Crocus and mountains, AB (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Crocus and mountains, AB (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Scales of Conservation

Andrew Stiles, at a Conservation Volunteers event, Fleming Ranch, Alberta (Photo by NCC)

Andrew Stiles, at a Conservation Volunteers event, Fleming Ranch, Alberta (Photo by NCC)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) aims to conserve the best of our country’s natural habitats and species.

Our conservation process happens at the following three scales:

  • ecoregions
  • natural areas
  • properties/projects

Why is working at different scales important?

The problems we're trying to solve can often look very different, depending on the scale.

Just as it's impossible to see the whole forest when standing among individual trees, it’s also difficult to understand the importance of species and ecosystems on an individual property without understanding their place in the larger landscape and beyond.

For example, when surveying an individual property for the presence of a particular species, we could assume that based on this survey the species is doing just fine. But if that property is home to the single largest and healthiest population in the entire ecoregion, protecting this species becomes of the utmost importance.

Similarly, it may not be productive to pull weeds from a single property if there is an infestation raging throughout the surrounding area. Therefore, to understand threats to species, we also need to consider how extensive or localised they are across a landscape, if we want to effectively decrease their impacts on species and habitat.

So, depending on the problem NCC is working on, conservation efforts are sometimes undertaken across ecoregions. At other times they are restricted to specific natural areas. Other efforts occur only on NCC properties.

 

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