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Boreal Shield and Newfoundland Boreal ecozones+ evidence for key findings summary

Theme: Habitat, Wildlife, and Ecosystem Processes

Intact landscapes and waterscapes 

 
Theme Habitat, wildlife, and ecosystem processes

Intact landscapes and waterscapes was initially identified as a nationally recurring key finding and information was subsequently compiled and assessed for the Boreal Shield Ecozone+. In the final version of the national report,Footnote6 information related to intact landscapes and waterscapes was incorporated into other key findings. This information is maintained as a separate key finding for the Boreal Shield Ecozone+.

Boreal Shield Ecozone+

As of 2006, 64% of the total area of the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ was composed of intact terrestrial landscape fragments larger than 10 km2 (Figure 74). A terrestrial landscape fragment is defined as a contiguous mosaic, naturally occurring and essentially undisturbed by significant human influence. It is a mosaic of various natural ecosystem including forest, bog, water, tundra and rock outcrops. Most of these fragments were north of the limit of managed forest.Footnote11 Fragmented landscapes are a result of forest harvesting, roads, mining, dams and reservoirs, power lines, and industrial development.

Figure 74. Intact terrestrial landscape fragments larger than 10 km2 (shown in green) in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ as of 2006.

map
Source: Lee et al., 2006Footnote11

Long Description for Figure 74

This map of the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ shows that the northern half of the ecozone is primarily comprised of landscape fragments larger than 10 km2. The southern half of the ecozone+ is characterised by smaller and more sparsely distributed landscape fragments.

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Nearly 10% of the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ was under active mining claims in 2006,Footnote402 although much of this is unlikely to become an active mine. Mines fragment the landscape due to the infrastructure and road development required to service them. Mining is the principal industry in northern Saskatchewan and there are six uranium mines and two gold developments within the Saskatchewan portion of the Boreal Shield Ecozone+. The uranium facilities in the eastern portion of the Athabasca Basin produce 17% of the world's uranium supply.Footnote403 As of September 2012, 55,000 km2 were under disposition for mineral exploration in Saskatchewan.Footnote403 There are eight operating mines within the Manitoba portion of the Boreal Shield Ecozone+, two for gold and six for base metals.Footnote404 Northern Ontario has an active mining history, particularly in Greater Sudbury.Footnote23 The number of staked claims increased by 500% from 1998 to 2008, especially in the region called the "Far North" in Ontario which includes the Boreal Shield and Hudson Plains ecozones+ (Figure 75).Footnote405 Gold and copper are mined in the northwest part of the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ in Quebec. Minerals and other metals are mined in the east (iron in Fermont and niobium near Chicoutimi and Sept-Îles) and the three largest open pit mines are in Abitibi.Footnote406

Figure 75. Area of claims staked in the 'Far North' region of Ontario, 1998 and 2008.

Note: The Boreal Shield and Hudson Plains ecozones+ split the staked area in red almost evenly.

map
Source: Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, 2009Footnote405

Long Description for Figure 75

This figure represents two maps of the 'Far North' region of Ontario, and shows the distribution of staked claims as of December 31, 1998, and September 21, 2008. Claims in 1998 totalled 1,334 and covered an area of 365 km2, and claims in 2008 totalled 7,766 and covered an area of 14,365 km2. In both maps, the areas of claims are concentrated in the middle of the Far North region.

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Dams and reservoirs alter the physical landscape, interrupt hydrological regimes, and the process of impoundment introduces contaminants that can accumulate along the food chain. More specifically, dams interrupt fish migration, increase sedimentation, affect habitat for many species, and change water levels and water chemistry.Footnote155 The degree of impact depends on the size of the dams, their operation, and the ecosystems’ biophysical characteristics.Footnote156, Footnote157 However, dams can be operated to emulate natural hydrological regimes and mitigate adverse effects.Footnote158

Dams are more common in the southeastern portion of the ecozone+ (Figure 23).Footnote159 Most dams (79%) were constructed between 1920 and 1969 (Figure 24) and many are approaching the end of their productive lives.Footnote12, Footnote159

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Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+

As of 2006, 57% of the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ was composed of intact "terrestrial landscape fragments" (contiguous blocks of forest, bog, water, tundra and rock outcrops of more than 10 km2) (Figure 76).Footnote11

Figure 76. Intact terrestrial landscape fragments larger than 10 km2 (shown in green) in the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ as of 2006.

map
Source: Lee et al., 2006Footnote11

Long Description for Figure 76

This map of the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ shows that intact terrestrial landscape fragments larger than 10 km2 are well distributed across the ecozone+, and are especially dense along the southern coast. The area with the least amount of intact fragments is the central-northern coast of the ecozone+.

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Agricultural landscapes as habitat

Key finding 16
Theme Habitat, wildlife, and ecosystem processes

National key finding
The potential capacity of agricultural landscapes to support wildlife in Canada has declined over the past 20 years, largely due to the intensification of agriculture and the loss of natural and semi-natural land cover.

Boreal Shield Ecozone+

Agricultural land in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ is limited to a few areas of suitable soil quality and microclimate. From 1986 to 2006, approximately 1,930 km2 were removed from the agricultural land base, leaving just over 130,000 km2 of farmland (1% of the ecozone+) (Figure 77).Footnote18 Where farmland occurs, it is well dispersed among forested areas. Thus, the impact of agricultural land on wildlife at the ecozone+ scale is low.

Figure 77. Percentage of land defined as agricultural in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ in 2006.

Soil Landscapes of Canada polygons were the base unit used for this analysis.

map
Source: Javorek and Grant, 2011Footnote18

Long Description for Figure 77

This map shows the distribution of agricultural land in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ in 2006. The land identified as agricultural occurs primarily in the southeastern portion of the ecozone+. Of this, the majority is 0-10% agricultural. There are traces of land identified as 10-20%, and a small amount in the eastern part of the ecozone+ identified as 40-50%. A very small amount northwest of Lake of the Woods is 90-100%.

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Wildlife habitat capacity

The Wildlife Habitat Capacity on Agricultural Indicator, an agri-environmental indicator developed and tracked by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, provides a multi-species assessment of broad-scale trends in the potential of the Canadian agricultural landscape to provide habitat for terrestrial vertebrates.Footnote18 The index rates the value of each cover type for 588 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.Footnote18 A total of 349 species (249 birds, 60 mammals, 21 reptiles, and 19 amphibians) used agricultural land in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+. The 15 land-cover types were based on the Canadian Census of Agriculture (Figure 78).Footnote407 Overall, cropland is a minor land cover in the Boreal Shield amounting to only 0.3% of the land area. This 0.3% excludes "All Other Land", "Tame Hay", "Unimproved Pasture", and "Improved Pasture" to leave only the cropland categories in Figure 78. "All Other Land" was the most important land cover category for wildlife in Canada that use farmland. This category included wetlands (with margins, without margins and open water), riparian (woody, herbaceous and crop), shelterbelts (including natural hedgerows), woodland (with interior, without interior, plantation), and idle land/old field, and anthropogenic land (farm buildings, green houses, lanes). In the Boreal Shield Ecozone+, "All Other Land" provided both breeding and feeding habitat for 85% (298) of the species that use farmland (Figure 78). However, cover in this important wildlife habitat category declined from 40 to 30% from 1986 to 2006 (Figure 78). "Unimproved Pasture" provided both breeding and feeding habitat for 17% (59) of the species and at least a single habitat requirement for 32% (112 species) (Figure 78). Only 13%  (46 species) could fulfill both breeding and feeding habitat needs entirely on cropland and 26% (89 species) could use these cover types for a single habitat requirement (Figure 78). Therefore, maintaining heterogeneous agricultural landscapes benefits wildlife because wildlife may breed in one land cover type but feed in another.Footnote18

Figure 78. Total agricultural area, the amount of land per cover type (chart), and the relative percentage of each cover type (table) for the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ in 1986, 1996, and 2006.

graph
Source: Javorek and Grant, 2011Footnote18

Long Description for Figure 78

This bar graph and table show the total agricultural area, the amount of land per cover type, and the relative percentage of each cover type for the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ in 1986, 1996, and 2006.

The bar graph shows the following information:

Total agricultural area, the amount of land per cover type (chart), and the relative percentage of each cover type (table) for the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ in 1986, 1996, and 2006.
Type1986 - hectares1996 - hectares2006 - hectares
Oilseeds15,82118,24320,651
Pulses2,1561,7141,708
Soybeans1841,49713,225
Berries1,7469,14312,587
Improved Pasture139,38692,293103,633
All Other Land610,541532,420402,249
Summerfallow30,24612,9706,228
Unimproved Pasture259,705274,554203,724
Cereals133,047139,705140,119
Corn14,35312,11420,388
Tame Hay297,201366,020379,451
Other Crops7,59011,28510,030
Fruit Trees132188309
Vegetables1,4451,7931,963
Winter Cereals1,7921,2875,679

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Wildlife habitat capacity on farmland in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ declined significantly (ANOVA: F=88.6, Tukey HSD p=0.0001) from "high" (79.7 ± 13.4) in 1986 to "moderate" (63.8 ± 14.4) in 2006 (Figure 78). From 1986 to 2006, habitat capacity decreased on 71% of farmland, increased on 6% and was constant on 23% (ANOVA, Tukey HSD p<0.05, Figure 79).

Figure 79. The share of agricultural land in each habitat capacity category (left axis, stacked bars) and the average habitat capacity (right axis, points and line) for the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ in 1986, 1996, and 2006.

Years with different letters indicate a statistically significant difference (p<0.05).

graph
Source: Javorek and Grant, 2011Footnote18

Long Description for Figure 79

This stacked bar graph shows the following information:

The share of agricultural land in each habitat capacity category (left axis, stacked bars) and the average habitat capacity (right axis, points and line) for the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ in 1986, 1996, and 2006.
Habitat capacity category198619962006
<20000
20-30000.19
30-402.924.13.18
40-504.018.418.54
50-6014.1913.7729.58
60-705.3821.2311.7
70-8032.3621.6520.63
80-9028.9323.7813.98
90-1009.66.441.31
>1002.620.620.87

Share of agricultural land per habitat capacity category (percentage)

Habitat capacity Categories
QualityPercentage
Very high90 to 100
High70-90
Moderate50-70
Low30-50
Very low<20-30

The average habitat capacity for the Ecozone+ was 79.70 in 1986, 76.53 in 1996 and 63.87 in 2006.

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Figure 80. Changes in wildlife habitat capacity on agricultural land in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ from 1986 to 2006.

graph
Source: Javorek and Grant, 2011Footnote18

Long Description for Figure 80

Cette carte de l’écozone+ du Bouclier boréal montre qu’entre 1986 et 2006, la capacité de l’habitat faunique a diminué dans de grandes zones de la partie sud de l’écozone+, en particulier dans le sud-est. De plus petites zones de capacité accrue sont également trouvées au sud-est, et des zones où la capacité demeure constante sont situées au nord du lac Huron.

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Trends for three ecoregions with higher agriculture production in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ are as follows: the Central Laurentians had the largest decline in habitat capacity (78% to 59%); the Southern Laurentians had the second largest decline (83% to 74%); and finally Lake of the Woods declined from 58% to 51% (Figure 80). Lake of the Woods consistently recorded the lowest habitat capacity primarily due to its small and declining share of "All Other Land" (23% to 17%). In comparison, "All Other Land" in the Central Laurentians declined from 37% to 26% and from 46% to 39% in the Southern Laurentians. As the agricultural footprint shrank in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+, the cover of cropland expanded from 32% to 43% (Figure 78). This was primarily due to a 9% increase in "Tame Hay" from 1986 to 2006 (Figure 78). These factors combined to reduce wildlife habitat capacity on farmland from high to moderate over the  20-year period (Figure 79). This loss of wildlife habitat capacity was correlated with declines in the landbirds that use these habitats (see the Birds section on page 129).

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Birds of open habitat

Birds of open habitat are a minor part of the avifauna, located mainly in the southern part of the ecozone+. With the exception of Eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis), most open habitat bird species are declining (Table 20). Declines in swallows and common nighthawks (Chordeiles minor) are consistent with a general decline in aerial insectivores throughout Canada.Footnote76

Table 20. Trends in abundance (% change/year) and reliability of the trend in birds of open habitats in the Ontario and Quebec portions of the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ from 1970 to 2012.
SpeciesBCR 8 Annual TrendBCR 8 ReliabilityBCR 12 Annual TrendBCR 12 Reliability
American kestrel (Falco sparverius)-0.93Low-1.33High
Bank swallow (Riparia riparia)-7.23Low-12.6Medium
Barn swallow (Hirundo rustica)-4.32Low-6.17Medium
Brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater)-7.54Medium-7.86High
Cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)-6.96Low-8.62High
Common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)-1.76Low-5.76Medium
Eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) - -1.64Medium
Eastern kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)-1.28Low-3.75Medium
Tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)-3.39Low-4.98High

These data only include the Ontario and Quebec portions of Bird Conservation Region 8 and 12. Only the northern half of BCR 12 falls within the ecozone+, so these data exceed the boundaries of the ecozone+.Footnote86

Source: Environment Canada, 2014 Footnote79

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Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+

The Agricultural Landscapes as Habitat key finding was not relevant for the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ due to the small amount of agricultural land in the ecozone+.

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Species of special economic, cultural, or ecological interest

Key finding 17
Theme Habitat, wildlife, and ecosystem processes

National key finding
Many species of amphibians, fish, birds, and large mammals are of special economic, cultural, or ecological interest to Canadians. Some of these are declining in number and distribution, some are stable, and others are healthy or recovering.

Boreal Shield Ecozone+

The highest species richness is found in the southernmost region of this ecozone+, east of Georgian Bay, with over 200 bird species and 60 tree species.Footnote408 Species richness declines progressively northwards, with a notable reduction at the limit of managed forests, especially for mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.Reference 11 Footnote408

There are few population surveys of species of special interest in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+. Trends can be derived from commercial or recreational harvests of furbearing species (Figure 72), but these carry biases due to fluctuations in markets and hunter effort. There are major gaps for fish, reptiles, and amphibians.

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Birds

Estimates of bird assemblages were based on an ecozone+ -scale analysis (1968-2006) of the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS).Footnote76

Landbirds

Much of the data collected by the BBS in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ is from the southern shield portion of Ontario and Quebec. The BBS covers agricultural areas in the region relatively well because they tend to be accessible by roads.Footnote76 Declines were significant for shrub/successional birds and urban birds (0.7% decline/yr), birds of other open habitat (4% decline/yr), and grassland birds (2.5% decline/yr) (Figure 81). Trends for wetland landbirds were not calculated because few landbirds fit cleanly into this assemblage and the BBS does not cover wetland habitat well. The forest birds assemblage shows close to stable populations, although trends of individual species within this group range from large declines to large increases.Footnote76 Declines in birds, especially songbirds, have also been noted by Aboriginal elders from the western Boreal Shield Ecozone+.Footnote4

Figure 81. Percent change in the average relative abundance of bird assemblages in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ between the 1970s and 2000-2006.

p is the statistical significance: * indicates p <0.05; n indicates 0.05<p<0.1; no value indicates not significant.

graph
Source: Downes et al., 2011Footnote76 using data from the Breeding Bird SurveyFootnote409

Long Description for Figure 81

This bar graph shows the following information:

Percent change in the average relative abundance of bird assemblages in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ between the 1970s and 2000-2006.
Bird assemblages in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ Percent change
Forest Birds-11
Shrub/Successional-21
Grassland Birds-55
Open/Agricultural-74
Urban/Suburban-17

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Forest birds

Forest bird populations as an assemblage were relatively stable (Figure 82), though individual species show a mix of increasing, declining, and stable populations (Table 6). See the Forest birds section.

Figure 82. Change in annual abundance index for forest birds in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ from 1968 to 2006.

graph
Source: Downes et al, 2011Footnote76 based on data from the Breeding Bird SurveyFootnote409

Long Description for Figure 82

This line graph shows the following information:

Change in annual abundance index for forest birds in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ from 1968 to 2006.
YearAbundance Index
1968158.6
1969196.9
1970193.1
1971229.6
1972204.5
1973206.4
1974195.9
1975220.1
1976206.3
1977216.9
1978192.9
1979213.9
1980209.7
1981203.1
1982200.9
1983211.1
1984220.4
1985226.4
1986196.8
1987222.0
1988223.2
1989223.5
1990216.9
1991193.4
1992199.5
1993213.0
1994198.3
1995227.0
1996201.1
1997210.1
1998207.2
1999199.0
2000191.7
2001212.2
2002183.3
2003191.8
2004163.2
2005167.2
2006193.1

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Birds of shrub/early successional habitats

The assemblage of birds in early successional habitat, such as old fields and regenerating forests, are declining (Figure 83). White-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis) are declining at a greater rate in the south of the ecozone+ (-0.49 in BCR 12, which includes the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+ ) relative to the north (-0.25 in BCR 8) according to the BBS. Likewise, the CBC shows a decline in the south of its winter range and an increase in the north, suggesting a northward shift in their wintering distribution.Footnote410

Figure 83. Change in annual abundance index for birds of shrub/successional habitats in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ from 1968 to 2006.

graph
Source: Downes et al., 2011Footnote76 based on data from the Breeding Bird SurveyFootnote409

Long Description for Figure 83

This line graph shows the following information:

Change in annual abundance index for birds of shrub/successional habitats in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ from 1968 to 2006.
YearAbundance Index
1968133.0
1969176.3
1970164.9
1971189.6
1972179.3
1973160.0
1974164.9
1975181.6
1976161.0
1977154.2
1978141.7
1979146.4
1980142.9
1981135.3
1982136.0
1983145.8
1984152.9
1985148.2
1986139.4
1987152.1
1988140.1
1989140.2
1990143.8
1991130.7
1992137.6
1993152.3
1994133.1
1995148.9
1996131.0
1997141.0
1998142.5
1999127.1
2000122.4
2001136.7
2002133.4
2003139.8
2004117.6
2005116.9
2006141.0

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Birds of other open habitats

Birds in the other open habitat assemblage show the largest overall decline of all assemblages in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+, with declines mainly apparent since the late 1980s (Figure 84). Many of these species historically occurred in the ecozone+ only in small numbers. Land clearing for agriculture created more habitat and populations increased. Declines since the mid-1980s may be a reflection of the loss of this habitat through reforestation of abandoned farmland in some parts of this ecozone+.Footnote411 Increased agriculture also resulted in a loss of wildlife habitat capacity between 1986 and 2006 (see the Wildlife habitat capacity indicator on page 125).

Figure 84. Change in annual abundance index for birds of other open habitats in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ from 1968 to 2006.

graph
Source: Downes et al., 2011Footnote76 based on data from the Breeding Bird SurveyFootnote409

Long Description for Figure 84

This line graph shows the following information:

Change in annual abundance index for birds of other open habitats in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ from 1968 to 2006.
YearAbundance Index
196832.4
196935.2
197034.4
197135.1
197239.7
197336.4
197439.3
197547.0
197646.8
197746.2
197854.4
197948.3
198043.1
198140.7
198245.5
198346.5
198436.9
198549.3
198638.8
198744.7
198847.7
198931.4
199034.4
199125.7
199223.9
199323.5
199420.0
199520.5
199618.8
199717.9
199815.8
199914.7
200014.7
200113.1
20029.3
200310.8
20049.5
200510.6
20069.3

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Woodland caribou (boreal population)

Woodland caribou, boreal population (i.e., boreal caribou) was listed as Threatened under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2003.Footnote412 The classification of caribou used in this report follows the current Species at Risk Act (SARA) classification system. In 2011, COSEWIC adopted 12 designatable units for caribou in Canada that will be used in caribou assessments and subsequent listing decisions under SARA beginning in 2014. This section on boreal caribou is based on the 2011 Scientific Assessment to Inform the Identification of Critical HabitatFootnote413 and the  2012 Recovery Strategy for the Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), boreal population in Canada.Footnote414 The information in this report has been updated since the release of the ESTR national thematic report, Woodland caribou, boreal population, trends in Canada.Footnote415

Boreal caribou are forest-dwelling, sedentary caribou that occur only in Canada and are distributed broadly across the boreal forest.Footnote416,Footnote417 The distribution of boreal caribou in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ stretches from the Richardson range in the northeast corner of Alberta, east to the Mealy Mountain local population in Labrador, and extends as far south as the Coastal local population at Lake Superior in OntarioReference 413 Footnote418 (Figure 85). Across Canada, the southern limit of boreal caribou distribution has receded northward since the early 1900s, a trend that continues today.Footnote413 Footnote416Footnote417 Footnote419 Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge indicates that boreal caribou have moved northward as a result of habitat loss in the south.Footnote414

Across the Boreal Shield Ecozone +, logging and other industrial disturbances affect boreal caribou through a combination of habitat loss, habitat degradations, and the development of linear features such as roads and seismic lines.Footnote420 These habitat alterations resulted in increased early seral-stage forest and promoted higher densities of moose and white-tailed deer. These "alternate prey" support higher predator densities, especially wolvesFootnote413, Footnote420 Footnote421 Footnote422 Footnote423 Footnote424 Footnote425 Footnote426 Footnote427 and the primary proximate limiting factor for boreal caribou is predation.Footnote428

Boreal caribou may therefore be indicators of the health of boreal forest ecosystems. Boreal caribou depend on large patches of mature coniferous forests to reduce the risk of predation. These patches allow boreal caribou to maintain low population densities and avoid areas of high predation risk.Footnote413 Footnote418-Footnote420 Footnote429 Footnote430 Footnote431 Footnote432 Late-successional coniferous forests and peatlands function as refugia for caribou, away from high densities of predators and their alternate prey.Footnote413, Footnote424, Footnote433 Footnote434 Footnote435 Footnote436

The Boreal Shield Ecozone+ includes 29 boreal caribou local populations (or portions thereof) (see Figure 2 in Callaghan et al. 2011).Footnote415 Based on caribou surveys and expert opinion, 1 local population is increasing, 5 are declining, 13 are stable, and the status of 10 are not available (Figure 85). The boreal caribou's contiguous range has retracted northwards and its southern boundary generally corresponds to the northern limit of forest harvesting.Footnote413 Footnote419 Footnote437 The Coastal local population is located south of this boundary.Footnote413, Footnote415 In 2012, fewer than 10 caribou were thought to remain in Pukaskwa National Park, ON.Footnote438 The feasibility of translocations to augment caribou populations is being explored for Ontario.Footnote439, Footnote440 The southern populations are also most at risk of meningeal brainworm (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis) because white-tailed deer are advancing north and into the southern range of caribou. Deer are vectors of this brainworm, which is fatal for caribou but not deer.Reference 413 Footnote429 Actions in Ontario's Woodland Caribou Conservation Plan include expanding deer hunting seasons in northern Ontario to help slow deer range expansion.Footnote439

Although the trend of most caribou populations in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ are stable or not available,Reference 413 Footnote415 many of these are thought to be not self-sustaining or as likely as not self-sustaining, according to the Recovery Strategy risk assessment. Footnote414  The Richardson, Kississing, Naosap, Sydney, Kesagami, Charlevoix, Pipmuacan and Val d'Or  local populations are not self-sustaining  and the Manitoba North, Owl-Flinstone, Berens, Manouane and Lac Joseph local populations are as likely as not self-sustaining due to habitat loss from industrial activities, natural disturbances such as wildfire, human recreational activities, and illegal hunting.Reference 414 Footnote441, Footnote442 The decline of the Val d'Or sub-population, estimated at 30 individuals in 2012, was also attributed to habitat loss and degradation from mining and forestry.Reference 414 Footnote418 Hunting, facilitated by roads and off-road vehicles, may be the most significant threat to boreal caribou in Labrador (e.g., Red Wine Mountain).Footnote413, Footnote443

Stable or increasing local populations occur in areas with little industrial activity or where predators are controlled. For example, the Charlevoix local population in Quebec was estimated at 10,000 animals before the 19th century, but declined rapidly due to hunting and lichen harvest. Following a report of a caribou harvested in 1914, the herd was soon extinct. The first release occurred in 1969 as part of reintroduction program initiated in 1967. The herd's population was considered stable at 75 individuals in 2012.Footnote413-Footnote415, Footnote444

Figure 85. Estimated population statusStatus of local boreal caribou local populations in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+, 2009.

map
Source: updated from Callaghan et al., 2011Footnote415 based on Environment Canada, 2012Footnote414

Long Description for Figure 85

This map shows the estimated population status of local boreal caribou local populations in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ for 2009. The distribution of boreal caribou in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ stretches from the Richardson range in the northeast corner of Alberta, east to the Mealy Mountain local population in Labrador, and extends as far south as the Coastal local population at Lake Superior in Ontario. Based on caribou surveys and expert opinion, 1 local population is increasing (Manicouagan), 5 are declining (Mealy Mountain, Red Wine Mountain, Lac Joseph, Val d'Or and Kesagami), 16 are stable (Quebec, Manouane, Pipmucan, Charlevoix, Nipigon, Sydney, Owl-Flinstone, Atikaki-Berens, North Interlake, The Bog, William Lake, Wabowden, Wapisu, Reed, Naosap and Kississing), and the status of 10, mostly located in the west of the ecozone+, are not available.

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Fish

The number of freshwater and diadromous fish taxa classified as imperiled in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ doubled from 1979 to 2008 (Table 21). However, the status of two taxa also improved over this period.Footnote445 Also, earlier lists did not include geographic sub-populations such as striped bass (Morone saxatilis). The main threats to the 14 imperiled fish taxa in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ include habitat degradation and loss, over-exploitation, invasive species, and competition.Reference 445 Most of the extinct species inhabited the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ as well as the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone+, where there is a long history of invasive species and pollution.Footnote446

Table 21. Identification of imperiled freshwater and diadromous fish taxa in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+.
Common name197919892008
Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus)Vulnerable (V)VV
Aurora trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) -Note a of Table 21(E) EndangeredNote a of Table 21E
Blackfin cisco (Coregonus nigripinnis)ENote a of Table 21(X) ExtinctNote a of Table 21X
Bridle shiner (Notropis bifrenatus) - -Note a of Table 21VNote a of Table 21
Copper redhorse (Moxostoma hubbsi)(T) ThreatenedTNote a of Table 21ENote a of Table 21
Deepwater cisco (Coregonus johannae)ENote a of Table 21XNote a of Table 21X
Greater redhorse (Moxostoma valenciennesi) - -Note a of Table 21VNote a of Table 21
Lake sturgeon (Acipenser fluvescens)TTNote b of Table 21VNote b of Table 21
Nipigon blackfin cisco (Coregonus nigripinnis regalis) - -Note a of Table 21TNote a of Table 21
Redside dace (Clinostomus elongates) - -Note a of Table 21VNote a of Table 21
Shortjaw cisco (Coregonus zenithicus)EENote b of Table 21TNote b of Table 21
Shortnose cisco (Coregonus reighardi)EENote a of Table 21XNote a of Table 21
Spring cisco (Coregonus sp.) - -Note a of Table 21VNote a of Table 21
Striped bass (St. Lawrence Estuary population) (Morone saxtilis) - -Note a of Table 21XNote a of Table 21

X are 'Extinct', E are 'Endangered', T are 'Threatened', and V are 'Vulnerable'; as defined in Jelks et al.Footnote445.

Source: adapted from Jelks et al., 2008Footnote445

Notes of Table 21

Note [a] of Table 21

Uplisting

Return to note a referrer of table 21

Note [b] of Table 21

Downlisting

Return to note b referrer of table 21

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Carnivorous mammals and furbearers

Population estimates for carnivorous mammals and furbearers were limited, localized, or inconsistent at the ecozone+ scale. Many of these species are important socioeconomically for meat, fur, or wildlife viewing (also see the Ecosystem services key findings on page 118), and so some provinces have long-term data from hunters and trapper harvests (Figure 86) that may be used to infer population trends. However, these data cannot necessarily be a reliable estimate of populations because hunter and trapper effort is biased and dependent on socio-economic factors.Footnote448 Also, trappers/hunters do not "sample" animals randomly; weather and ease of trapping/hunting also influence trapper effort. Furthermore, given that hunting, trapping, and fishing are activities that result in the direct mortality of the focal species, using these data to estimate population trends is problematic. Finally, yields of trapped furs declined by over 50% in the 1980s, especially muskrat furs (Figure 86), as a result of changes to trapping methods. The Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS) was ratified by Canada in 1999 and implementation of standards was completed in 2007.Footnote396 Therefore, population estimates should not be deduced from trap/harvest data and these data are presented for interest only. Possible noteworthy trends include the return of wolverines to their historic range and a national decline in wild mink populations.

Figure 86. Total number of pelts from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan by type of wildlife from 1970 to 2009.

These province-wide data exceed the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ boundaries.

graph
Source: Statistics Canada, 2009Footnote395

Long Description for Figure 86

This bar graph shows the following information:

Total number of pelts from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan by type of wildlife from 1970 to 2009.
 YearBadger - Number of peltsBlack bear - Number of peltsCoyote - Number of peltsErmine - Number of peltsFox - Number of peltsMuskrat - Number of peltsOtter - Number of peltsRabbit - Number of peltsRaccoon - Number of peltsSkunk - Number of peltsSquirrel - Number of peltsBobcat - Number of pelts
19701,10230110,22511,7809,798259,57491016,49917411123,02237
19711,12533316,9998,65115,236386,3685739,8742908102,39042
19722,04654526,56416,89817,725278,9871,0586,8819986163,6253
19732,44260424,8539,07223,785119,6096948,4609661142,83723
19741,15639811,76814,4619,167239,1715762,9655810104,31820
19752,35069616,68418,39617,139455,0129206481,3038116,30429
19763,57851816,82622,62314,180609,6801,0001,0933,47952124,41039
19772,54135419,76210,56217,039198,2281,1312713,190370,56912
19783,92036324,01513,26122,508151,5471,3583494,1192101,65336
19794,13537914,01320,58617,146299,4931,4953,8204,983107259,37131
19801,95941812,86315,34914,789399,6151,3031,8843,94746188,59212
19812,46425519,8159,06119,335136,9159773,9943,5161769,6427
19822,28831219,0596,65015,198106,83597602,856452,24326
19831,52139515,67710,41012,943126,8071,00502,3841251,22824
19841,76427225,44614,97718,100131,8111,06303,2891247,86023
198599737817,5889,70712,009169,2181,67202,2302242,85815
19861,23534521,15911,59715,274225,8822,14103,2563926,96729
19871,15225018,64815,69417,147246,5931,39903,135587,32924
19885741748,9029,0677,70046,3337270970927,52818
19893031785,4183,2294,95530,337728051609,99513
19901912685,1281,5094,60525,44242300006
19913312599,5863,1077,17820,4291,035056509,26113
19922243027,5983,2994,55714,316796046455,5739
19932512768,4172,8173,69623,8741,2160577412,35613
19943711109,8154,9114,48853,3301,45408393110,15814
19954261008,2763,3093,18070,3221,0760765169,3109
199627210014,9193,8733,672112,4621,17501,0901315,99511
19972061039,0583,4312,413100,2001,30501,2213126,88712
1998121588,4722,2841,63323,5771,0270770398,1169
19991906913,3392,2522,07824,3771,0210994237,47617
200020424218,1871,4332,94418,6911,3650934184,05512
200123715118,8431,8623,40122,5591,43331,182259,92410
2002000000000000
20037189735,5111,9385,6438,4701,11502,077316,6658
200423312019,5971,3002,88413,28072001,082203,8068
20053037316,5651,3562,19323,1597280864153,0792
20064984828,8034,8133,54245,42135601,159573,2069
20074505126,8492,8282,31222,246265 1,224493,3672
20083365117,7232,1551,77718,956450 900642,47217
20092494514,2071,3861,17316,291391 509443,2704

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Wolverines have large home ranges and low lifetime reproductive rates, similar to larger carnivores.Footnote449 Footnote450 Based on the number of harvested wolverine pelts, significant (p<0.05) population declines occurred in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec (Figure 87). The last wolverine pelt was harvested in Quebec in 1979 (Figure 87).

Figure 87. Number of wolverines harvested by trappers per year in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec from 1970 to 2009.

These province-wide data exceed the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ boundaries.

graph
Source: Statistics Canada, 2009Footnote395

Long Description for Figure 87

This line graph shows the following information:

Number of wolverines harvested by trappers per year in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec from 1970 to 2009.
YearSaskatchewan - Number of peltsManitoba - Number of peltsOntario - Number of peltsQuebec - Number of pelts
1970223714
1971154003
1972198600
19732476114
19742260113
197583103
1976213666
19773645113
19782874186
19793210391
1980299490
198133128220
198222141260
19832567110
1984239290
1985299490
198610111120
19871358150
19881350100
1989103190
199062950
1991167370
199224840
1993127660
1994115280
1995745180
19961446140
19971066120
199843340
199961840
2000235370
2001143970
200203980
2003184360
20041848110
2005143260
2006182420
2007102580
2008185570
2009113910

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Although there were no detectable trends for wolverine in Ontario, their distribution retracted by more than 5% since the mid-1800s. The species was extirpated from the Great Lakes region of Ontario and Minnesota by 1900.Footnote451 Human activities including land clearing, development, timber harvesting, and mining were primarily responsible for these range retractions.Footnote452 Based on observations in 2008, wolverines re-colonized some of their former range in the Hudson Bay area and the central portion of Ontario's far north (Figure 88).

Figure 88. Historic and "current" (2003) range of wolverine in North America.

map
Source: Adapted from COSEWIC, 2003Footnote452

Long Description for Figure 88

This map of Canada and the United States compares the current and historical range of wolverine in North America. Their current range stretches across Canada until just east of James Bay, and the central portion of Ontario's far north. Their historic range was further south, including the northern United States, as well as Ontario and Quebec.

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The decline of trapped wild mink (Figure 89) could reflect a true population decline. Matings between wild and feral mink escaped from fur farms has resulted in less fit offspring (out-breeding depression) and perhaps an increased incidence of disease.Footnote453 Mercury poisoning may also contribute to declining mink populations (see the Contaminants key finding on page 93).Footnote454

Figure 89. Numbers of wild mink trapped in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan from 1970 to 2009.

These province-wide data exceed the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ boundaries.

graph
Source: Statistics Canada, 2009Footnote395

Long Description for Figure 89

This line graph shows the following information:

Numbers of wild mink trapped in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan from 1970 to 2009.
YearNumber of mink pelts
197047,847
197151,775
197273,679
197351,079
197447,448
197552,672
197684,021
197776,990
197875,475
197991,672
198083,963
198170,482
198252,099
198339,920
198446,208
198566,682
198671,018
198788,433
198865,469
198951,873
199030,189
199132,140
199225,154
199325,146
199428,128
199519,642
199625,108
199732,510
199830,578
199928,153
200019,062
200125,170
200221,115
200323,438
200416,109
200518,068
200620,972
200720,008
200816,397
200913,229

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Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+

Woodland caribou (Newfoundland population)

The insular Newfoundland caribou population is one of the six geographically distinct populations of the forest-dwelling woodland caribou.Footnote414  Caribou populations in the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ have been declining since the mid to late 1990s (Figure 90), but are not designated as "at-risk" by COSEWIC.Footnote414  Population numbers are higher than in the 1950s.Footnote455 Between the early 1900s and the 1930s, caribou declined from an estimated 40,000 animals to just a few thousand animals, where the population size remained until the mid-1970s. A phase of rapid population growth began in the mid-1960s and continued until the late 1990s when the population peaked at 80,000 to 100,000.Footnote456 From an estimated peak of over 95,000 caribou in 1997, the population declined to about 32,000 in 2008, representing a decrease of approximately 66%.

Studies on caribou mortality by the Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife DivisionReference 455 show high percentages of calves being lost to coyotes, black bears (Ursus americanus), and to a lesser extent, lynx (Lynx canadensis). Adult caribou are also susceptible to coyote predation in winter.

Another stressor on caribou is cerebrospinal elaphostrongylosis (CSE), a disease caused by the introduced parasitic nematode Elaphostrongylus rangiferi.Footnote457 The parasite spread to native caribou after introduction from infected reindeer in 1908, with at least two outbreaks since then.Reference 457 Elaphostrongylus rangiferi has been implicated in the decrease in the Avalon caribou sub-population on the east coast of Newfoundland, a decline from 7,000 to 2,500 animals between 1998 and 2000.Footnote458

Figure 90. Population estimates for insular Newfoundland caribou, 1952–2008.

graph
Source: Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Division, 2009Footnote455

Long Description for Figure 90

This line graph shows the population estimates for insular Newfoundland caribou between 1952 and 2008. The graph depicts a gradual increase in population from less than 5,000 in 1952 to a peak of 95,810 in 1997, representing an increase of 311%. The population then declined steadily to approximately 32,000 in 2007, representing a 66% decline in 11 years.

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Newfoundland marten

The Newfoundland marten (Martes americana atrata), restricted to the island of Newfoundland, is a genetically and geographically distinct population of the American marten (Martes americana), and 1 of only 14 native mammals found on the island.Footnote459 The Newfoundland marten is part of the natural biological diversity of the boreal forest and functions as both a predator and prey species. Harvested by European settlers, marten were scarce by the early 1900s and their commercial harvest ended in 1934. Despite this harvest restriction, numbers continued to decline and, by 1960, the distribution of marten across west-central Newfoundland was no longer contiguous.Footnote460

Loss of habitat and accidental snaring and trapping are the primary threats to marten in Newfoundland. Newfoundland marten are a forest-dependent species. Thus loss of forest cover from resource extraction activities (timber harvesting, mining), human development (road construction, agriculture, townsite expansion) or natural disturbance events (e.g., forest fire) have a direct influence on the capacity of an area to support marten.Footnote461

Accidental snaring and trapping is currently viewed as a significant threat impeding recovery. HearnFootnote462 monitored 95 marten in an area open to snaring and trapping in south-central Newfoundland and reported that accidental captures accounted for 92% of juvenile mortality and a minimum of 58% of adult mortality. Incidental captures returned to the Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Division indicate that this problem is pervasive and occurs across the entire range of marten on the island. Other threats to individual survival include natural predation and disease.

Originally designated as Threatened by COSEWIC in 1985, Newfoundland marten were re-evaluated in 1995 and 2000 and subsequently listed as Endangered.Footnote463 The distribution of breeding animals was limited to Little Grand Lake/Red Indian Lake, the Main River watershed, and Terra Nova National Park. In 2007, the effective (breeding) population was estimated to be between 286 and 556 individuals. There was also qualitative information to suggest that the population was expanding; consequently, marten were down-listed to Threatened in 2007.Reference 463

Freshwater and diadromous fish

Two fish species that are found in the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ have been assessed for listing under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). Banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus) was designated as a Species of Special Concern in 2003 and was subsequently listed under SARA.Footnote464 Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus) was designated as Threatened by COSEWIC in 20114Reference 45 but has not yet been listed under SARA.

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Plants

There are about 20,000 km2 of heath in the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+, comprising the largest tract of this type of vegetation in North America.Footnote465 Data on the condition and extent of these communities are limited. The six heath types include: alpine, empetrum, moss, kalmia, limestone, and serpentine (Table 22).

Table 22. Descriptions of heath types in the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+
Heath TypeDescriptionLocation
AlpineDiscontinuous vegetation consisting of bare soil alternating with cushions of Empetrum eamesii. The vegetation is characterized by the occurrence of arctic-alpine species.Highest mountain ridges or extremely exposed headlands of the south coast.
EmpetrumDominated by vegetation carpets of rockberry and crowberry (Empetrum spp.). Woody species are compressed into vegetation cushions. Grasses and herbs, when present, project 10–20 cm above ground.Footnote465Coastal headlands and inland ridges.
MossSimilar to Empetrum heath except that Racomitrium lanuginsum is the dominant vegetation.Extreme southeast coast of the ecozone+ as well as locally on the Isthmus of Avalon.Footnote92
KalmiaThese heaths are dominated by dwarf ericaceous dwarf shrubs, primarily sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia), which form dense closed thickets approximately 30–50 cm high. Mosses and lichens dominate the ground surface.Footnote92 Small areas of Kalmia heath occur naturally in tree-line ecotones.Footnote465 Most large areas of Kalmia heath originated following repeated low intensity fires and local cutting around coastal communities has contributed to expansion of smaller Kalmia heaths.Sheltered inland areas throughout the ecozone+.
Limestone

The limestone barrens are composed of a series of terraces which extend, from just behind the beach berm, inland 300–400 m to a maximum elevation of 40 m.Footnote92 Soils are basic or ultrabasic.Footnote92 These unique heaths consist of numerous calcicolous species which form a sparse vegetation cover over calcareous boulder pavement.Footnote465

Of the 271 vascular plant species considered rare on the island, 114 occur on the limestone barrens. Twenty-nine of these grow only on the barrens.Footnote466 Long's braya (Braya longii) and Fernald's braya (Braya fernaldii) are listed as Endangered and Threatened, respectively, under SARA.Footnote467, Footnote468

Restricted to a narrow coastal strip along the west side of the northern peninsula, with the most extensive heaths occurring along the Strait of Belle Isle.Footnote92
SerpentineVegetation cover on the boulder talus is sparse and is composed of a few specialized species adapted only to serpentine substrates as well as species which favour basic substrates.Footnote92 The effects of frost action can be seen in the large sorted boulder polygons, common throughout the level terraces, and in the solifluction terraces on the slopes.Footnote92Serpentine mountains in the western part of the island.

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Braya

Long's braya (Braya longii) and Fernald's braya (Braya fernaldii) were listed as Endangered and Threatened, respectively, under SARA and the Newfoundland and Labrador Endangered Species Act in 2002. Both species are small (1–10 cm and 1–7 cm, respectively), herbaceous perennials in the family Brassicaceae endemic to exposed limestone barrens along the northwest coast of  Great Northern Peninsula on the Island of Newfoundland.Footnote469

Long's braya is distributed into six populations in a range of 25 km and Fernald's braya is distributed into 16 populations in a range of 150 km.Footnote469, Footnote470 The 1998–2000 censuses of these species revealed that 75% of the global Long's braya population (7235 individuals) and 57% of the global Fernald's braya population (3,434 individuals) were growing on anthropogenically disturbed substrate. A 2008 census confirmed that both braya species declined as a result of anthropogenic disturbance and pest and pathogen pressure. There were 5,549 Long's braya and 3,282 Fernald's braya, 90% of which were found on anthropogenically disturbed substrate.Footnote470 Biotic threats, such as insect herbivory and pathogens, also threaten plant reproductive output and survival.Footnote471

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Erioderma

Boreal felt lichen (Erioderma pedicellatum) occurs in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and has recently been discovered in Alaska. In 2002, the boreal (Newfoundland) population was listed as Special Concern under the federal SARA and as Vulnerable under the Newfoundland and Labrador Endangered Species Act. All other known populations from Sweden, Norway, and    New Brunswick are believed to be extirpated.Footnote472

In the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+, two major population concentrations of the boreal felt lichen have been documented from the central Avalon Peninsula and the Bay D'Espoir area. Smaller populations have also been found on the western Avalon Peninsula, the Avalon Isthmus, the area north of the Burin Peninsula, several areas along the south coast as far west as Burgeo, and on the western side of the Great Northern Peninsula.Footnote473 Due to the scattered distribution of this lichen and the large areas of unsurveyed potential, it is very difficult to determine how many relatively isolated populations there are in Newfoundland. In 2002, approximately 6900 thalli were reported in the COSEWIC status report for this species.Footnote472 With the recent discovery of two locations with approximately 1,000 thalli each, and several other finds of hundreds of thalli, it is believed that the number of thalli in Newfoundland exceeds 10,000 with most of these located in the Bay D'Espoir area.

Data on population trends are not yet conclusive. During population revisits at several sites on the Avalon Peninsula population declines of 60–80% over a five-year period have been documented.Footnote474 In the Bay D'Espoir area, both population increases and declines have been observed.Footnote475 Two Boreal felt lichen populations on the Avalon Peninsula have been intensively monitored for three years and the study was duplicated a year later in the Bay D'Espoir area. However, overall mortality rates have not yet been calculated.

A five-year management plan for boreal felt lichen was released by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2006. The management goal is to maintain and enhance, where necessary, self-sustaining populations of the species within its current geographic distribution in Newfoundland. Several anthropogenic factors threaten or potentially threaten this lichen, singly or through complex interactions with each other and with natural forest processes that would not by themselves be considered threats. Threats and stress factors include stand senescence, blowdown, insect outbreaks, slug/mite herbivory, wood harvesting, land development, moose browsing of balsam fir, air pollution, forest fire, pesticides and climate change.Footnote473 The relative impact of these is difficult to assess, but it appears that more of these threatening factors are present in the Avalon Peninsula.

The amount of available habitat is expected to decline over time due to balsam fir forests being replaced by planted spruce and larch stands after cutting or by being converted to essentially treeless "moose meadows", where moose have killed all balsam fir seedlings in areas affected by blowdown. The impact of browsing by moose on balsam fir regeneration in Newfoundland has been amply documented,Footnote476 Footnote477 however, a detailed analysis of the magnitude of the problem relating to boreal felt lichen habitat has not been conducted.

On the Avalon Peninsula, pre-harvest surveys are performed on forest stands slated for commercial harvesting and following the recommendations by Robertson,Footnote478 20 m buffers have been employed around thalli found in these surveys. Due to a resource shortage, this is not done for domestic cutting blocks on the Avalon Peninsula, nor on commercial or domestic cutting blocks on crown land in the Bay D'Espoir area. The Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River is performing surveys and employing mitigations in their forest management area.

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Primary productivity

Key finding 18
Theme Habitat, wildlife, and ecosystem processes

National key finding
Primary productivity has increased on more than 20% of the vegetated land area of Canada over the past 20 years, as well as in some freshwater systems. The magnitude and timing of primary productivity are changing throughout the marine system.

Boreal Shield Ecozone+

Net primary productivity, as inferred from the Normalised-Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), significantly increased for 21% of the Ecozone+ area in 2006 compared to 1985 levels. Decreases were only significant for 0.9% of the area, mainly observed on the western ecozone+Footnote23 (Figure 91).

Figure 91. Map of change in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the Boreal Shield Ecozone+, 1985–2006.

Trends are in annual peak NDVI, measured as the average of the three highest values from 10-day composite images taken during July and August of each year. Spatial resolution is 1 km, averaged to 3 km for analysis. Only points with statistically significant changes (p<0.05) are shown.

map
Source: adapted from Pouliot et al., 2009Footnote390 by Ahern et al., 2011Footnote23

Long Description for Figure 91

This map of the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ shows changes in net primary productivity, as inferred from the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), between 1985 and 2006. The map indicates that productivity has increased overall across the ecozone+, with concentrations of productivity in the centre and northeast of the ecozone+. Areas where productivity decreased are scattered throughout the ecozone+ and concentrated in the northwest.

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Increases to the east and south likely reflect forest composition changes following harvesting. Since broadleaf tree species register higher NDVI values than conifers, changes in forests from conifer-dominated stands to a higher proportion of mixed and deciduous stands would increase primary productivity.Footnote23 Trends in the northwestern part of the ecozone+, where fire cycles are more frequent, may be attributed to post-fire responses rather than directly to increases in ecosystem productivity.Footnote390 Trends in natural disturbance may also cause primary productivity to vary, although variations may simply reflect natural cycles. It is unclear how much of the overall increase in primary productivity can be attributed to climate change.

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Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+

At nearly 41%, the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ shows a greater portion of its area with a positive trend in NDVI from 1985 to 2006 than any other ecozone+ in Canada.Footnote23

Much of north-central Newfoundland shows an increase in NDVI over this period (Figure 92). This is an area of extensive shrub and poor forest cover. A warming climate may be enabling this vegetation to increase in density and vigour.Footnote23

This increase in NDVI could otherwise be the result of forest harvesting. When mature conifer-dominated boreal forests are harvested, early stages of succession have higher NDVI than the previous mature forests. Additionally, over-browsing by hyperabundant moose stalls forest regeneration in early successional stages,Footnote97 Footnote104 Footnote290 which may be responsible for the observed NDVI trends.

Figure 92. Map of change in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+, 1985 – 2006.

Trends are in annual peak NDVI, measured as the average of the three highest values from 10-day composite images taken during July and August of each year. Spatial resolution is 1 km, averaged to 3 km for analysis. Only points with statistically significant changes (p<0.05) are shown.

map
Source: adapted from Pouliot et al., 2009Footnote390 by Ahern et al., 2011Footnote23

Long Description for Figure 92

This map of the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone shows the portion of the ecozone+'s area with positive Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) trends from 1985 to 2006. While positive change occurred across the majority of the ecozone+, it is concentrated in the north.

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Natural disturbance

Key finding 19
Theme Habitat, wildlife, and ecosystem processes

National key finding
The dynamics of natural disturbance regimes, such as fire and native insect outbreaks, are changing and this is reshaping the landscape. The direction and degree of change vary.

Boreal Shield Ecozone+

Natural disturbances in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ appear to be changing. Early warnings include increasing wildfire risk in some regions, northward range expansion of hemlock looper (Lambdina fiscellaria), and the threat of mountain pine beetle invasion from the northwest. The beetle has already expanded its range from the within the Montane Cordillera Ecozone+ through to the Boreal Plains Ecozone+.Footnote479 Footnote480 Footnote481 Fire and insects can interact to increase an ecosystem's vulnerability and decrease resilience. For example, higher wildfire risk, earlier fire occurrence, and severe insect defoliation events in the northeastern Boreal Shield Ecozone+ have caused closed-crown boreal forest stands to be replaced by lichen woodlands.Reference 69 Footnote70 In the western part of the ecozone+, increased wildfire risk and mountain pine beetle invasion could lead to decreased ecosystem productivity and significant releases of stored carbon, as observed for the Montane Cordillera Ecozone+.Footnote482 Caribou may also decline as a result of the reduced connectivity in their mature and dense boreal forest habitats (see the Woodland caribou section on page 132).

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Fire

Fire is the dominant natural disturbance in boreal forests of the ecozone+, especially north of managed areas. The area burned by large fires (>200 ha) over the entire ecozone+ increased until the 1980s then decreased into the 2000s.Footnote483 The most important factors explaining these apparent trends are better monitoring and increased temperatures in the 1980s, as well as increased fire suppression effectiveness in the past 20 years. Hence, the effect of natural changes is masked by anthropogenic influences. There were no significant changes in fire seasonality from 1959 to 2007 (Figure 93).

Figure 93. Total area burned by large fires (> 2km2 in size) per decade in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+, 1960s–2000s.

Note: The 2000s decade value was pro-rate over 10 years, based on the 2000–2007 average.

graph
Source: Krezek-Hanes et al., 2011Footnote483 using data from 1959–1994 from the large fire database (Stocks et al., 2003)Footnote37 and data from 1995–2007 from remote sensing.

Long Description for Figure 93

This bar graph shows the following information:

Total area burned by large fires (> 2km2 in size) per decade in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+, 1960s–2000s.
YearsArea burned (km2)
1960s28,934
1970s47,780
1980s103,952
1990s83,371
2000s65,758

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Wildfire risk, as estimated from the Monthly Drought Code, was evaluated from 1901 to 2002.Footnote479 These trends are likely to represent changes in environmental conditions rather than influences of fire suppression or advances in monitoring methods. The trends presented below (Figure 94) illustrate regional variability, which would not be apparent in ecozone+ -wide data analyses. Over the 20th century, wildfire risk has increased in north-central Quebec and in the westernmost part of the ecozone+ due to drier conditions. Conversely, decreases in wildfire risk associated with wetter conditions have occurred from eastern Manitoba to western Quebec. Changes in temperature and precipitation from 1950 to 2007 support these trends (see the Climate change key finding on page 109).Footnote154

Figure 94. Spatio-temporal evolution of wildfire risk from 1901 to 2002 as modeled from the Monthly Drought Code of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System.

Note: A "+" sign indicates increasing wildfire risk during that period; a "-" sign indicates decreasing wildfire risk; ecozone+ boundaries are in black.

map
Source: adapted from Girardin and Wotton, 2009Footnote479

Long Description for Figure 94

This map of Canada shows the spatio-temporal evolution of wildfire risk from 1901 to 2002. In the northern half of the country, three areas in the west, centre and east show trends of increasing wildfire risk. In the southern half of the country, five areas of decreasing wildfire risk are shown similarly in the west, centre, and east.

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Large scale native insect outbreaks

Large-scale native insect outbreaks have become more important than fire as drivers of ecosystem change in the southern portion of the Boreal Shield Ecozone+.

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Spruce budworm

Spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) is the major defoliator of balsam fir and spruce trees in the boreal forest. The area covered by moderate to severe defoliation caused by spruce budworm outbreaks over the 20th century greatly increased for each of the three main events recorded (Figure 95). However, there is uncertainty regarding the severity of future spruce budworm outbreaks, mainly because stands of mature balsam fir, its favoured food, have been depleted during recent outbreaks. It is uncertain whether there were changes in outbreak duration and frequency for spruce budworm before the early 2000s, although both outbreak duration and frequency are expected to increase throughout the 21st century.Footnote484

Figure 95. Total annual area of moderate-to-severe defoliation by spruce budworm in Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Maine, USA, 1909–2007.

The blue dotted and plain line from 1909 to 1981 was reported by Kettela in 1983.Footnote485 The brown dotted line was adapted from data provided by the National Forestry Database Program (2008) and by the Maine Forest Service (2008).Footnote486 Footnote487

Note: Amalgamated data should be interpreted with caution due to different aerial survey methods for each jurisdiction and reporting methods that have been modified in time, explaining the differences between lines from 1975 to 1981.

graph
Source: adapted from Kettela, 1983,Footnote485 the National Forestry Database Program, 2008,Footnote486 and Strubble, 2008Footnote487

Long Description for Figure 95

This line graph shows the total annual area of moderate-to-severe defoliation by spruce budworm in Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Maine, USA, 1909–2007. The area covered by moderate to severe defoliation caused by spruce budworm outbreaks over the 20th century greatly increased for each of the three main events recorded.

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Hemlock looper

Hemlock looper is another defoliator of balsam fir that primarily affects the eastern half of the ecozone+. Historically, the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ has been more at risk from hemlock looper outbreaks that the Labrador portion of the Boreal Shield Ecozone+.Footnote488 However, the range of outbreaks seems to be expanding north of its historical distribution and, for the first time in 2008, a biological insecticide treatment was applied over 15 to 17 km2 in Labrador.Footnote480

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Other insect defoliators

Other native insects that can cause large-scale forest damage in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+ are the jack pine budworm (Choristoneura pinus), the forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstri), and large aspen tortrix (Choristoneura conflictana). No significant trends in outbreak duration, frequency, or extent have been reported for these species.Footnote486 The absence of detectable trends may be due to the cyclical nature of these outbreaks and the lack of accurate long-term data.

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Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+

Fire

Fire is not a significant natural disturbance in the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ ; the contribution to area burned in Canada was less than 1% from 1959--2007.Footnote483 From 1959 to 2007, the average area burned by large fires (>2 km2 in size) was 123 km2/yr and the percent annual area burned was 0.13%.Footnote483 In the 1960s, the ecozone+ contributed 4.7% of the area burned in Canada due to an extreme fire year in 1961 when 3,962 km2 burned. The total annual area burned decreased dramatically since the 1960s (Figure 96). The decline was most likely due to successful government policies aimed at preventing and suppressing fires.Footnote37 The doubling in area burned from the 1970s to the 1980s may be related to warmer temperaturesFootnote489 Footnote490 that resulted in more fires escaping from suppression efforts. Area burned declined again significantly in the 1990s and has remained small into the 2000s. Similar to the Atlantic Maritime and Pacific Maritime ecozones+, these trends should be assessed with caution because they are based on a small number of fires, especially in more recent decades. Otherwise there was little variability in annual area burned and more commonly there were many years where there were no large fires in this ecozone+.

The active fire season is 35 days. Fire occurrence peaks in May but fires commonly occur between May and July. The dominant cause of fire is humans at 96%. Lightning ignitions have only been documented four times in the large fire database for the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+.

Figure 96. Total annual area burned by large fires (>2 km2 in size) for the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+, 1959–2007.

graph
Source: Krezek-Hanes et al., 2011Footnote483 using data from 1959–1994 from the large fire database (Stocks et al., 2003)Footnote37 and data from 1995–2007 from remote sensing.

Long Description for Figure 96

This bar graph shows the following information:

Total annual area burned by large fires (>2 km2 in size) for the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+, 1959–2007.
YearArea burned (km2)
1959126.53
1960121.56
19613961.64
19622.02
19635.18
196411.53
19652.59
19660
19673.23
196819.21
19695.18
19700
19719.46
19720
19730
19745.78
1975142.69
197637.95
19777.84
197844.74
1979308.53
19807.52
198148.43
19824.09
19832.03
198450.93
198523.16
1986964.75
198743.09
19880
198920.5
199025.9
19910
19920
19930
19949.59
19950
199617
19973
19980
19990
20004
20017
20020
20033
20044
20050
20060
20070

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Large scale native insect outbreaks

The three main native defoliating insects in the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ are the eastern hemlock looper, eastern spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana), and balsam fir sawfly (Neodiprion abietis). Dendrochronological analyses have documented light to moderate infestations of spruce budworm and hemlock looper during the 19th and 20th centuries.Footnote491 Major outbreaks have been primarily restricted to the west and central regions of the ecozone+.

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Balsam fir sawfly

Balsam fir sawfly has been the most detrimental defoliator. As seen in the western portion of the ecozone+ (Figure 97), the extent and severity of outbreaks increased with time (Figure 98). The first recorded large outbreaks lasted three to four years (1944–1947, 1954–1956, and 1960–1963) and were relatively localized. The next large outbreak lasted eight years (1967–1975), and covered a larger area than the first three large outbreaks. The most recent sawfly outbreak started in 1991 and is unprecedented in severity, extent and duration.Footnote492

Figure 97. Map of plot locations and severity of balsam fir sawfly defoliation in Newfoundland from 1996 to 2008.

Six defoliation severity classes were based on levels of defoliation in up to 3 years, with 'M' denoting moderate (31–70%) and 'S' severe (71–100%) defoliation.

map
Source: Iqbal et al. 2011Footnote493

Long Description for Figure 97

These two maps represent two sections of Newfoundland, the western portion and eastern portion of the ecozone+. BFSS Defoliation Severity Classes range from 1-M to 6-SSS. While 1-M and 2-S are the dominant defoliation severity classes in the eastern portion of the ecozone, the western portion shown is dominated by severity class 4-SS.

 

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Figure 98. Annual estimates of the area severely defoliated by the balsam fir sawfly in western Newfoundland between 1940 and 2004.

Defoliation was less than 0.1 km2 in many years.

graph
Source: Moreau, 2006Footnote492 with updated data from the author

Long Description for Figure 98

This bar graph shows the following information:

Annual estimates of the area severely defoliated by the balsam fir sawfly in western Newfoundland between 1940 and 2004.
YearWestern Newfoundland - Area defoliated (km2)Newfoundland - Area defoliated (km2)
19400.10
19410.10
19420.10
19430.10
194431.080
194554.390
1946750
1947103.60
19480.10
19490.10
19505.180
19510.10
19520.10
19530.10
195425.90
195518.30
195664.750
19570.10
19580.10
19590.10
196010
196116.6550
1962129.50
1963410
19640.10
19650.10
19660.10
19672.590
196825.90
1969100
197028.490
1971103.60
1972543.90
1973100
19744.6910
197520
19760.10
19770.10
19780.10
19790.10
198020
198140
19820.10
19830.10
19840.10
19850.10
19860.10
19870.10
19880.10
19890.10
1990447.8
1991897
199211.347.2
199312.1817.1
19947.2712.18
199511443
1996197150
1997530303
1998165243.85
1999124184.45
2000220415
2001380477.59
20020686.98
20030497.83
20040393.66
20050573.15
20060672
20070394
20080394
2009089.45
2010047.09
20110129.37

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The impacts of balsam fir sawfly can be severe, even with only one year of severe defoliation.Footnote493 Because balsam fir sawfly feeds on multiple age-classes of foliage in one year, there is less time for managers to react than for other insect defoliators. For example, eastern spruce budworm typically feeds on current-year foliage. It can take up to four years for tree mortality to occur as a result of eastern spruce budworm. In contrast, one to three years of severe balsam fir sawfly defoliation can cause large long-term losses to stand growth and yield from both tree mortality in mature plots and slow growth recovery.Footnote493

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Spruce budworm

There have been numerous outbreaks of the spruce budworm in Newfoundland and these have all occurred as a result of an eastward movement of outbreaks that originated in eastern Canada.Footnote494 Footnote495 Three minor outbreaks were recorded for the period 1940–1970; these were sporadic, localized, collapsed within three years, and resulted in little or no damage to forest stands.Footnote32, Footnote494 A widespread and severe outbreak began in 1971 in the western region of the ecozone+. All mature and immature productive forests in the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ were infested by 1977; budworm densities increased until 1985.Footnote32, Footnote496 Mean reduction of radial growth in damaged stands was approximately 80%;Footnote32 mean total volume lost was 112 m3 /ha, which equates to 45% of potential volume based on growth prior to defoliation.Footnote496 Budworm densities remained relatively high in the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ until 1992.Footnote497 The total volume of forest stands with tree mortality due to spruce budworm infestation for the period 1971–1992 was greater than 50 million m3 (Figure 99).Footnote32, Footnote494, Footnote497

Damage caused by the spruce budworm can be severe and irrevocable. Host trees in the ecozone+ include balsam fir and white and black spruce.Footnote498 Of these, balsam fir is the most vulnerable; individual trees die four to five years after initial attack.Footnote32 Regeneration of dead balsam fir stands in the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ is suppressed and succession to shrubs and competing hardwood species can occur. In pure stands, black spruce trees may survive, but some stands in the central region of the ecozone+ have been killed and replaced by kalmia heath vegetation.Footnote32

Figure 99. Area defoliated by eastern spruce budworm in Newfoundland and Labrador from 1975 to 2011.

No data were available from 1993 to 2005. These province-wide data exceed the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ boundaries.

graph
Source: National Forestry Database, 2008Footnote499

Long Description for Figure 99

This line graph shows the following information:

Area defoliated by eastern spruce budworm in Newfoundland and Labrador from 1975 to 2011.
YearArea defoliated (km2)
19751,899
19761,930
19771,300
1978800
19791,000
1980926
1981380
198242
198368
198415
19851
19862
19874
19882
19891
19901
19912
19922
20061
200712
200812
200948
201058
201122

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Hemlock looper

Prior to the severe spruce budworm outbreak of 1972–1985, the eastern hemlock looper was the ecozone's major forest pest.Footnote500 The recurrence of hemlock looper outbreaks in North America has been highest in the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+.Footnote501, Footnote502 Recorded outbreaks have been cyclic, lasted six to nine years, and reached their peaks in three to seven years; the period between outbreaks has ranged from 7–18 years.Footnote301 Footnote501 Footnote503 Eight hemlock looper outbreaks have been recorded since 1910.Footnote301 Footnote501 Footnote504 Prior to 1966, infestations were local but varied in duration. The most widespread outbreak occurred between 1966 and 1972; 15,000 km2 and 8.6 million m3 of wood was lost, which represents more than twice the sum of that for all preceding hemlock looper outbreaks.Footnote301, Footnote501 Forests in the ecozone+ have also been infested with hemlock looper in the periods 1983–1995 and 1999–2006; total volumes of productive forest lost during these periods were approximately 877 km2 and 153 km2, respectively.Footnote301 The volume of trees lost to hemlock looper infestations from 1947 to 1991 was approximately 25 million m3, which is equivalent to a seven-year supply for the three paper mills in the ecozone+.Footnote505 Hemlock looper larvae feed on a range of conifers, but the primary host is balsam fir.Footnote506 Larvae consume only a portion of an individual needle and then forage on adjacent needles; partially-eaten needles die.Reference 32 Hemlock looper outbreaks generally occur where eastern spruce budworm densities have decreased.Reference 501

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Food webs

Key finding 20
Theme Habitat, wildlife, and ecosystem processes

National key finding
Fundamental changes in relationships among species have been observed in marine, freshwater, and terrestrial environments. The loss or reduction of important components of food webs has greatly altered some ecosystems.

Boreal Shield Ecozone+

Among the most commonly known boreal forest producer-consumer relationships are the cone production fluctuations influencing seed-consuming boreal birds,Footnote507, Footnote508 mink and muskrat,Footnote509 the Canada lynx and snowshoe hare cycle,Footnote510 Footnote511 Footnote512 and caribou/wolf dynamics. Due to the fluctuating nature of predator-prey interactions, trend analyses can be difficult.

The primary proximate limiting factor for boreal caribou populations is predation, driven by human‐induced or natural landscape changes that favour early seral stages and higher densities of alternative prey.Footnote414 Footnote418 Footnote420-Footnote424 Footnote513Footnote514 Footnote515 Footnote516 Footnote517 Footnote518 Habitat disturbance, including logging, likely increased early seral-stage forests that typically support high densities of alternate prey such as moose and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). This in turn resulted in increased wolf and bear populations. When alternate prey populations decreased, the abundant predators turned to caribou as a food source.Footnote428, Footnote433

In addition to predator-prey relationships, community dynamics are affected by diseases and parasites. Those having the most significant impacts on wildlife of this ecozone+ are the West Nile virus, which especially affects native wild birds, and the brain worm of white-tailed deer (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis).Footnote519 Brain worm threatens woodland and barren ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) populations as the white-tailed deer range expands northwards.

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Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+

There have been significant changes in the trophic dynamics of the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+. Wolves, the only native top predator, were extirpated in the 1920s. The introduction of moose, a dominant herbivore, has impacted the forest biome (see the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ key finding on page 35). The first confirmed coyote in the ecozone+ was in 1987.Footnote520 Coyotes compete for prey with lynx and red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and they may become a significant predator of caribou, arctic hare (Lepus arcticus) and American marten.

Figure 100. The number of coyotes harvested in the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ from 1993 to 2009.

graph
Source: Statistics Canada, 2010Footnote395

Long Description for Figure100

This line graph shows the following information:

The number of coyotes harvested in the Newfoundland Boreal Ecozone+ from 1993 to 2009.
YearNumber of coyotes
19939
19947
19952
19963
19975
19980
199915
200018
200145
200296
2003264
2004308
2005282
2006244
2007324
2008212
2009379

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Changes in phenology have resulted in new predator-prey interactions. Historically, the residency of seals in rivers and estuaries did not coincide with salmon runs; however, seals have increased residence times by up to three months since the 1990s.Footnote521 Research is underway to determine if the increased time seals spend in estuaries has increased the rate of predation on salmon.Footnote521

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Footnote 4

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

Return to Footnote 4

Footnote 6

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 6

Footnote 11

Lee, P., Gysbers, J.D. and Stanojevic, Z. 2006. Canadaʹs forest landscape fragments: a first approximation (a Global Forest Watch Canada report). Global Forest Watch Canada. Edmonton, AB. 97 p.156

Return to Footnote 11

Footnote 12

Urquizo, N., Bastedo, J., Brydges, T. and Shear, H. 2000. Ecological assessment of the Boreal Shield Ecozone. Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada. Ottawa, ON.

Return to Footnote 12

Footnote 18

Javorek, S.K. and Grant, M.C. 2011. Trends in wildlife habitat capacity on agricultural land in Canada, 1986-2006. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Technical Thematic Report No. 14. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. vi + 46 p. http://www.biodivcanada.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=137E1147-0.

Return to Footnote 18

Footnote 23

Ahern, F., Frisk, J., Latifovic, R. and Pouliot, D. 2011. Monitoring ecosystems remotely: a selection of trends measured from satellite observations of Canada. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Technical Thematic Report No. 17. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. http://www.biodivcanada.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=137E1147-0.

Return to Footnote 23

Footnote 32

Hudak, J. and Raske, A.G. 1982. Review of the spruce budworm outbreaks in Newfoundland: its control and forest management implications. Environment Canada. 320 p.

Return to Footnote 32

Footnote 37

Stocks, B.J., Mason, J.A., Todd, J.B., Bosch, E.M., Wotton, B.M., Amiro, B.D., Flannigan, M.D., Hirsch, K.G., Logan, K.A., Martell, D.L. and Skinner, W.R. 2003. Large forest fires in Canada, 1959-1997. Journal of Geophysical Research 108:8149-8161.

Return to Footnote 37

Footnote 70

Girard, F., Payette, S. and Gagnon, R. 2009. Origin of the lichen-spruce woodland in the closed-crown forest zone of eastern Canada. Global Ecology and Biogeography 18:291-303.

Return to Footnote 70

Footnote 76

Downes, C., Blancher, P. and Collins, B. 2011. Landbird trends in Canada, 1968-2006. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Technical Thematic Report No. 12. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. x + 94 p .

Return to Footnote 76

Footnote 79

Environment Canada. 2014. North American breeding bird survey - Canadian trends website, data-version 2012. [online]. Environment Canada.

Return to Footnote 79

Footnote 86

U.S. North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) Committee. 2008. Bird Conservation Regions [online]. (accessed 13 March, 2009).

Return to Footnote 86

Footnote 92

Meades, S.J. 1990. Natural regions of Newfoundland and Labrador. Protected Areas Association. St. Johnʹs, NL. 474 p.

Return to Footnote 92

Footnote 97

McLaren, B.E., Roberts, B.A., Djan-Chekar, N. and Lewis, K. 2004. Effects of overabundant moose on the Newfoundland landscape. Alces 40:45-59.

Return to Footnote 97

Footnote 155

McAllister, D., Craig, J., Davidson, N., Murray, D. and Seddon, M. 2000. Biodiversity impacts of large dams. Background Paper No. 1. Prepared for IUCN / UNEP / WCD. 66 p.

Return to Footnote 155

Footnote 156

Finstad, A.G., Forseth, T. and Faenstad, T.F. 2004. The importance of ice cover for energy turnover in juvenile Atlantic salmon. Journal of Animal Ecology 73:959-966.

Return to Footnote 156

Footnote 157

Environment Canada. 2004. Threats to water availability in Canada. NWRI Scientific Assessment Report Series No. 3 and ACSD Science Assessment Series No. 1. National Water Research Institute. Burlington, ON. 128 p.

Return to Footnote 157

Footnote 158

Arthington, A.H. 1998. Comparative evaluation of environmental flow assessment techniques: review of holistic methodologies. Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation Occasional Paper No. 26/98. 46 p.

Return to Footnote 158

Footnote 159

Canadian Dam Association. 2003. Dams in Canada. International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD). Montréal, QC. CD-ROM.

Return to Footnote 159

Footnote 301

Hudak, J., OʹBrian, D.S., Stone, D.M., Sutton, W.J., Oldford, L., Pardy, K.E. and Carew, G.C. 1996. Forest Insect and Disease conditions in Newfoundland and Labrador in 1994 and 1995 No. Information Report N-X-299. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Newfoundland and Labrador Region.

Return to Footnote 301

Footnote 390

Pouliot, D., Latifovic, R. and Olthof, I. 2009. Trends in vegetation NDVI from 1 km Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data over Canada for the period 1985-2006. International Journal of Remote Sensing 30:149-168.

Return to Footnote 390

Footnote 395

Statistics Canada. 2010. Fur statistics, vol. 8 [online]. (accessed 20 August, 2013).

Return to Footnote 395

Footnote 402

Global Forest Watch Canada. 2007. Canada Mines 2008.

Return to Footnote 402

Footnote 403

Saskatchewan Ministry of Economy. 2012. Saskatchewan exploration and development highlights 2012. Government of Saskatchewan. Regina, SK. 17 p.

Return to Footnote 403

Footnote 404

Province of Manitoba, Science, Technology, Energy and Mines. 2009. Exploration Activity Tracker [online]. (accessed 3 November, 2009).

Return to Footnote 404

Footnote 405

Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. 2009. Ontario mining status and trends in the Boreal Shield Ecozone+. Produced for the Ecosystem Status and Trends Report.

Return to Footnote 405

Footnote 406

Comité sectoriel de main-dʹoeuvre de lʹindustrie des mines. 2007. Comité sectoriel de main-dʹoeuvre de lʹindustrie des mines [online]. (accessed March, 2009).

Return to Footnote 406

Footnote 407

Statistics Canada. 2008. 2006 Census of agriculture [online]. Government of Canada. (accessed 8 August, 2008).

Return to Footnote 407

Footnote 408

Government of Canada. 1998. The State of Canadaʹs Ecosystems in Maps [online]. Government of Canada. (accessed 10 March, 2008).

Return to Footnote 408

Footnote 409

USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2010. The North American Breeding Bird Survey [online]. U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior.

Return to Footnote 409

Footnote 410

Niven, D.K., Sauer, J.R., Butcher, G.S. and Link, W.A. 2004. Population change in boreal birds from the Christmas Bird Count. American Birds 58:10-20.

Return to Footnote 410

Footnote 411

Crins, W.J., Pond, B.A., Cadman, M.D. and Gray, P.A. 2007. The biogeography of Ontario, with special reference to birds. In Atlas of the breeding birds of Ontario, 2001-2005. Edited by Cadman, M.D., Sutherland, D.A., Beck, G.G., Lepage, D. and Couturier, A.R. Bird Studies Canada, Environment Canada, Ontario Field Ornithologists, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and Ontario Nature. Toronto, ON. pp. 11-22.

Return to Footnote 411

Footnote 412

COSEWIC. 2002. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the woodland caribou Rangifer tarandus caribou in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa, ON. xi + 98 p.

Return to Footnote 412

Footnote 413

Environment Canada. 2011. Scientific assessment to inform the identification of critical habitat for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), boreal population, in Canada: 2011 update. Environment Canada. Ottawa, ON. xiv + 103 p.

Return to Footnote 413

Footnote 414

Environment Canada. 2012. Recovery strategy for the woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), boreal population, in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recover Strategy Series. Environment Canada. Ottawa, ON. xi + 138 p.

Return to Footnote 414

Footnote 415

Callaghan, C., Virc, S. and Duffe, J. 2011. Woodland caribou, boreal population, trends in Canada. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Technical Thematic Report No. 11. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. iv + 36 p .

Return to Footnote 415

Footnote 416

COSEWIC. 2002. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the woodland caribou Rangifer tarandus caribou in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa, ON. xi + 98 p.

Return to Footnote 416

Footnote 417

Festa-Bianchet, M., Ray, J.C., Boutin, S. and Gunn, A. 2011. Conservation of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in Canada: an uncertain future. Canadian Journal of Zoology 89:419-434.

Return to Footnote 417

Footnote 418

Environment Canada. 2008. Scientific review for the identification of critical habitat for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), boreal population, in Canada. Environment Canada. Ottawa, ON. 72 p. + appendices.

Return to Footnote 418

Footnote 419

Schaefer, J.A. 2003. Long-term range recession and the persistence of caribou in the Taiga. Conservation Biology 17:1435-1439.

Return to Footnote 419

Footnote 420

Vors, L.S., Schaefer, J.A., Pond, B.A., Rodgers, A.R. and Patterson, B.R. 2007. Woodland caribou extirpation and anthropogenic landscape disturbance in Ontario. Journal of Wildlife Management 71:1249-1256.

Return to Footnote 420

Footnote 421

Bergerud, A.T. and Elliot, J.P. 1986. Dynamics of caribou and wolves in northern British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Zoology 64:1515-1529.

Return to Footnote 421

Footnote 422

Seip, D.R. 1992. Factors limiting woodland caribou populations and their interrelationships with wolves and moose in southeastern British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Zoology 70:1494-1503.

Return to Footnote 422

Footnote 423

Stuart-Smith, A.K., Bradshaw, C.J.A., Boutin, S., Hebert, D.M. and Rippin, A.B.

Return to Footnote 423

Footnote 199

7. Woodland caribou relative to landscape patterns in northeastern Alberta. Journal of Wildlife Management 61:622-633.

Return to Footnote 199

Footnote 424

Racey, G.D. and Armstrong, T. 2000. Woodland caribou range occupancy in northwestern Ontario: past and present. Rangifer 12:173-184.

Return to Footnote 424

Footnote 425

Wittmer, H.U., McLellan, B.N., Serrouya, R. and Apps, C.D. 2007. Changes in landscape composition influence the decline of a threatened woodland caribou population. Journal of Animal Ecology 76:568-579.

Return to Footnote 425

Footnote 426

Wittmer, H.U., Sinclair, A.R. and McLellan, B.N. 2005. The role of predation in the decline and extirpation of woodland caribou. Oecologia 114:257-267.

Return to Footnote 426

Footnote 427

Vors, L.S. and Boyce, M.S. 2009. Global declines of caribou and reindeer. Global Change Biology 15:2626-2633.

Return to Footnote 427

Footnote 428

Rettie, W.J. 1998. The ecology of woodland caribou in central Saskatchewan. Thesis . University of Saskatchewan. Saskatoon, SK.

Return to Footnote 428

Footnote 429

Bergerud, A.T. 1988. Caribou, wolves and man. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 3:68-72.

Return to Footnote 429

Footnote 430

Sorenson, T.C., McLoughlin, P.D., Hervieux, D., Dzus, E., Nolan, J., Wynes, B. and Boutin, S. 2008. Determining sustainable levels of cumulative effects for boreal caribou. Journal of Wildlife Management 72:900-905. doi:10.2193/2007-079.

Return to Footnote 430

Footnote 431

Bergerud, A.T. 1974. Decline of caribou in North America following settlement. Journal of Wildlife Management 38:757-770.

Return to Footnote 431

Footnote 432

Mallory, F.F. and Hillis, T.L. 1998. Demographic characteristics of circumpolar caribou populations: ecotypes, ecological constraints, releases and population dynamics. Rangifer 10:49-60.

Return to Footnote 432

Footnote 433

Rettie, W.J. and Messier, F. 1998. Dynamics of woodland caribou populations at the southern limit of their range in Saskatchewan. Canadian Journal of Zoology 76:251-259.

Return to Footnote 433

Footnote 434

Bergerud, A.T., Butler, H.E. and Miller, D.R. 1984. Antipredator tactics of calving caribou: dispersion in mountains. Canadian Journal of Zoology 62:1566-1575.

Return to Footnote 434

Footnote 435

Rettie, W.J. and Messier, F. 2000. Hierarchical habitat selection by woodland caribou: its relationship to limiting factors. Ecography 23:466-478.

Return to Footnote 435

Footnote 436

Cumming, S.G., Burton, P.J. and Klinkenberg, B. 1996. Boreal mixedwood forests may have no ʹʹrepresentativeʹʹ areas: some implications for reserve design. Ecography 19:162-180.

Return to Footnote 436

Footnote 437

Courtois, R. 2003. La conservation du caribou forestier dans un contexte de perte dʹhabitat et de fragmentation du milieu. Thesis (Ph.D.). Université du Québec.

Return to Footnote 437

Footnote 438

Patterson, L.D., Drake, C.C., Allen, M.L. and Parent, L. 2014. Detecting a population decline of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) from nonstandardized monitoring data in Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario. Wildlife Society Bulletin .

Return to Footnote 438

Footnote 439

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2009. Ontarioʹs caribou conservation plan. 24 p.

Return to Footnote 439

Footnote 440

Gonzales, E.K., Nantel, P., Allen, M. and Drake, C. 2014. Application of a Bayesian belief network as decision-support for translocation of woodland caribou into a national park. Unpublished data.

Return to Footnote 440

Footnote 441

Manitoba Conservation. 2006. Manitobaʹs Conservation and Recovery Strategy for Boreal Woodland Caribou. Winnipeg, Manitoba. 22 p.

Return to Footnote 441

Footnote 442

Manitoba Conservation. 2011. Draft action plans for boreal woodland caribou ranges in Manitoba. Government of Manitoba. Winnipeg, MB. 53 p.

Return to Footnote 442

Footnote 443

Schmelzer, I., Brazil, J., Chubbs, T., French, S., Hearn, B., Jeffery, R., LeDrew, L., Martin, H., McNeill, A., Nuna, R., Otto, R., Phillips, F., Mitchell, G., Pittman, G., Simon, N. and Yetman, G. 2004. Recovery strategy for three woodland caribou herds (Rangifer tarandus caribou; boreal population) in Labrador. Department of Environment and Conservation, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Corner Brook, NL. 51 p.

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Footnote 444

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Carroll, W.J. 1956. History of the hemlock looper, Lambdina fiscellaria fiscellaria (Guen.), (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) in Newfoundland, and notes on its biology. Canadian Entomologist 88:587-599.

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Environment Canada. 2007. Recovery strategy for the woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), boreal population. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada. Ottawa, ON. v + 48 p. Draft report.

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Leighton, F.A. 2011. Wildlife pathogens and diseases in Canada. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Technical Thematic Report No. 7. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. iv + 53 p.

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Blake, J. and McGrath, M. 2006. Coyotes in insular Newfoundland: current knowledge and management of the islandʹs newest mammalian predator. Wildlife Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Corner Brook, NL. 11 p.

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Lenky, C., B.Sjare and T.Miller. 2006. Seal/salmon interactions and climate variability: Has the potential for seal predation on salmon changed in Newfoundland and Labrador waters? Unpublished data.

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