The Canada C3 Science Program
Our Science Program includes research projects from renowned experts, featuring a diverse range of topics, including a coastal marine soundscape, the impact of microplastics and the hybrid of spring of polar bears and grizzly bears — the pizzly. And that’s just three examples!
Canada C3’s rich scientific program serves to expand our scientific knowledge base for future projects and future generations. Through our expedition’s unique route, researchers have an opportunity to study lesser known areas of Canada’s coastline. As they travel on board the Canada C3 vessel, researchers will meet with communities and draw on traditional ecological knowledge, contributing to their current research projects and providing inspiration for future studies.
Biological Diversity in Canada
Many of the C3 Science Program projects will provide a greater understanding of biological diversity in Canada.
Globally, scientists generally agree that only a small fraction of all species has been formally described: between 1.5–1.8 million out of an estimated 10 million species. The continuous decline in our world’s biodiversity represents a major crisis of the 21st century, and there is international agreement to halt this decline.
A major challenge for conservation planning is the lack of knowledge on the state and distribution of biodiversity. Conservation efforts depend on the monitoring of species and populations to obtain reliable distribution patterns and population size estimates.
According to the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy, 140,000 native species live in Canada and only half of these have been identified. Most of the larger organisms such as mammals, birds, trees, are known but many of the smaller organisms have not been discovered and identified. For example, there are 18,530 known species of insects native to Canada but an estimated 11,800 are still to be discovered.
Biodiversity has an important value to our society because we are deeply dependent on it for our cultural, economic, and environmental well-being. In addition to the intrinsic value of having diverse plants and animals, they are essential to maintaining healthy ecosystems and are potential sources of new foods and medicines of the future.