Interior Habitat Indicator for Alberta

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Canada is a party to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, which identifies the
conservation and restoration of biological diversity as a global priority. It is incumbent on the provinces and territories to track progress towards these goals. Alberta Environment and Parks developed a series of provincial indicators to estimate the status of biodiversity in the province. Interior habitat is one such indicator.
Interior habitat is the proportion of area outside of anthropogenic disturbance (human footprints) and associated edge effects. It is calculated by applying buffers to the geographic boundaries of human footprints. A 200-m buffer from footprint edges is generally used, with two exceptions. Narrow linear footprint features (less than 20 m wide) are given reduced buffers due to their small width, and forest harvest areas are given reduced buffers to account for harvest area recovery over time. For narrow linear footprint features, reduced buffer width is calculated as a function of footprint width. For forest harvest areas, initial buffer width is reduced linearly to zero over time from 0 to 60 years, and full recovery of the actual harvest area occurs at 80 years. The indicator can be applied at different scales, from the entire province to a local area where human footprint data are available.
Indicator values were calculated for all Hydrological Unit Code 8 (HUC 8) watersheds in Alberta using 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018 Human Footprint Inventories created and maintained by the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute. The dataset is available on GeoDiscover Alberta.