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Recovery Strategy for the Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos), Prairie Population, in Canada

3. Appendix 1

Spatial analysis

Arcview 9.2 (Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) 2006) was used to find suitable grizzly bear habitat through spatial analysis. This involved two processes: i) identifying secure habitats and ii) identifying the life ranges for each secure habitat.

i) Secure habitats were identified by overlaying the layers below that met the suitability criteria and resulted in polygons ≥ 9 km2.

Layer themeSuitability criteria
Human densityDensity ≤ 0.5 humans/ km2
Proximity to transportation corridorsDistance > than 500 m from roads or railways
Land coverGrassland, shrubs, trees, and wetlands.
Landform typeCanyons, deeply-incised streams, mid-slope drainages, shallow valleys, upland drainages, headwaters, and u-shaped valleys.
Proximity to lakes and streamsIntersects with a water course or type 2 water body (permanent water polygon feature, other than a slough, irrigation canal, or flooded area).


ii) Life ranges were identified for each secure habitat using the following steps:

Layer themeSuitability criteria
1. Circular buffer (900 km2) of secure habitat centroidsRadius = 16.925 km.
2. Life rangesCircular buffers with mean human density ≤ 0.5 humans/km2, mean road/rail density ≤ 0.6 km/km2, and land cover in cropland and hayland is < 10%.


Spatial data sources

Layer themeData source
Human density
  • Census Subdivision 2006 Cartographic Boundary File, Statistics Canada.
  • 2006 Census Population, Land Area and Population Density - Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta Census Subdivisions (CSDs), Statistics Canada.
Proximity to transportation corridors
  • The National Road Network, Canada, Level 1, Natural Resources Canada.
  • National Topographic System 1:250 000 scale railways, Natural Resources Canada.
Land cover
  • Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration Western Grain Transition Payment Program Land Cover (Oct, 1993 - Jun, 1995), Agriculture Canada.
Landform type
  • The tool used to create this layer is called the "Topographic Position Index Procedure", developed by Jeff Jenness, Jenness Enterprises.
  • GeoBase Canadian Digital Elevation Data, Level 1 (1:250 000 series) digital elevation models, Natural Resources Canada.
Proximity to lakes and streams
  • National Topographic System 1:250 000 scale water bodies and water courses, Natural Resources Canada.