COMMISSION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATION
THREE COUNTRIES WORKING TOGETHER TO PROTECT OUR SHARED ENVIRONMENT
This map shows the percentage of land currently protected within level III terrestrial ecoregions in North America. Created by Don Lipscomb and Rob Baldwin at Clemson University in South Carolina (http://www.clemson.edu/cafls/departments/forestry/), this map combines data from the CEC's North American Environmental Atlas: Terrestrial Ecoregions Level III (2006) and Protected Areas (2008).
The terrestrial ecoregions data were created following the CEC's 1997 publication, Ecological Regions of North America: Toward a Common Perspective. These data were updated in 2006 by representatives of Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The protected areas database was created with data from Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada, Mexico's Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP), the United States Conservation Biology Institute's Protected Areas Database (Version 4), and the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA).
In order to calculate the percentage of land protected by ecoregion, the area for each level III ecoregion polygon was compared to the total area of all intersecting protected area polygons. This intersecting area was divided by the initial ecoregion area and multiplied by 100, resulting in a percentage of land protected for that ecoregion. All calculations were done in Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projections. The resulting map, based on these percentage values, potentially highlights vulnerable level III ecoregions across North America.