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Terrestrial areas

The vast majority of protected areas in Canada are terrestrial - land and freshwater based. Approximately 9.6% of Canada's land mass is contained within the boundaries of terrestrial protected areas. 

northern landscape Terrestrial protected areas are created and managed by the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and non-government organizations (such as national and provincial land-trusts).  A small number are administered by Aboriginal governments and communities. Others are jointly managed by two or more jurisdictions.  While half of the land in Canadian terrestrial protected areas is managed by the Government of Canada, 90% of the terrestrial protected areas are under Provincial or Territorial administration. 


dragonfly There are many different classifications for terrestrial protected areas, depending on the organization that manages them.  Some protected areas have a greater focus on ecological integrity while others exist more for public enjoyment. In Canada, the main terrestrial protected areas include:


Many of Canada’s terrestrial protected areas are also included within networks of international conservation initiatives:  RAMSAR wetlands, UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, Important Bird Areas, and Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserves

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