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This level also allows to identify medium size wetlands.

Lastly, the fine level is the refinement of the medium level, composed exclusively of « Potential Wetlands - Medium » class.

The smallest wetlands are identified at this level, but always keeping in mind the spatial objects must be larger than 1 ha to be compatible with the CWI minimum mapping unit.

Hierarchical classification optimizes wetland identification and reduces multi-class confusion.

(CWI) started in spring 2002 and was first aimed to develop a method to map 5 wetland classes stratification, based on the Canadian Wetland Classification System, with a minimal mapping unit of 1 hectare.

The 5 wetlands classes for the CWI are : marsh, swamp, shallow water, fen and bog.

However, for the third time in 10 years, an International Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) Breeding and Winter Census was conducted throughout the species range in 2001. Regional trends suggest that since 1991, number of breeding birds increased on the Atlantic Coast by 78 % (2,920 birds; 12.4 % increase since 1996) and by 80 % in the Great Lakes (72 birds; 50 % increase since 1996). Subregional trends since 1991 reflect a 32.4 % decline in Prairie Canada (972 birds; 42.4 % decline since 1996), a 2.5 % decline in the U. northern Great Plains (1,981 birds; 24 % increase since 1996), 5.5 % decline in eastern Canada (481 birds; 14 % increase since 1996), although a 66.2 % increase on the U. They were all examined for external lesions and palpated to detect vertebral deformities.

However, plovers declined 15 % (2,953 birds; 10 % decline since 1996) in Prairie Canada/U. Eels from Lakes Ontario, Saint-François and Saint-Pierre were mainly resident eels, while those from the Richelieu River and the St. Scratches all over the body were found only on eels from Kamouraska.

The classification is accomplish with the e Cognition© software.

'Best knowledge' approach involves a qualitative confidence-building assessment where an expert interprets the original image enhanced, and when possible, with additional available datasets.

For the Wetlands vs Uplands map accuracy, the visual evaluation of the cells by a qualified interpreter allows detection of wetlands greater than 1 ha in upland.

Following the top-down approach requires that spatial objects in the images be identified starting at the coarser level, and gradually to finer levels, according to the size of the objects of interest : wetlands, water bodies, mineral surfaces, forest, etc.

Generally 3 segmentation levels are required: The coarse levels allow toidentify large spatial ensembles.

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