Map 7 Read Island’s Protected Landscape Network
Our Read Island Protected Landscape Network (PLN) has been designed using established principles of ecosystem-based conservation planning, which focuses first on what to protect, and then on what to use. What to protect is ecological integrity. Ecological integrity includes the abundance and diversity of organisms at all levels, and the ecological patterns, processes, and structural attributes that create the biological diversity required for ecosystem resilience.
The PLN is a design that links freshwater systems that are the basis of Read Island’s ecological integrity. The PLN is a plan to maintain and restore habitats that support biodiversity and ecosystem resilience. The PLN is based on mapped data and a Design Method (see poster) that considered Read Island’s most environmentally important, naturally rare, and sensitive habitats, and species requirements. The PLN maps essential habitats and effective corridors where wildlife (and all species) can reproduce and thrive – and migrate as necessary for survival, especially as the climate crisis evolves.
This mapped plan lets us start thinking of Read Island as an ecological landscape, as opposed to human-owned-and-managed parcels of land. It shows how a protected network can be fitted and also accommodate other human activities on Read island. The protected area is mapped as 63% of the island’s land base. For people, landscapes with high levels of natural ecological integrity are physically, mentally, and spiritually healthier places.
This map set – together with science related to climate disturbance and the importance of biological diversity and intact ecosystems – provides a strong basis for understanding, protecting, and restoring ecological function of the whole island ecosystem. This PLN Plan is a starting place. We have work to do. Climate change effects are underway and coming at us. Building resilience through ecological integrity is the best place to start.
Data Sets Used to Make this Map:
Vegetation Resource Inventory (VRI)
Discovery Islands Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory
Canadian Digital Elevation Data (CDED)
Topographic Position Index
Fresh Water Atlas (FWA) Streams Lakes and Wetlands
Old Growth Management Areas (OGMA)