Prince Edward Island National Park of Canada

Ecological Integrity - Monitoring Program

Ecological Integrity

A healthy ecosystem has all of its parts intact along with its natural processes and functions. A healthy ecosystem has all of its parts intact along with its natural processes and functions.
© Parks Canada

Canada's National Parks protect and preserve our natural heritage for the benefit of all Canadians. To ensure that they continue to play this role, now and into the future, Parks Canada is working to sustain or restore ecological integrity.

Working for ecological integrity means that we strive to keep National Park ecosystems healthy and whole. A healthy ecosystem has all of its parts intact along with its natural processes and functions. It is also sustainable into the future. 

Research and monitoring play a vital role in the protection of our parks. What we learn helps us to understand how ecosystems work and how they are affected by human activities. Information collected by park staff, university professors and researchers, government agencies and non-governmental organizations supports the management of the park and protection of its ecosystems.

Monitoring Program

Regular check-ups, in the form of ecological monitoring, can help to determine the current state of health and to guide management activities. Regular check-ups, in the form of ecological monitoring, can help to determine the current state of health and to guide management activities.
© Parks Canada

Regular check-ups are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. By monitoring signs such as blood pressure and body weight, people can assess the state of their health. These measures may help to uncover health concerns or indicate the need for action to prevent future problems.

Just as regular check-ups are important for our good health, so too are they important for our ecosystems. Regular check-ups, in the form of ecological monitoring, can help to determine the current state of health and to guide management activities.

In Prince Edward Island National Park, the ecological monitoring program is focused on its four major ecosystems: forest, freshwater, coastal and wetland. The condition of these ecosystems serves as the indicator for the overall health, or ecological integrity, of the park. 

A series of permanent monitoring sites have been set up in each ecosystem. Information from three categories, 1) biodiversity, 2) ecosystem processes and 3) ecosystem structure and function, is collected regularly. Together, these data help to create a complete picture of the health of the park – its current state and its changes through time.

Additional information on the Ecological Monitoring Program for Prince Edward Island National Park is available at Science in Action and in our Management Plan .


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