Stewardship Baseline Objectives Tool Glossary

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Back Country - These are areas within travel time from cities greater than 2 hours, and travel time from high-use roads greater than 1 hour.

BEC Zones – abbreviation for Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification. BEC Zones are distinguished as either High or Moderate sensitivity: High (CWH, ICH, ESSF, SBS); Moderate (MS, MH, IDF); Low (all other BEC Zones). Mid-seral is assigned as per BEC forest age criteria from the Biodiversity Guidebook, and further classified for potential forage suitability. 'Low' forage suitability (dark, dense stands with little understory) are considered as 'mid-seral dense conifer'. Mid-seral condition is tracked when projecting future forest structure and limits to long-term grizzly bear forage supply can be noted.

BEI – abbreviation for Broad Ecosystem Inventory.

Capable Habitat - is identified in Broad Ecosystem Inventory (BEI) mapping, and excludes major water, ice and glacial features. The following 500m buffers on select human disturbance are also excluded from the secure core:mining, oil and gas, utility Rights of Way, agricultural, urban, and urban-mixed use areas. Harvest cut blocks and seismic lines were not included.

CEF - Cumulative Effects Framework

Core Security Areas – are defined as areas that have adequate Grizzly Bear habitat with minimum human use. They are large enough to accommodate a female Grizzly Bear’s daily foraging requirements. The integrity of the security area is sensitive to the extent and spatial arrangement of developments including roads, settlements, recreation areas and industrial areas. These are defined as areas that are roadless and in patches >= 10km2

Density Unit Net Area - these are areas within the WMU excluding water (e.g. lakes) and ice (e.g. glaciers) that support Grizzly Bears. These areas are either Core or Not Core Grizzly Bear areas.

Front Country - These are areas within travel time from cities less than or equal 1 hour to greater than 2 hours, and travel time from high-use road less than or equal to 1 hour.

GBPU – abbreviation for Grizzly Bear Population Units. For management purposes the province is divided into GBPUs which is a mix of bear biology and management need.

Habitat Suitability - is defined as the ability of the habitat in its current condition to provide the life requisites of the specie.

IUNC – abbreviation for International Union for the Conservation of Nature

LU – abbreviation for Landscape Unit

Land Designations -  are spatially-defined areas established through legislation or purchased for the protection of nature and cultural values, the conservation of biological diversity and ecosystem services and the management of natural resources. Land designations that contribute to conservation are summarized in three categories: Protected Lands, Resource Exclusion Areas and Spatially Managed Areas. The three categories span a considerable range in contribution to conservation, with variation in purpose, scope and strength - with respect to intended conservation outcomes - and length of the term of the designations.

Number of Bears - is identified as a supplemental indicator for Population Status in the interim assessment protocol for Grizzly Bear in BC. Some populations have been measured, while others are estimated based on regression model that relates landscape-scale factors to the known densities. Model-based estimates are reviewed and sometimes revised by regional wildlife managers based on local knowledge. Lower densities are a conservation concern whether occuring naturally or resulting from historical effects. Bear densities are typically reported by the GBPU and WMU (CEF/MOE/FLNRO, 2017).

QEP Q's - Qualified Environmental Professionals Questionnaire

Road Density - Total length of roads divided by the total WMU area (km/km2). It is identified as a supplemental indicator for Population Status in the interim assessment protocol for Grizzly Bear in BC. Studies have found that most known grizzly bear deaths lie within 500 m of a road or other corridor. 

Road Density Class - Road density classes are defined to determine between very high to low road density and roadless areas within the South Coast Region. Class 0 are areas that are roadless (0 km/km2), Class 1 are low density areas (>0 - 0.3 km/km2), Class 2 are moderate density areas (0.31 - 0.6 km/km2), Class 3 are high density areas (0.61 - 0.75 km/km2), Class 4 to Class 7 are very high density areas (>0.75 km/km2).

S2S LRMP – abbreviation for Sea-to-Sky Land and Resource Management Plan. Grizzly Bears occur in relatively low densities across the majority of the S2S LRMP Plan Area, however, they are believed to be more abundant in more remote areas. The Plan (pp. 73-77) describes key issues, goals, and management directions for Grizzly Bear.

WMU – abbreviation for Wildlife Management Unit. WMUs are made up of areas used to present bear density and abundance. There are two WMUs within the South Coast that are split between GBPUs, WMU 2-11 is split between Squamish-Lillooet GBPU and South Chilcotin Ranges GBPU. WMU 2-05 is split between Toba-Bute GBPU and Squamish-Lillooet GBPU.

Recruitment Habitat - is typically not used by Spotted Owls, but possesses the potential to grow into dispersal, foraging and nesting habitat in the future.

Current Habitat – represents the current availability of the four habitat types based on the Vegetation Resource Inventory database used.

Dispersal Habitat - is used by Spotted Owls typically less proportion than its availability in the landscape. Dispersal habitat provide for dispersal (understory and cover) but may not support foraging opportunities and lacks structures for nesting.

Foraging Habitat - is used by Spotted Owls typically in the same proportion as its availability in the landscape. Foraging habitat provides for foraging and dispersal but may lack structures to provide for nesting.

Future Trends - were calculated using the suitable Spotted Owl habitat model by comparing differences in the amount of nesting, foraging and dispersal habitat from the 2017 VRI data (Current habitat conditions) with the Variable Density Yield Projection output for 2037 based on the 2017 VRI database (Future habitat conditions). 

Habitat Quality and Quantity Index (HQQI) - can be used to rank Landscape Units and Spotted Owl Populations Units for recovery actions such as re-introduction of captive-raised Spotted Owls or to prioritize habitat enhancement efforts to accelerate Spotted Owl Habitat recruitment. It can also be used to assess habitat impacts where those activities in Capable Habitats (NQ) would not alter the HQQI, while impacts within the other habitat types would reduce the HQQI; more so if impacts were solely within Nesting Habitats (HQ). HQQI were calculated for each Landscape Unit and Spotted Owl Population Unit. A long-term habitat recovery target is to achieve an HQQI greater than 80. 

Habitat Model - to approximate the 4 habitat types, and in recognition of the three ecosystem influences (Maritime, Sub-maritime and Continental), an algorithm was applied to the provincial Vegetative Resource Inventory data set. The model considers the primary leading species (Douglas-fir, Western Red Cedar and Western Hemlock) and its composition in mixed forests, as well as the age, height and crown closure of the stand.

Historic Trends - were calculated using the suitable Spotted Owl habitat model by comparing differences in the amount of nesting, foraging and dispersal habitat from the 2003 Vegetative Resource Inventory (VRI) data (Historic habitat conditions) with the 2017 VRI database (Current habitat conditions). 

Landscape Unit - an area of land and water used for long-term planning of resource management activities.

Managed Future Habitat Areas (MFHA) - In addition to protected habitats, 51,117 ha of Wildlife Habitat Areas - Managed Future Habitat Areas (WHA - MFHA) have been established for future consideration. The primary purpose of the MFHA is to provide for short-term timber harvesting opportunities that retain structural attributes important with Spotted Owl habitat (i.e. large diameter trees) so that in the future, if necessary, these areas may replace habitats within WHA-LTOHA that are lost to natural disturbances.

Nesting Habitat - is the preferred habitat of Spotted Owls and is chosen for use by the owl typically in greater proportion than its availability in the landscape. Nesting habitat provides for all of the owl’s life requisites that include the abilities to support nesting, foraging and dispersal.

Population Monitoring - Spotted Owl inventory efforts each year by the Provincial Government has been variable due to available resources and differing management priorities. In general, the amount of Spotted Owl habitat inventoried each year only represents a subset sample of all available Spotted Owl habitat in the province.

Population Unit – term used to define a geographic area managed for maintaining Spotted Owls. Population Units vary in size and are distributed throughout the Spotted Owl’s range in BC

Spotted Owl Management Plan (SOMP) – As part of British Columbia’s Spotted Owl Recovery Action Plan, the 1997 Spotted Owl Management Plan (SOMP 1) was revised to better protect Spotted Owl habitats as identified by the Canadian Spotted Owl Recovery Team (CSORT – 2002 to 2007). The new Spotted Owl Habitat Plan (SOMP 2) is comprised of 195,584 ha of forests protected within Provincial Parks, Greater Vancouver Watersheds, and other protected areas. An additional 108,293 ha of forests are protected specifically for Spotted Owl recovery within Wildlife Habitat Areas - Long Term Owl Habitat (WHA - LTOH). Combined the primary purpose of these 303,877 ha, as it relates to Spotted Owl recovery, is to protect and restore habitat to recover the Spotted Owl population.

Spotted Owl Wildlife Habitat Areas (WHAs) - under the Forest Practices and Range Act (FRPA) and Oil and Gas Activities Act, WHAs are established by the Deputy Minister of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to provide legal protection to Provincial Crown Forests to protect Northern Spotted Owls. By approving the WHAs, the Deputy Minister is satisfied that these WHAs contained habitat that is necessary to meet the habitat requirements for Northern Spotted Owls, and, that the habitat requires special management that is not otherwise provided for under Government Actions Regulation or another enactment.

Suitable Habitat - for the purposes of Spotted Owl habitat management, habitat has been divided into 4 habitat types based on the function and life requisites it provides: nesting habitat, foraging habitat, dispersal habitat, and capable habitat.

Timber Harvesting Land Base (THLB) – portion of the Crown forest land base that is available for timber harvesting. The Crown forest land base consists of Crown land with forest cover within the Timber Supply Area, excluding Tree Farm Licences, community forests, woodlots and private lands. The THLB is that portion of the Crown forest land base that does not include protected areas; areas deemed uneconomic for the protection and conservation of other forest values, such as wildlife, habitat, biodiversity, recreation, etc.; and  areas with unstable terrain, roads, etc. Once areas that do not contribute to the THLB have been identified, any remaining areas are considered to be the current THLB.

Augmentation – is the process of increasing an Oregon Spotted Frog population by adding additional individuals from the captive breeding program and/or head-starting program.

Captive Breeding – is a program where animals are held in captivity and bred so offspring can be released to augment existing populations.

Communal Breeding – is breeding when multiple pairs lay egg masses in the same location. Oregon Spotted Frogs will lay egg masses on top of previously laid egg masses or in tight clusters which is an identifying feature for this species.

Critical Habitat - is the habitat necessary for the survival or recovery of listed species as identified in a recovery strategy or action plan.

eDNA – environmental DNA is a new technique which uses DNA found in the environment, for example in water samples, to test for and detect cryptic species.

Egg Mass Surveys – a technique where surveyors walk or kayak through habitat during breeding season searching for and recording amphibian egg masses. Multiple surveys are conducted through the season to ensure all egg masses are counted. Population size can be estimated from the total count of egg masses assuming 1:1 sex ratio (i.e. 125 egg masses multiplied by two (one male and one female) equals 250 breeding adults).

Extant Population – is a population that currently exists.

Extirpated Population – is a population that no longer exists at a certain location (locally extinct).

Head-starting – is a program where wild laid egg masses are brought into captivity and reared to small frog size to increase survivorship of these vulnerable life stages. Offspring are then released back to where they were collected from or used to augment other populations.

Healthy Population – is a population where the breeding population is stable at or above 250 breeding adults and is measured by counting at least 125 egg masses in a population annually. 

Historic Locations – are locations where Oregon Spotted Frogs were recorded in historic naturalist records and published literatures

Hotspot – a location where multiple Oregon Spotted Frogs have been detected and mapped geographically. Detections included egg masses, juvenile frogs, and adult frogs. Results are biased by locations where extensive research has occurred. Locations of low density may indicate lower survey effort and not fewer frogs..

Metamorph – is a young frog that has recently undergone metamorphosis from tadpole to frog.

Oregon Spotted Frog Range - is the geographic area that has the habitat and climate conditions known to be suitable for the Oregon Spotted Frog.

OSF – abbreviation for Oregon Spotted Frog

Recovery Habitats - are locations where eDNA surveys have indicated likely presence of Oregon Spotted Frogs or the site has been evaluated as a potential translocation site for creation of a new population to meet the recovery goal. These habitats may be required to reach the recovery goal for this endangered species.

Survival Habitats - are habitats mapped following the same criteria as Critical Habitat and are proposed for inclusion as Critical Habitat when the Recovery Strategy is updated. These habitats are critical for species survival.

Unhealthy Population – is a population where the breeding population is unstable or below 250 breeding adults and is measured by counting less than 125 egg masses in a population annually.

*Note: definitions have been provided for the identified terms as they relate to Roosevelt Elk and their management.

Annual Allowable Harvest (AAH) - the optimum or desired number of elk that can be removed each year by a licensed resident, non-resident and non-resident alien hunter from a management area.

Elk population unit (EPU) – boundaries used to define the scale for managing and assessing the status of elk populations. EPUs typically follow major watershed boundaries, but are modified to account for known elk distribution, habitat use and movements. Forty-four EPUs comprise the South Coast Region, six of which are thought to consist of Rocky Mountain Elk or Rocky Mountain/Roosevelt Elk hybrids.

General Open Season - one of two types of hunting seasons available to licensed hunters in BC which are open to all licensed hunters and harvest is managed through season length, restrictions on class of animal and bag limits. This type of hunting season is not available for hunting Roosevelt Elk in BC.

Habitat Capability – ability of the habitat, under the optimal natural (seral) conditions to provide elk life requisites, irrespective of the current condition of the habitat. Estimate of the highest potential value of a particular habitat and is useful in providing predictive scenarios for various habitat management options. Capability classification of these areas are based on what the ecosystems would be like if they reverted from their present state back to a non-intensive management state. A 6-class rating scheme was used given the high level of understanding of elk habitat use.

Habitat Objective – for each EPU, the population objective was translated to quantity of suitable habitat required to support the carrying capacity, K, for Living in Winter (LIW), and Living in Growing (LIG) seasons based on the average density of elk for each of Class 1 through 3 habitat. Step by step calculations for the Elk Habitat Objectives are described in Appendix 1 of the Elk SBOT Overview page.

Habitat Suitability - ability of the habitat in its current condition to provide elk life requisites. It is an estimate of how well current habitat conditions provide the specified life requisite(s) for elk being considered. The suitability of the land is frequently less than the capability because of unfavourable seral conditions. A 6-class rating scheme was used given the high level of understanding of elk habitat use.

Limited Entry Hunting - one of two types of hunting seasons available to licensed hunters in BC which gives managers increased control over the number of hunters that can hunt a species, or a class of species, in a specific area and during a specific time.

Living in Growing (LIG) - season defined as the primary foraging period for elk.

Living in Winter (LIW) - season defined as the period which is thought to be most limiting and therefore, critical to population success for this species. Movement and foraging is generally more limited during this period.

Seral Stage –  series of successional stages that follow forest renewal (e.g., 1. establishment = early/young seral; 2. thinning/stem exclusion = mid-seral; 3. transition = mature seral; and 4) shifting mosaic = old seral (Spies 1996)). Seral stages may vary depending on the BEC zones, refer to the Biodiversity Guidebook for age of seral stage for a given Biogeoclimatic Unit.

Snow-Intercepting Cover - forest stands that reduce the snowpack in the understorey by providing a barrier, which influences use of elk during the winter, and is more influential during years with extreme winter conditions. Dense young-growth (>10 m tall) and old-growth forests provide the best snow-interception cover for elk.

Timber Harvesting Land Base (THLB) – portion of the Crown forest land base that is available for timber harvesting. The Crown forest land base consists of Crown land with forest cover within the Timber Supply Area, excluding Tree Farm Licences, community forests, woodlots and private lands. The THLB is that portion of the Crown forest land base that does not include protected areas; areas deemed uneconomic for the protection and conservation of other forest values, such as wildlife, habitat, biodiversity, recreation, etc.; and  areas with unstable terrain, roads, etc. Once areas that do not contribute to the THLB have been identified, any remaining areas are considered to be the current THLB.

Translocation - a conservation management tool that has shown to be effective in managing elk populations over a short period of time whereby elk are captured, transported and released in an alternate location in an effort to re-establish or increase elk populations in parts of their historic range. Both a suitable source population and a suitable EPU for population recovery/augmentation are required.

Ungulate Winter Ranges (UWRs) - an area that contains habitat that is necessary to meet the winter habitat requirements of elk (i.e., snow-interceptions cover, thermal cover, available forage). There are presently no approved UWRs in the South Coast Region for elk, all UWRs established for other species may be used by elk (e.g., Columbian Black-Tailed Deer).

Acoustic Receiver Station - Fixed acoustic receiver station locations for monitoring adult sturgeon movements, migration and habitat use.  Some stations are deployed year-round and others are deployed seasonally in migration corridors or at spawning sites.

Adult telemetry projects - Adult sturgeon have been surgically implanted with acoustic transmitters to monitor their larger scale movement patterns and their use of critical feeding, overwintering and spawning habitats. There have been both long-term and short-term projects, including radio, acoustic and satellite telemetry work. One particular long-term project is a ten year acoustic telemetry monitoring program that started in 2013.  Many interesting migration and habitat use patterns are being discovered through the program. The delineated habitats on the dashboard describe locations of fixed station acoustic receivers that are used to assess spawning, feeding  and overwintering habitat use, use of the large lakes, estuary and marine habitats, and migration or movement patterns.

Adult Sturgeon - Sturgeon larger than ~150 cm in fork length.  Males mature at 14 to 16 years of age and females at 16 to 18.

Eulachon Spawning Sites - Habitat areas where Eulachon spawning has been confirmed or suspected.

Estimated Total Population (2001 – 2016) graph The graphics describe status estimates of the lower Fraser White Sturgeon population as derived from population assessment models used to support data collected through the volunteer based mark-recapture program. The Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society (FRSCS) and LGL Limited have been managing the program for more than 18 years. Read the current and previous assessment reports.  Thresholds for the estimated male to female ratios are adapted from Department of Fisheries’ Recovery Strategy for White Sturgeon. Read the Recovery Strategy for White Sturgeon.

Genetic and Microchemisty Analysis studies - through the use of soft tissue samples, these studies have been able to differentiate sturgeon populations, confirm two different life history strategies (marine versus large lake use), and investigate the impacts of the catch-and-release recreational fishery on blood hormone levels.

Juvenile Catch Location - Survey sites where juvenile sturgeon have been captured confirming seasonal or high use.

Juvenile Habitat and Population Assessments ​ -The described habitats identify locations where younger juvenile sturgeon have been captured.  Some locations are considered high use index sites and are regularly, but periodically sampled (3 years on, 2 years off).

Juvenile Sturgeon – Sturgeon in their 1st year up to ~4 years of age.

Larval Sturgeon – From hatch at ~7-10 days old to ~14 days old.

Management of Salmon Net Incidental catch: - in 2006, a preliminary survivability study was released that compared sturgeon survival after being caught in various gear types (drift nets, angling, set nets).

Mark -recapture program - this program has been in place since 2000 aimed to provide data to support the development of population assessment models. Volunteer anglers scan all caught sturgeon to determine if they have been implanted with a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag, indicating it has been previously captured. Each capture and recapture occasion is recorded and provided to the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society (FRSCS) for inclusion in the population estimate models. to current and previous assessment reports: https://www.frasersturgeon.com/research-for-survival-reports/

Mortality monitoring - sturgeon mortalities are investigated to determine the likely cause of death, giving insight into threats to the survival of sturgeon (eg. boat strikes, gill nets, angling, etc.). These sturgeon are also used to estimate the likelihood of tag loss, which is used to inform the mark-recapture program (this program is further described elsewhere in the glossary).

Provincial River Guardian Program - this program typically runs during the recreation fishery, with employees interviewing anglers to record catch, effort, and incidental catch of sturgeon, helping to educate anglers sturgeon best handling practices, and noting any compliance and violations they may see. These employees also provide a bridge between DFO monitors, angling guides, anglers, and First Nations.

Recreational Fishery Management - the Province uses several methods for managing the recreational fishery. One method is collecting catch and effort data from anglers to determine how many sturgeon are captured in this fishery. The Province uses education programs, including the provincial River Guardian Program, initiates changes in management, such as delineating spawning areas and encouraging no fishing zones around these areas, and ensures compliance and enforcement of regulations through the use of Conservation Officers.

Spawning Habitat Assessments ​ -  The described habitats identify locations where sturgeon eggs and larvae have been sampled for historically and recently.  To better understand the effectiveness and reproductive capacity of the spawn, it's important that spawning habitat assessments where eggs and larvae have been collected are completed on a regular schedule as the river undergoes habitat changes, especially in the gravel reach where sturgeon spawn. The Herrling Side Channel location is periodically assessed (2 years on, 2 years off) for this reason. Other locations have been intermittently assessed in the past, but are planned for regular assessment in the future.

Spawning Survey Site - Survey sites where spawn mats or drift nets have been deployed to assess, confirm or monitor sturgeon spawning activity.

Sturgeon Egg or Larval Capture Location - Spawning survey sites where sturgeon have been collected and spawning activity may have been confirmed

Sub-Adult (older juvenile) Sturgeon – Sturgeon from over 4 years up to ~14 years of age.

Total Habitat Area in River by Habitat Type - this graphic describes the different habitat types that have been mapped as a percentage of the total area of the Fraser River, from the mouth of the river to Hell’s Gate. This also includes Pitt River and Harrison River. Definitions for some of the terms in the bottom axis are found in the glossary.

Total Number of Adults per Acoustic Receiver Location - this graphic describes the total number of adults with surgically implanted acoustic transmitters that pass by a given acoustic receiver. This program has been ongoing since 2013, and many interesting migration and habitat use patterns have been discovered through this program.

Total Number of Eggs Per Year - this graphic describes the total number of eggs found on spawn mats or drift nets in the years in which they have been deployed, as part of the spawning habitat assessment program (see the definition of the assessment program in the glossary for more information).

Total Number of Juveniles per year - this graphic describes the total number of juvenile sturgeon that have been captured using tangle nets through the juvenile habitat and population assessments program (see the definition of the assessment program in the glossary for more information).

White Sturgeon Adult and Sub-Adult Rearing Areas – Habitat areas where sturgeon gather to hold, stage, feed or overwinter.

White Sturgeon Juvenile Rearing Areas – Habitats where younger (1st year to ~4 year olds) juvenile rearing has been confirmed.

White Sturgeon Spawning Areas – Habitats where sturgeon spawning has been confirmed or suspected.

White Sturgeon Spawning Regulated Fishing Closure Area -  Areas that include sturgeon spawning, and pre and post-spawn staging habitats that are closed to fishing during the May 15th to July 31st spawning period. Read the regulations. 

White Sturgeon Spawning Voluntary Fishing Closure Area - Areas that include sturgeon spawning, and pre and post-spawn staging habitats that anglers are asked to avoid during the May 15th to July 31st spawning period.