A Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory (SEI) was conducted for Metro Vancouver and Abbotsford based largely on 2009 aerial photography. The SEI identifies and maps ecologically significant and relatively unmodified Sensitive Ecosystems (SE), including wetlands, older forests and woodlands using provincial standards. The SEI also includes Modified Ecosystems (ME) such as old fields and young forests, which are human-modified but still have ecological value and importance to biodiversity. Ecosystem quality was assessed through an evaluation of condition, landscape context and size. The study area covers 367,000 ha consisting of over 330,000 ha of terrestrial lands plus several thousand hectares of rivers, freshwater bodies, and intertidal and estuarine zones. Approximately 188,000 ha are Sensitive or Modified Ecosystems. This is a regional-scale inventory of higher quality natural or semi-natural ecosystems and therefore small (less than 0.5 ha for SEs) or very disturbed ecosystems were not included.
Please be aware that the Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory (SEI) was generated remotely using aerial photography and only a proportion of ecosystems were confirmed in the field. It represents a snapshot in time. It may not accurately reflect current conditions due to misclassification or changes in the landscape and does not replace the need for on-site assessment.