Climate change will impact a greater number of sensitive species in Strathcona Provincial Park than any other park in B.C., says a new study led by the University of Victoria.
The research team from UVic’s Geography SPAR Lab (spatial pattern analysis research) used mapping technology to predict future environmental changes in each of B.C.’s provincial parks.
Established in 1911, Strathcona is the oldest provincial park in B.C. It will experience an increase in vegetation and a growing tree line, according to the research team.
Climate stress and a heightened tree line would negatively impact growth of the mountain heather alpine environment where the Vancouver Island marmot thrives.
“By modelling future conditions we hope conservationists will make smart decisions about biodiversity in our provincial parks,” says researcher Keith Holmes.
The team hopes its mapping tool will help conservationists with future parks planning and long-term preservation of biodiversity.