The ABMI was designed to detect large changes in biodiversity in Alberta. To do this, ABMI scientists created the Biodiversity Intactness Index to better understand how the suitability of biodiversity habitat has been modified. The ABMI uses this Index in all of its analyses.
Interpreting the Biodiversity Index
The ABMI uses the Biodiversity Intactness Index to report on the health of a species in a region.
The Index changes for:
- a “decreaser” species, the boreal chickadee
- an “increaser” species, the coyote
The Intactness Index ranges from 0% to 100%. At 100% intact, the abundance of both species is equal to the abundance expected in an undisturbed area—one with 0% human footprint. As the Intactness Index declines toward 0%, it reflects a change in the abundance of a species in response to human footprint:
- for the chickadee, a decrease in number is observed
- for the coyote, an increase in number is observed