Prioritizing salmonid connectivity through the removal of barriers in a highly urbanized landscape

Systematic conservation planning tools allow us to use data on species distributions, habitat quality, and cost to and identify optimal areas to invest conservation and restoration resources. These tools can be particularly helpful in highly contested biodiverse landscapes where pressures from growing populations and economic development compete with conservation objectives. The Lower Fraser River represents an ideal location for the application of systematic conservation planning, it is home to Canada’s third largest population centre, and acts as the conduit for 56 Federally managed conservation units of pacific salmon, 16 of which spawn directly in the Lower Fraser. In support of Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s “Vision for Salmon in the Lower Fraser”, we intend to map historical salmon habitat, and apply the Marxan spatial analysis tool to identify priority areas for restoration. Historical baselines can quantify this “Vision” and Marxan can help chart a path towards achieving it.

Riley Finn
Faculty Supervisor: 
Tara Martin
British Columbia
Partner University: