Critical habitat boundaries of species at risk in Quebec
This dataset focuses on the terrestrial species at risk under the responsibility of Environment and Climate Change Canada. It displays the geographic areas in Quebec where critical habitat has been designated under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). However, not all of the area within these boundaries is necessarily critical habitat. To precisely define what constitutes critical habitat for a particular species, it is essential that this geospatial information be considered in conjunction with complementary information provided in a species’ recovery document (recovery program or action plan). These documents can be downloaded from the Species at Risk Public Registry (http:\/\/www.sararegistry.gc.ca). The recovery documents contain important information about the interpretation of the geospatial information, especially regarding the biological and environmental features (“biophysical attributes”) that complete the definition of a species’ critical habitat. Each species’ dataset is part of a larger collection of critical habitat data that is available for download. This dataset contains the “final” critical habitat, as described in the most recent version of the recovery document posted on the Registry for a given species. It is important to note that recovery planning documents (and, therefore, critical habitat) may be amended from time to time as new information becomes available, which may occur after a document has been posted on the Registry. You should always consider the SARA Public Registry as the main source for critical habitat information. In cases where the data are sensitive (e.g. species for which illegal harvesting is a threat identified in the recovery planning document), the geographic area within which critical habitat occurs may be represented as “grid squares.” These are coarse grid squares (1, 10, 50 or 100 km2) based on a UTM grid that serve as indicators to locate critical habitat in the recovery planning document. To reiterate, not all of the area within these boundaries is necessarily critical habitat. Critical habitat is defined in Section 2 of SARA as “the habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of a listed wildlife species and that is identified as the species’ critical habitat in the recovery strategy or in an action plan for the species.” SARA also stipulates that it is illegal to destroy any part of the critical habitat of a species at risk; however, critical habitat identification alone is not an automatic “protection” designation. Federal or non-federal laws or bylaws may be in place to provide protection.
Case A. Detailed representation of CH (CH Units):a detailed mapping of CH boundaries using the best available information. These are the detailed polygons, henceforth referred to as CH Units.
Case B. Standardized representation of areas that contain CH (Standardized UTM Grid):a standardized representation of where CH occurs within defined UTM grid squares. This can be accomplished either through mapping of the grid squares or presenting coordinates for the grid squares. Grid representation is created based on the Site (1 x 1 km), Area (10 x 10 km or 50 x 50 km), or Landscape (100 x 100 km) grid that best represents the extent of critical habitat or in consideration of sensitivity issues.
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