Ministry of Environment

Sensitive Ecosystems InventoriesSensitive Ecosystems Inventories

Central Okanagan SEI Home Page

The central Okanagan basin of British Columbia is an area of great ecological significance within both the province of B.C. and Canada as a whole. It is an area with high biodiversity values, and many rare and endangered ecosystems, plant and animal species.

This Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory (SEI) was initiated by the Regional District of Central Okanagan to provide an inventory of the rare and fragile ecosystems and habitats for many wildlife species as a base for land-use planning and private land stewardship. The SEI was conducted through a partnership between the Regional District of Central Okanagan and the B.C. Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (Conservation Data Centre and the former Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat Inventory section). Funding was provided by the Regional District of Central Okanagan, The Habitat Conservation Trust Fund and Environment Canada: Canadian Wildlife Service.

The Central Okanagan SEI mapped part of the Okanagan Valley using Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM). The Sensitive Ecosystems theme was digitally generated from the TEM database (see methodology), providing an inventory of the sensitive and other important ecosystems in this area. Results of this SEI show that within the study area, the seven sensitive ecosystems covered 25.4% (7,839 ha) of the study area, while modified landscapes covered the remaining 74.6%. The two other important ecosystems mapped covered 11.2% (3,772 ha) of the study area.

The SEI maps and database provide a useful basis for land-use planning and private land stewardship, and the Technical Report provides many management recommendations for protecting these ecosystems.

The study area is located along the western and eastern flanks of Okanagan Lake (see map) in the central Okanagan Valley of south-central British Columbia. The area covers 30,908 ha, and includes private and publicly owned lands.

The study area is located within the Southern Interior Ecoprovince, the northern extension of the Columbia Basin that extends south of Oregon and lies within the North Okanagan Basin Ecosection, a wide trench carved out by the movement of a huge glacier. It includes the Ponderosa Pine very dry, hot, Okanagan variant (PPxh1), and the Interior Douglas-fir very dry, hot, Okanagan variant (IDFxh1) biogeoclimatic subzones.

Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, Regional District of Central Okanagan, British Columbia, Environment Canada