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Biodiversity and Wildlife

While rangeland provides forage for livestock, it is also part of a greater ecosystem. It provides resources almost indefinitely - as long as what what is removed from it doesn't exceed its capacity for renewal. Learn more about this ecosystem - the plants and animals and web of interactions between them - and about ways to minimize the effects of beef production on them.

Topics:
Species at Risk
Wildlife and Fish Habitat Management
Ecosystems
Effects of Beef Farming on Wildlife
Biodiversity and Pasture

Species at Risk

Canada's Species at Risk
Environment Canada
A database offering information on at-risk species in Canada, including their biology and efforts to recover them.

British Columbia Species and Ecosystem Explorer
British Columbia Ministry of Environment
A source of conservation information on the diversity of ecosystems, plants, and animals in B.C.

Biodiversity Risk in Alberta
Alberta Agriculture and Food
A map showing areas where biodiversity is at risk, mostly due to loss of animal habitat. In addition, the species at risk map shows the distribution and numbers of at-risk species across Alberta.

Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre
Saskatchewan Environment
A database of information on the ecological status of wild species and communities in Saskatchewan.

Manitoba Conservation Data Centre
Manitoba Conservation
"A storehouse of information on biodiversity" in Manitoba.

Ontario's Species at Risk
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources; Royal Ontario Museum
Maps showing the Ontario and North American distribution of Ontario's at-risk species. The website includes colour images and write-ups on the species.

Quebec Biodiversity Atlas
Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère du Développement Durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs
Comprehensive maps and descriptions of threatened and vulnerable species in the province of Quebec. (Large PDF - 14.17 MB)

Nova Scotia's Species at Risk
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division
Comprehensive list of species at risk in Nova Scotia, including brief descriptions of the history of their threatened or vulnerable status.

Wildlife and Fish Habitat Management

Habitat Requirements for Wildlife and Fish
Rangeland Handbook for Livestock and Wildlife, British Columbia Cattleman's Association
Livestock rangeland overlaps with wildlife habitat. Read up on the habitat needs of rangeland wildlife - moose, deer, fish, birds - to lessen both the impact of wildlife on your operation, and your operation on wildlife. (Large PDF - 13.07 MB)

Habitat Management
British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
Striking the balance between the needs of wildlife and agriculture, needs which aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. (PDF)

Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
An on-line booklet offering information on best management practices for wildlife and the greater ecosystem.

Grazing Forested Rangeland
Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food
Methods and criteria for determining the level of cattle grazing in forested areas. This is important in maintaining water and soil quality and the health of wildlife species.

Impact of Forest Harvest
Alberta Agriculture and Food
The short and long-term effects of farm-based logging on vegetation, soil, watersheds, and wildlife.

Cows and Fish: Habitat Management (Alberta)
Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society
The cow and fish program brings together producers and communities for the sake of riparian health and management.

Streambank Stewardship (Saskatchewan)
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Read up on streambank protection and, more specifically, the Streambank Stewardship program in Saskatchewan.

Ecosystems

Narrative Descriptions of Terrestrial Ecosystems and Ecozones of Canada
Environment Canada
A comprehensive report on the terrestrial ecosystems of this country, including descriptions and maps.

Rangeland Ecosystems
Rangeland Handbook for Livestock and Wildlife, British Columbia Cattleman's Association
Learn how the rangeland ecosystem works. Learn how interactions between plants and animals, and between soil and decomposing organisms, maintain the delicate ecological balance. Also read about the forces responsible for shaping and maintaining the ecosystem, such as fire and grazing. (Large PDF - 14.83 MB)

Prairie Ecosystem
Environment Canada
Information on the Canadian Great Plains ecosystem, including a landowner's guide.

Boreal Ecosystem
Environment Canada
A variety of information on the Boreal Ecosystem, which comprises half of Canada and is the second largest forest system in the world.

Effects of Beef Farming on Wildlife

Effects of Cattle Grazing on Wetland Birds in Central Alberta
Alberta Agriculture and Food
The aspen parkland ecoregion of Alberta is home to over two-thirds of the province's waterfowl, but also around 54 per cent of the cattle. A 2002 study examined the effects of cattle grazing on waterfowl.

Biodiversity and Pasture

Is There a Role for Biodiversity in Temperate Pastures?
Matt A. Sanderson, U.S. Department of Agriculture - ARS, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit
Is there a role for biodiversity in temperate pastures? Biodiversity can indeed play a role in the proper functioning of temperate pasture ecosystems, and this paper also answers the "perhaps more relevant" question: can biodiversity be "managed" to influence the ecosystem in order to benefit both producers and farmers? (PDF)

Ten Questions about Pastures and Diversity
Matt A. Sanderson, U.S. Department of Agriculture - ARS, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit
Can pastures be managed for biodiversity? How can biodiversity affect pasture production? Are there new forage species available for use in diversifying pastures? A pasture research scientists answers these questions and others in this Q&A factsheet. (PDF)

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