Species in Columbia River Basin

The Basin is home to more than 700 species of birds, mammals, fish and reptiles. Included in this group are humans who, living in large and small communities, have been a part of our area's biodiversity for at least 10,000 years. Of the many thousands of species living in the province of B.C., less than 10% have been assessed for their conservation status.

The number one threat to species in the Basin, and biodiversity in general, is human development in the region, including forestry, mining, hydro-electric development, tourism, fire suppression, urban expansion, cattle ranching, and climate change.

Our situation is not unique; the existence of species around the world is being threatened. Luckily, because of the mountainous terrain in B.C. and the relative newness of large-scale human development, the components of our biodiversity are in relatively good shape. Recent trends, however, indicate that the threats to our species and ecosystems are accelerating and warrant our concern and action. This concern and appreciation is behind the development of the Biodiversity Atlas.

The Atlas includes data on mostly terrestrial—land-based—species, with information on some amphibian and aquatic species (especially fish) as well. In choosing which species to profile and map, we most often select species whose survival is in question. The Atlas is an evolving initiative which will change over time, with the addition of more species layers and information.

 

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