Deh Cho Region Wetland Mapping Project

Regions: Dehcho Region

Tags: physical sciences, vegetation, wetlands, aerial photography

Principal Investigator: Merchant, Michael A (1)
Licence Number: 16360
Organization: Ducks Unlimited Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2018
Issued: Jul 11, 2018
Project Team: Michael Merchant ((Project Supervisor/Remote Sensing Analyst), Ducks Unlimited Canada), Al Richard ((Project Supervisor), Ducks Unlimited Canada), Barrett Lenoir ((NWT Manager / Project Supervisor), Ducks Unlimited Canada)

Objective(s): To develop wetland inventory for south western NWT that will be used to provide a baseline for many kinds of planning and research in support of biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of habitat.

Project Description: The main objective of this project is to develop wetland inventory for south western NWT that will be used to provide a baseline for many kinds of planning (including updates to the land use planning processes) and research in support of biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of habitat. Specific objectives are to:
1) develop and use computer-based methods to produce wetland maps with satellite imagery, conduct overhead field work to calibrate and validate the accuracy of the produced wetland maps; and,
2) produce user friendly documents describing the wetland maps and their wetland classes.

Helicopter overflights will be done to identify wetland vegetation during 1-2 months window when vegetation growth is at a maximum. The helicopter(s) navigates to pre-determined sites and hovers at a height of approximately 100 m. The crew records general site description and takes overhead digital photographs. For wetland vegetation identification, helicopter(s) descends to 10 m above vegetation (approximately 5-8 minutes to describe one field site before moving to the next). In total, approximately 40 hrs of helicopter flight time (may also use a fixed wing flight across portions of the Dehcho Region where helicopter access / fuel cache sites may be limited due to remoteness). Details of exact locations for sites, flight paths and fuel caches are currently being determined and can be modified if there are concerns about potential impacts on traditional or other activities.

Ducks Unlimited is in the process of developing work plans/contracts for Tribal Corporation field technical staff to assist in completing air and ground-based data collection. Further to this, these technicians will be trained to understand wetland inventory so that they can incorporate the data into their respective land use planning processes/further community engagement.

Prior to the fieldwork commencement community events are currently being planned to communicate the work at hand, areas being considered are Fort Simpson.


The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 10, 2018 to August 24, 2018.