Caribou Core and Matrix Habitat in BC Spatial View

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Published by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy - Ecosystems
Licensed under Access Only

Feature Layer showing caribou core and matrix habitat in British Columbia for use in the BC Caribou Web App: https://governmentofbc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=60eef687ed3a44a1881b1b79e47c7f41

This dataset contains the current caribou subpopulation (herd) boundaries, and the geographic areas within which core and matrix habitat for woodland caribou occurs in British Columbia. Core and matrix habitat mapping are derived from the best available science and expert knowledge and should be considered in conjunction with complementary information in provincial and regional caribou recovery documents. Recovery documents (and therefore core and matrix habitat) may be amended as new science and knowledge becomes available.

A caribou subpopulation (herd) is defined as a geographically connected population of caribou whose dynamics are primarily driven by local conditions and factors rather than immigration or emigration.

A caribou subpopulation (herd) boundary is defined as the area that encompasses the extent of both core and the surrounding matrix habitat for a subpopulation. Based on current understanding this is the area required to be managed to achieve a self-sustaining population. Subpopulation boundaries do not overlap even though some caribou subpopulations share portions of their annual range.

Core habitat is defined as the area that encompasses the annual range for a subpopulation. Core habitat provides enough suitable range to support the life history requirements of the subpopulation across all seasons and to allow for movements on the landscape over time in response to anthropogenic and natural habitat disturbance. Seasonal core habitat has the ecological attributes associated with the different seasonal ranges and supports most of the caribou life history requirements during that season. Summer core habitat encompasses areas used in spring, calving, post-calving, summer and rut. Winter core habitat encompasses areas used in winter. Core habitat is generally mapped at a broad scale and may encompass areas of non-habitat such as high elevation rock and ice.

Matrix habitat is defined as the area adjacent to core habitat that has periodic or low use by caribou but supports primary prey and associated predators that have the potential to affect the caribou subpopulation. Matrix habitat may include connectivity between suitable caribou core habitats. Matrix habitat includes areas up to 30 km from core habitat and is based on winter range of primary prey, local knowledge of predator distribution and barriers to predator movement. Logical boundaries such as landscape features (e.g., large water bodies, glaciers, human settlement) were utilized.

This dataset does not necessarily equate to critical habitat as identified in the federal Recovery Strategy for the 'Woodland Caribou, Southern Mountain population in Canada or the Recovery Strategy for the Woodland Caribou, Boreal population in Canada'. The partial mapping of federally identified critical habitat from the Recovery Strategy for the Woodland Caribou, Southern Mountain population in Canada is available, for convenience of reference, via this record: https://catalogue.data.gov.bc.ca/dataset/critical-habitat-for-federally-listed-species-at-risk-posted-. Federally identified critical habitat is also subject to change via an amended federal recovery strategy, or action plan.

Data and Resources

Dataset Extent

Latitude: 48.0° to 60.0°
Longitude: -139.5° to -113.5°

Additional Information

Contact Information

NameNicola Dodd (pointOfContact)
EmailNicola.Dodd@gov.bc.ca
OrganizationMinistry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Sub-OrganizationKnowledge Management
NameTyson Carswell (pointOfContact)
Emailtyson.carswell@gov.bc.ca
OrganizationMinistry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Sub-OrganizationEcosystems

Access & Security

Who can view this dataset? Public
Who can download this dataset?Not downloadable

Metadata Information

Record Published 2019-10-16
Record Last Modified 2019-10-24
Resource Status onGoing