Research and monitoring
A healthy park?
You probably get an annual check-up. The doctor weighs you and takes your blood pressure. You compare those numbers to past check-ups. Have you gotten skinnier or heavier? Blood pressure higher or lower?
We check the park’s health the same way! We chose a plant or animal that depends on a certain natural area to survive. Next, we count the numbers of this indicator species over time. If the numbers go up or down suddenly, then we know there might be a problem.
We call this check-up process Ecological Integrity Monitoring. Parks Canada is committed to maintaining the health of our protected areas.
Sixteen percent of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve is under the sea. Every spring, we count the numbers and types of young fish in the eelgrass meadows to check the health of the ocean. » Eelgrass Monitoring
Clams don’t move around much! They spend most of their long lives buried in the beaches. This makes them a perfect species to determine the health of intertidal areas. » Bivalve Monitoring
Every spring we record birdsongs in various places in the park. A healthy forest supports many birds of different types. » Songbird Monitoring
To monitor the health of the rocky intertidal areas, we also survey black oystercatchers. These birds nest on the shore of tiny islands in the park reserve. » Black Oystercatcher Survey