Conservation Data Centre

The Manitoba Conservation Data Centre (MBCDC) is a storehouse of information on Manitoba’s biodiversity - its plant and animal species, as well as its natural plant communities. The MBCDC functions under the umbrella of NatureServe and NatureServe Canada, a network of over 60 similar centres throughout Canada and the United States. This network, along with a central team of scientists, maintains science-based information about the biodiversity of North America.

The MBCDC has developed lists of plant, animal, insect, and Status Ranked species S1, S2, and S3 species found in Manitoba and also where they occur in each of Manitoba’s Ecoregions:

These species and communities are known as elements of biodiversity. MBCDC assigns each of these elements a conservation status rank, based on how rare the species or community is in Manitoba, then collects detailed information on where the provincially rare elements have been found. These locations, known as element occurrences, are mapped in a geographic information system (GIS) and entered into a species and plant community database. The MBCDC uses a scientifically and empirically defined methodology and rigorous standards common to all CDC’s throughout the NatureServe network. The information has many uses, including conservation and development planning, and is made available to government, the private sector, and the public.

The MBCDC works with developers to minimize effects on rare species if they occur in the project area. For example, the MBCDC has developed recommended setback distances for at-risk bird species.

The MBCDC was established in July 1994 through a partnership between The Manitoba Museum, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), and Natural Resources and Northern Development (now Economic Development, Investment, Trade and Natural Resources). The MBCDC is currently part of the of the Biodiversity, Habitat, and Endangered Species section of the Wildlife and Fisheries Branch.