Ministry of Environment

Sensitive Ecosystems InventoriesSensitive Ecosystems Inventories

Central Okanagan Results

Seven types of sensitive ecosystems and two types of other important ecosystems were identified. Collectively the seven sensitive ecosystems (SE) covered 25.4% (7,839 ha) of the study area, while modified landscapes covered the remaining 74.6% (see table). The two other important ecosystems (OIE) mapped covered 11.2% (3,772 ha) of the study area.

It is important to remember that ecosystems that have not been included as sensitive ecosystems or other important ecosystems still have many important values. In particular, other ecosystems provide connectivity between SE and OIEs and some may be recruitment sites for future SEs and OIEs. Many ecosystems have wildlife habitat values and the vegetation and soils of these sites are often important for the safe capture, storage, and release of water that is critical to maintaining water quality and preventing soil erosion and siltation of streams and rivers.


Sensitive Ecosystems 25.4%

Table: Area of Sensitive Ecosystems and Other Important Ecosystems

  Area (ha) Percent of Study Area
Sensitive Ecosystems (SE)    
Broadleaf Woodland
95
0.3
Grassland
464
1.5
Old Forest
154
0.5
Riparian
1,315
4.3
Sparsely Vegetated
942
3.0
Coniferous Woodland
4,822
15.6
Wetland
48
0.2
Total SE
7,839
25.4
     
Other Important Ecosystems (OIE)    
Disturbed Grassland
697
2.3
Mature Forest
3,075
9.9
Total OIE
3,772
11.2
     
TOTAL SEI and OIE
11,610
37.6

The inventory results indicated that wetlands, grasslands, broadleaf woodlands and old forests were extremely rare in the study area. Although areas of coniferous woodlands and mature forests remained, many had been altered significantly through selection logging and fire exclusion and few high quality sites remained. The study indicated that some sensitive ecosystems had already been degraded by fragmentation, human use, ingrowth, and introduced species.

For more detail see the Technical Report.

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