. pp. 89-98.

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Footnote 68

Crossman, E.J. 1991. Introduced freshwater fishes: a review of the North American perspective with emphasis on Canada. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 48:46-57.

Return to footnote 68

Footnote 69

Environment and Natural Resources Government of the Northwest Territories.. 2009. Northwest Territories State of the Environment Report [online]. (accessed 6 October, 2011).

Return to footnote 69

Footnote 70

Digweed, S.C. and Langor, D.W. 2004. Distributions of leafmining sawflies (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) on birch and alder in northwestern Canada. Canadian Entomologist 136:727-731.

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Footnote 71

Gamberg, M. 2009. Arctic caribou and moose contaminant monitoring program. In Synopsis of research conducted under the 2008-2009 Northern Contaminants Program. Edited by Smith, S., Stow, J. and Edwards, J. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Ottawa, ON. pp. 179-184.

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Footnote 72

Evans, M.S. 2009. Spatial and long-term trends in the persistent organic contaminants and metal in the lake trout and burbot from the Northwest Territories. In Synopsis of research conducted under the 2008-2009 Northern Contaminants Program. Edited by Smith, S., Stow, J. and Edwards, J. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Ottawa, ON. pp. 152-163.

Return to footnote 72

Footnote 73

Wong, C.S.C., Duzgoren-Aydin, N.S., Aydin, A. and Wong, M.H. 2006. Sources and trends of environmental mercury emissions in Asia. Science of the Total Environment 368:649-662.

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Footnote 74

Carrie, J., Wang, F., Sanei, H., Macdonald, R.W., Outridge, P.M. and Stern, G.A. 2010. Increasing contaminant burdens in an arctic fish, burbot (Lota lota), in a warming climate. Environmental Science & Technology 44:316-322.

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Footnote 75

Kelly, E.N., Schindler, D.W., St Louis, V.L., Donald, D.B. and Vlaclicka, K.E. 2006. Forest fire increases mercury accumulation by fishes via food web restructuring and increased mercury inputs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103:19380-19385.

Return to footnote 75

Footnote 76

Schetagne, R., Plante, M. and Babo, S. 2006. Fact sheet 1: mercury in hydroelectric reservoirs. In Issue of mercury for Hydro-Québec. Hydro-Québec. pp. 1-5.

Return to footnote 76

Footnote 77

Schetagne, R., Therrien, J. and Lalumière, R. 2003. Environmental monitoring at the La Grande complex. Evolution of fish mercury levels. Summary report 1978-2000. Direction Barrages et Environnement, Hydro-Québec Production and Groupe conseil GENIVAR inc. 185 p. + appendix.

Return to footnote 77

Footnote 78

Therrien, J. and Schetagne, R. 2008. Réseau de suivi environnemental du complexe La Grande (2007). Évolution du mercure dans la chair des poissons dans le secteur est. Joint report by Hydro-Québec and GENIVAR Société en commandite. 55 p. + appendices.

Return to footnote 78

Footnote 79

Therrien, J. and Schetagne, R. 2008. Aménagement hydroélectrique de L'Eastmain-1. Suivi environnemental en phase d'exploitation (2007). Suivi du mercure dans la chair des poissons. Joint report by Hydro-Québec and GENIVAR Société en commandite. 45 p. + appendices.

Return to footnote 79

Footnote 80

Therrien, J. and Schetagne, R. 2009. Réseau de suivi environnemental du complexe La Grande (2008). Évolution du mercure dans la chair des poissons dans le secteur ouest. Joint report by Hydro-Québec and GENIVAR Société en commandite. 50 p. + appendices.

Return to footnote 80

Footnote 81

Schetagne, R., Doyon, J.F. and Fournier, J.J. 2000. Export of mercury downstream from reservoirs. Science of the Total Environment 260:135-145.

Return to footnote 81

Footnote 82

Tremblay, A., Lucotte, M. and Schetagne, R. 1998. Total mercury and methylmercury accumulation in zooplankton of hydroelectric reservoirs in northern Quebec (Canada). Science of the Total Environment 213:307-315.

Return to footnote 82

Footnote 83

Weber, M.G. and Flannigan, M.D. 1997. Canadian boreal forest ecosystem structure and function in a changing climate: impact on fire regimes. Environmental Reviews 5:145-166.

Return to footnote 83

Footnote 84

Lutsel K'e Dene Community Members, Krieger, M., Catholique, H., Drygeese, D., Casaway, N., Lantz, A., Desjarlais, P., Boucher, E., Michel, P., Catholique, S., Lockhart, J. and Catholique, L. 2005. Ni hat'ni - watching the land: results of 2003-2005 monitoring activities in the traditional territory of the Lutsel K'e Denesoline - final report. Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation. 109 p.

Return to footnote 84

Footnote 85

Davies, H. 2007. Inuit observations of environmental change and effects of change in Anaktalak Bay, Labrador. Thesis (Master of Environmental Studies). Queen's University, School of Environmental Studies. Kingston, ON. 156 p.

Return to footnote 85

Footnote 86

McDonald, M., Arragutainaq, L. and Novalinga, Z. (compilers). 1997. Voices from the bay: Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Inuit and Cree in the Hudson Bay bioregion. Canadian Arctic Resources Committee and Environmental Committee of the Municipality of Sanikiluaq. Ottawa, ON. xiii + 98 p.

Return to footnote 86

Footnote 87

Ermine, W., Nilson, R., Sauchyn, D., Sauve, E. and Smith, R.Y. 2005. Isi askiwan -- the state of the land: Prince Albert Grand Council Elders' Forum on Climate Change. Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative. 40 p.

Return to footnote 87

Footnote 88

Municipality of Sanikiluaq and Nunavuummi Tasiujarjuamiuguqatigiit Katutjiqatigiingit (NTK). 2008. Community Environmental Monitoring Systems (CEMS) workshop summary report, January 17, 2008-January 21, 2008. Update of Voices from the Bay. Municipality of Sanikiluaq. Sanikiluaq, NU. 41 p.

Return to footnote 88

Footnote 89

Inuit Circumpolar Council (Canada). 2007. Table 2: regional environmental changes observed by Inuit and Cree [online]. (accessed 8 December, 2007).

Return to footnote 89

Footnote 90

Thomas, D.C. and Kiliaan, H. 1998. Fire-caribou relationships: (IV) recovery of habitat after fire on the winter range of the Beverly Herd. Technical Report Series No. 312. Canadian Wildlife Service, Prairie and Northern Region. Edmonton, AB. 115 p.

Return to footnote 90

Footnote 91

Rupp, T.S., Olson, M., Adams, L.G., Dale, B.W., Joly, K., Henkelman, J., Collins, W.B. and Starfield, A.M. 2006. Simulating the influences of various fire regimes on caribou winter habitat. Ecological Applications 16:1730-1743.

Return to footnote 91

Footnote 92

Russell, D.E., White, R.G. and Daniel, C.J. 2005. Energetics of the Porcupine Caribou Herd: a computer simulation model. Technical Report Series No. 431. Canadian Wildlife Service. Ottawa, ON. 64 p.

Return to footnote 92

Footnote 93

Griffith, B., Douglas, D.C., Walsh, N.E., Young, D.D., McCabe, T.R., Russell, D.E., White, R.G., Cameron, R.D. and Whitten, K.R. 2002. The Porcupine Caribou Herd. In Arctic refuge coastal plain terrestrial wildlife research summaries. Edited by Douglas, D.C., Reynolds, P.E. and Rhode, E.B. U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Biological Science Report USGS/BRD/BSR-2002-0001. pp. 8-37.

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Footnote 94

Putkonen, J., Grenfell, T.C., Rennert, K., Bitz, C., Jacobson, P. and Russell, D. 2009. Rain on snow: little understood killer in the North. EOS 90:221-222.

Return to footnote 94

Footnote 95

Chen, W., Russell, D.E., Gunn, A., Croft, B., Chen, W., Fernandes, R., Zhao, H., Li, J., Zhang, Y., Koehler, K., Olthof, I., Fraser, R.H., Leblanc, S.G., Henry, G.R., White, R.G. and Finstad, G.L. 2009. Habitat indicators for migratory tundra caribou under a changing climate: winter and pre-calving migration ranges (PDF, 292KB) [online]. Unpublished report. (accessed 7 July, 2013). Draft report available through Wek'eezhii Renewable Resources Board. (accessed 17 May, 2011).

Return to footnote 95

Footnote 96

Belinsky, D.L. 1998. Nutritional and sociocultural significance of Branta canadensis (Canada goose) for the eastern James Bay Cree of Wemindji, Quebec. Thesis (M.Sc.). McGill University, School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition. Montréal, QC. 194 p.

Return to footnote 96

Footnote 97

Belinsky, D.L. and Kuhnlein, H.V. 2000. Macronutrient, mineral, and fatty acid composition of Canada goose (Branta canadensis): an important traditional food resource of the eastern James Bay Cree of Quebec. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 13:101-115.

Return to footnote 97

Footnote 98

Petch, V., Larcombe, L., Pettipas, L. and Tester, S. 1998. Manitoba Model Forest: archaeological and Anishinabe Pimadaziwin database project. vi + 106 p.

Return to footnote 98

Footnote 99

Lutsel K'e Dene Elders, Ellis, S., Catholique, B., Desjarlais, S., Catholique, B., Catholique, H., Basil, M., Casaway, N., Catholique, S. and Lockhart, J. 2002. Traditional knowledge in the Kache Tué study region: phase three - towards a comprehensive environmental monitoring program in the Kakinÿne region - final report. Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation. 86 p.

Return to footnote 99

Footnote 100

 Fraser, M., Cuerrier, A., Haddad, P.S., Arnason, J.T., Owen, P.L. and Johns, T. 2007. Medicinal plants of Cree communities (Quebec, Canada): antioxidant activity of plants used to treat type 2 diabetes symptoms. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 85:1200-1214.

Return to footnote 100

Footnote 101

Woodward, K.E. 1999. Contemporary Cree art in northern Quebec: a northern artist's look at the impact of James Bay hydroelectric development on the art and craft of the James Bay Cree. In Social and environmental impacts of the James Bay hydroelectric project. Edited by Hornig, J.F. McGill-Queen's University Press. Montréal, QC. Chapter 7. pp. 141-158.

Return to footnote 101

Footnote 102

Tremblay, M., Furgal, C., Larivée, C., Annanack, T., Tookalook, P., Qiisik, M., Angiyou, E., Swappie, N., Savard, J.-P. and Barrett, M. 2008. Climate change in northern Quebec: adaptation strategies from community-based research. Arctic 61:27-34.

Return to footnote 102

Footnote 103

Dumont, C., Girard, M., Bellavance, F. and Noel, F. 1998. Mercury levels in the Cree population of James Bay, Quebec, from 1988 to 1993/94. Canadian Medical Association Journal 158:1439-1445.

Return to footnote 103

Footnote 104

Rosenberg, D.M., Berkes, F., Bodaly, R.A., Hecky, R.E., Kelly, C.A. and Rudd, J.W.M. 1997. Large-scale impacts of hydroelectric development. Environmental Reviews 5:27-54.

Return to footnote 104

Footnote 105

Harvey, W.F. and Rodrigue, J. 2009. A breeding pair survey of Canada geese in northern Quebec - 2009. Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Canadian Wildlife Service. 12 p.

Return to footnote 105

Footnote 106

Peloquin, C. and Berkes, F. 2009. Local knowledge, subsistence harvests, and social-ecological complexity in James Bay. Human Ecology 37:533-545.

Return to footnote 106

Footnote 107

Peloquin, C. 2007. Variability, change and continuity in social-ecological systems: insights from James Bay Cree cultural ecology. Thesis (Master of Natural Resources Management). University of Manitoba, Natural Resources Institute. Winnipeg, MB. 155 p.

Return to footnote 107

Footnote 108

InterGroup Consultants Ltd. 2008. Economic valuation and socio-cultural perspectives of the estimated harvest of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq caribou herds. Beverly and Qamanijuaq Caribou Management Board. Stonewall, MB. 28 p. + 3 appendices.

Return to footnote 108