Geospatial Marsh Bird Habitat Analysis of Rainy Lake

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Where did that wetland go?

Changes in the water level management scheme has contributed to the loss and/or change of coastal marsh habitat on Rainy Lake


Digitally map coastal marsh habitat into wetland type classes for two time periods; before the water level management scheme was changed and 10 years after. Compare and statistically analyze the changes that have occurred by watershed in the Rainy Lake basin.


The Canadian Wildlife Service (Ontario) is a branch of Environment Canada responsible for wildlife and wildlife management.


Detecting various marsh types from ortho-rectified aerial photographs is a difficult process. The analysis of changes in the wetland sizes and types was critical in determining whether the change in the water level management scheme was negatively impacting coastal wetlands that breeding birds depend on.


FRi Ecological Services digitally mapped over 12,000 ha of coastal marsh habitat that was audited at the 30, 60 and 100 percent complete stages.


The analysis demonstrated statistically significant changes in total marsh area, total wet meadow area, total emergent marsh area and emergent marsh area to perimeter ratio.