Find Wildlife Key Area GIS datasets

Wildlife Key Areas (WKA) are regions used by wildlife for critical, seasonal life functions. For example, in winter, thinhorn sheep forage on grasses and other plants only available on specific winter ranges. Some species use key areas traditionally around the same time each year. Other species only use key areas when forced to by events like severe weather. The Yukon government uses WKA information to manage and protect animals that are vulnerable to disturbances or destruction of key areas.

View wildlife layers in GeoYukon

Wildlife Key Area packages for GIS

WKA packages include:

  • Yukon Wildlife Key Area Inventory User's Manual;
  • a technical manual specific to the data format;
  • the metadata as appropriate;
  • the true type font (wkhanima.ttf) used in labelling key area polygons; and
  • spatial data key area region polygons linked to source references tables.

The key area region polygons are compiled against the 1:250,000 scale National Topographic Database from Natural Resources Canada.

You can use the WKA data with GIS software to make custom maps or other spatial products. See the software user agreement for:

  • proper citation;
  • disclaimer and data source statements; and
  • additional user obligations for use of the data.

General Wildlife Key Area download links

Esri ArcGIS package

Data and supporting files for use in ArcGIS Desktop. Included in the package:

  • File Geodatabase of WKA spatial and attribute data and a relationship class (rc) with WKA references.
  • Layer files (*.lyr) for each species/taxon and for standard wildlife sets that include symbols, labels, WKA queries and legend settings:
  • True type font for wildlife symbols.
  • Manuals.

Download the ESRI ArcGIS WKA data package.

Data files for other GIS software

Generic data files can be used by a variety of GIS software tools. Included in the package:

  • Shapefile (wildlife_key_area_values.shp):
    • polygon geometry of the key areas; and
    • attribute data including descriptions and wildlife values, with link ID field for combining with external references table.
  • References Table (wildlife_key_area_references.dbf):
    • a set of references linked to the shapefile by the WKA_ID attribute.
  • True type font for wildlife symbols.
  • Manuals.

Download the generic GIS data package.

Evaluation of Wildlife Key Area inventory

The Government of Yukon has completed an evaluation of the WKA inventory to better understand the Yukon's needs for, and uses of, a wildlife habitat inventory. The evaluation will inform future direction for the WKA inventory, including potential changes to scope, design, delivery and funding.


For questions about wildlife key area GIS datasets, email¬†[email protected].