After decades of surveys, species assessments, and data collection, leading conservation science groups have officially launched Canada’s Key Biodiversity Areas Program (KBAs)! The interactive KBA registry and first suite of formally designated sites were unveiled October 3 at the Canadian Museum of Nature, at an event hosted by the KBA Canada Secretariat: Birds Canada, NatureServe Canada, and Wildlife Conservation Society Canada.
Canada is a global leader in identifying Key Biodiversity Areas (or KBAs), which are sites that play a critical role in the persistence of species and ecosystems. KBAs will be an important part of our efforts to halt and reverse biodiversity loss before it’s too late. The rigorous scientific process used to identify KBAs looks at all species groups and ecosystems, so that – for the first time ever – all biodiversity is recognized in one comprehensive database.
Explore Canada’s biodiversity!
The program launch introduced a new KBA registry and conservation tool that is fully accessible to the public. We invite you to go to KBACanada.org and take a look for yourself! The homepage features some gorgeous photos and links to the interactive map, the cornerstone of the website. There is also a small dashboard that tells you how many sites have been officially confirmed, and how many are in the process of being reviewed.
The online home of the KBA Canada program and registry, KBACanada.org
Here are some of the features you can explore:
- Interactive map: The map displays approved (polygons) and candidate (dots) sites and apply different filters to your search by province, type of species (taxonomy), and other criteria, according to your interest.
- Site-specific pages: Provide detailed information about specific KBAs, like the Fraser River Estuary in BC, Whitewater Lake in MB, and Musquodoboit in NS
- Species search page: Provides information on species that meet KBA criteria, such as the Hudsonian Godwit, Pygmy Whitefish, and Thread-leaved Sundew
All of these pages will continue to get better and better as more sites and species are added!
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Environment and Climate Change Minister of Canada, speaking at the KBA Canada launch event at the Canadian Museum of Nature, October 3, 2022.
Launch event highlights
At the KBA Canada launch event, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, extended his appreciation for the exceptional leadership demonstrated by KBA Canada. He expressed his pride in Canada being one of the first countries to adapt global KBA standards to a national context. Importantly, he emphasized that the KBA data are already being used to inform land use planning, protected areas planning, local stewardship, and land use policies.
The event was attended by conservation organizations, government ministries, foundations, and other committed partners who have been pivotal to bringing the KBA Program to life. Thank you to everyone who joined us.
We extend our deep gratitude to the event sponsor, RBC Tech for Nature, for making this event possible!
Members of the KBA Canada Secretariat (Birds Canada, NatureServe Canada, and Wildlife Conservation Society Canada) celebrating the launch of the KBA Canada program at the Canadian Museum of Nature, October 3, 2022.
The search for Canada’s Key Biodiversity Areas
You can learn more about Canada’s KBAs, including behind-the-scenes details on how they are identified, by listening to an interview with Andrew Couturier and Amanda Bichel from Birds Canada. Tune into The Warblers podcast!