Land cover mapping of the St. Lawrence Lowlands
Since 1988, the governments of Canada and Quebec have been working together to conserve, restore, protect and develop the St. Lawrence River under the St. Lawrence Action Plan (SLAP). One of the projects identified under the theme of biodiversity conservation is the development of an integrated plan for the conservation of the natural environments and biodiversity of the St. Lawrence River.
The identification of priority sites for conservation has been the first step of this planning exercise. Conservation planning of natural environments requires a reliable, accurate and up-to-date image of the spatial distribution of ecosystems in the study area. In order to produce an Atlas of Priority Sites for Conservation in the St. Lawrence Lowlands, an updated cartography of the land cover of this vast territory was undertaken.
This project required obtaining reliable information on the natural environments of the St. Lawrence Lowlands. Although several land cover mapping projects have been conducted for specific types of habitats, it was particularly important to obtain a homogeneous product that would cover the entire territory and that would provide the most detailed information on its various thematic components: agricultural, aquatic, human-modified and forest environments, wetlands as well as old fields and bare ground. The methodology used to produce the land cover mapping of the St. Lawrence Lowlands thus relied mainly on combining and enhancing the best existing products for each theme. This project was made in collaboration with MDDELCC as part of the St. Lawrence Action Plan (SLAP).
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