Ministry of Environment

Environmental Stewardship Division

SEI Update

A publication of the Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory Project
November 1997

Mapping complete

Do you know which are the fragile and rare ecosystems in your neighbourhood?

Thanks to the Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory (SEI), sensitive ecosystems throughout the east coast of Vancouver Island and adjacent Gulf Islands have now been identified and mapped.

This area is a unique ecological region, but is one of two areas in B.C. experiencing rapid fragmentation and loss of natural ecosystems. In 1993, a joint project of Environment
Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service) and the B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (Conservation Data Centre and Vancouver Island Regional Office) began to inventory the remaining sensitive ecosystems.

TIP: Check the number of the polygon on the yellow chart on the right-hand side of the map sheet. If the polygon number has a * beside it, additional information from field checks is available. Contact the Conservation Data Centre for further information (see page 4).

A “sensitive” ecosystem is one which is fragile and/or rare

Seven key “sensitive ecosystem” types were identified (see next page). Second growth forests and seasonally flooded fields were also mapped, as they provide significant wildlife habitat. Using aerial photography and selective field checks, researchers systematically identified and mapped 7,388 sites, shown as coloured areas on the SEI maps. Sixty-six map sheets have been produced at a 1:20,000 scale.

By flagging areas of ecological significance, the maps identify areas where more information will be needed for decision-making. For example, if a development proposal includes an identified SEI site, the developer could be asked to provide additional ecological information on that site. The Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks can provide a list of consultants who could perform this type of field check.

Copies of the maps are being distributed free of charge to all local governments within the study area. (To purchase copies, see page 4).

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