TOTAL Human Footprint:
The Parkland Natural Region occupies approximately 61,000 km2 or 10% of Alberta, forming a broad transitional band between the Grassland Natural Region to the south and the Boreal Natural Region to the north. As a result, no known species are unique to this region; instead, plant and animal communities share characteristics of the neighbouring ecosystems. Much of the Parkland Natural Region has been converted for agricultural purposes. The remaining native vegetation is a mixture of grasslands interspersed with Aspen woodlands where well-known plants like Snowberry, Saskatoon, Chokecherry, and Prickly Rose are commonly found. The abundance of wetlands that dot the Parkland Natural Region, particularly in the east, are part of the prairie pothole region, otherwise known as the “duck factory” of North America. This is a globally significant breeding and migratory stopover area for waterfowl, shorebirds, and landbirds. While native parkland is limited, the juxtaposition of croplands and pastures with natural habitats like native grasslands, wetlands, windbreaks, and forests provides foraging and breeding opportunities for a diversity of wildlife species. Human footprint status and trend is presented for the Parkland Natural Region.
As of 2016, human footprint occupied the majority of the Parkland Natural Region, covering 78.07% of the area. Agriculture was the predominant footprint type, occupying 68.16% of the region. Urban/industrial footprint (3.76%), transportation footprint (3.75%), and energy footprint (2.10%) were fairly evenly distributed across the landscape.
Figure: Status of Linear Human Footprint. Density (km/km2) of linear features in the Parkland Natural Region, circa 2016, overall and broken down by linear feature type. Hover over bar or legend to view density of specific linear feature type. Please note low impact seismic lines are not included in the summary of linear footprint density.