Ministry of Environment
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Report: British Columbia Wildlife Species Distribution Mapping

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In the early and mid- 1970s there were two independent efforts that lead to the preparation of province-wide species distribution maps: one was as part of individual species management plans and the other was as a completion of the British Columbia portion of the Canada Land Inventory surveys and mapping project.The 27 maps presented here represent a unique view of some of the first province-wide distribution and abundance maps for 12 big game species that occur in the province.

Author:  Demarchi, D.A.

Date Published:  Nov 2013

Report ID:  40140

Audience:  Government and Public

Prior to the early 1970s there were no reliable province-wide species distribution maps in British Columbia. Most maps were very small in scale and general in nature, even for a species such as Mountain Sheep that where of much interest at that time. Examples of such maps include William T. Hornadays Mountain Sheep distribution map Figure 1 (1914: page 27); Ian McTaggart-Cowans native sheep of North America distribution map Figure 2 (1940: page 574); Cowan and Charles J. Guiguets distribution map of Bighorn and Thinhorn Sheep of British Columbia Figure 3 (1956: page 395). There were also three subspecies maps that can be considered as being the first for the BC: Charles Sheldons Thinhorn Sheep map Figure 4 (1911: after page 299); Lawson G. Sugdens California Bighorn Sheep of the Okanagan Figure 5 (1961: page 11); Ray and Dennis Demarchis Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep of the East Kootenay distribution map Figure 6. After the early 1950s, when university educated biologists were hired for regional offices, winter flights were undertaken to assess game population numbers and status that a more comprehensive documentation of big game distribution in the province. In addition, 1965 an intensive wildlife inventory program was undertaken for the Province, under the Canada Land Inventory (CLI) of the federal Agriculture Rural Development Agreement (ARDA) (Benson, 1981; Cowan 1987; Robinson 1987). In 1961 Lawson G. Sugdens California Bighorn Sheep report was the first to document the distribution and abundance of an entire subspecies in the province (Sugden 1961). Since then it is commonplace for distribution and abundance reports to be produced for entire species in the province and elsewhere. The 27 maps presented here represent a unique view of some of the first province-wide distribution and abundance maps for 12 big game species that occur in the province

Report Type
  Terrestrial Information
  Mammals - Bighorn Sheep: Ovis canadensis
  Mammals - Black Bear: Ursus americanus
  Mammals - Caribou: Rangifer tarandus
  Mammals - Columbia Black-tailed Deer: O.hemionus columbianus
  Mammals - Cougar: Puma concolor
  Mammals - Elk: Cervus elaphus
  Mammals - Grey Wolf: Canis lupus
  Mammals - Grizzly Bear: Ursus arctos
  Mammals - Moose: Alces alces
  Mammals - Mountain Goat: Oreamnos americanus
  Mammals - Mule Deer: Odocoileus hemionus
  Mammals - Rocky Mtn.Bighorn Sheep:Ovis canadensis canadensis
  Mammals - Rocky Mountain Elk - Cervus canadensis nelsoni
  Mammals - Thinhorn Sheep: Ovis dalli
  Mammals - White-tailed Deer: Odocoileus virginiana
  Region - Vancouver Island
  Region - Lower Mainland
  Region - Thompson-Nicola
  Region - Kootenay
  Region - Cariboo
  Region - Skeena
  Region - Omineca
  Region - Peace
  Region - Okanagan
  Region - Province Wide
  Region - Unknown
  Terrestrial Information - Habitat Modeling
  Terrestrial Information - Habitat Monitoring
  Terrestrial Information - Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM)

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