National priority areas for ecological corridors

Parks Canada is launching a map of National Priority Areas for Ecological Corridors (NPAFECs). These priority areas indicate where ecological corridors are most urgently needed in Canada. Improving or maintaining ecological connectivity in the priority areas will greatly benefit biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation.

Draft map of national priority areas for ecological corridors

The draft map of NPAFECs uses the best available national-scale information to identify broad geographic areas in Canada that:

  • are critical for wildlife movement
  • contain high biodiversity values
  • are important for species at risk and species of cultural importance
  • are experiencing habitat change and loss due to development pressure and/or climate change

How to see the draft map

The draft map was shared during live virtual public presentations in December 2023. The presentations allowed registrants to:

Recordings of the virtual public presentations

The intent of the live sessions was to share the methodology and draft map with interested Canadians and to seek input before the final version is released in early 2024.

View a recording of the live session

Thank you to all who provided input on the draft map between December 12, 2023 and January 7, 2024. The comment period is now closed. The input we received will inform the finalization of the map. This finalized version will be released in the coming months.

National priority areas for ecological corridors

Ecological connectivity is essential to support healthy ecosystems, including in and around protected areas. Parks Canada works with diverse partners from across North America to maintain and restore the connectivity of wildlife habitats in several ways. Many species need to travel long distances to find food, shelter and mates. Yet protected areas, like national parks, are often not connected to other natural areas. This makes travel difficult or dangerous for species to move.

Interconnected ecological networks of protected areas and natural habitats, linked by ecological corridors, are very important as they support biodiversity conservation and help species adapt to the impacts of climate change. Parks Canada’s National Program for Ecological Corridors aims to support connectivity conservation across Canada. We aim to develop ecological networks that allow species to move freely between habitats across large landscapes and coastlines.

An aerial view of a forested mountainous valley with a river winding through it. A twinned highway and a secondary road also run through it. A wildlife overpass spans over a section of the 4-lane highway.
Complex landscapes need careful planning to maintain ecological connectivity. In the Bow Valley, connectivity conservation is a priority.

To support connectivity conservation, we must first identify where ecological corridors are most needed across Canada. To do this, Parks Canada worked with a diverse range of partners and stakeholders to map priority areas for ecological corridors in Canada, including:

  • Indigenous partners and Knowledge Holders
  • research scientists
  • connectivity experts
  • academics
  • national and regional conservation organizations
  • provincial governments

National priority areas for ecological corridors are broad areas where ecological corridor projects can be advanced by local and regional proponents to improve or maintain ecological connectivity. The NPAFECs are not ecological corridors themselves, but indicate areas that have significant need for connectivity conservation.

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