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Ecosystem Management and Biodiversity  

Maligne River, AlbertaThere has been a shift from managing individual species and their habitats toward managing the ecosystem in which the species reside.  Although management of an individual species is often required, managing ecosystems is a more effective approach to maintaining the whole range of species that live in a geographical area or landscape.  This form of management is also described as managing for biodiversity of the landscape.

The landscape approach for wildlife management is the only practical way to cover all the species because it is almost impossible to individually study all the animals that live in an area -- there are just too many.  For example, protecting prairie wetland communities will save habitats and populations of all the plants and animals that live there, including the western blue flag and leopard frog (both threatened species).  Maintaining healthy ecosystems is far more effective than last-minute efforts to rescue individual species.

Alberta Environment works closely with other government departments and services, university and private researchers, landowners, conservation groups, and federal government agencies such as the Canadian Wildlife Service and Parks Canada to conserve the biodiversity of our province.

Reprinted from Focus On Wildlife Management  (1999) with permission of Alberta Environment.

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