State of the environment reports provide updates on research and monitoring efforts for climate change, air, water, landscape and fish and wildlife in the territory.
The reports also:
- give early warning and analysis of potential environmental problems;
- chart the achievement of the objectives set out in the Environment Act;
- give baseline information for environmental planning, assessment and regulation; and
- help guide future decision-making.
Under Yukon’s Environment Act, the Minister of Environment must table:
- a full state of the environment report in the legislature every 3 years; and
- interim reports in the years in-between.
The State of the environment interim report 2019 includes information and analysis based on data available at the end of the 2018 calendar year. Collecting and analyzing data can take a long time. Some data can take several years to be analyzed and become available.
Greenhouse gas emissions
- 2016 emissions were up 2.6% since 2009. However, from a peak in 2011, emissions were lower in 2016 by 13%.
- Transportation accounted for 62% of Yukon’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2016.
- Yukon's total GHG emissions were 0.08% of the national total in 2016.
Arctic sea ice
- Approximately 300 km3 of sea ice is lost every year. Remaining sea ice is becoming younger and thinner.
- Over the past 50 years, winters have warmed by an average of 4ºC.
- Yukon’s annual average temperature has increased by 2ºC, twice the global rate.
Levels of particulate matter
- In 2016, Whitehorse had the lowest concentrations of fine particulate matter in urban areas across Canada.
Organic pollutants in air
- Air concentrations of 2 pesticides, hexachlorocyclohexane and endosulfan, are decreasing at Little Fox Lake.
- 10 new flame retardants that are not regulated in Canada were detected in air at Little Fox Lake. Air samples from 2015 to 2018 are currently undergoing chemical analysis.
- The amount of water in snowpacks has increased an average of 3% per decade at 14 long-term snow survey stations.
- 2016 and 2017 experienced below-average snow throughout Yukon.
Increasing water levels in lakes and rivers
- Most river stations have measured increased water flows in the winter months when water is usually lower.
Yukon River ice break-up at Dawson City
- Ice break-up on the Yukon River at Dawson City now occurs more than 7 days earlier on average than in 1896.
- 8 of the 10 earliest recorded break-up events at Dawson City have occurred in the past 30 years.
- In 2016, there were 0.1 people per square kilometre in Yukon.
- From June 2017 to June 2018, the total Yukon population increased by 816 people, or 2.1%.
Community and local area planning
- All 8 Yukon municipalities have official community plans.
- 8 local area plans were in place in 2018.
- Local area planning processes are currently underway for Marsh Lake, Fox Lake, Tagish, Alaska Highway West, and Fish Lake.
Recreational land use
- Between 2015 and 2016, 82 new Government of Yukon campsites were added across the territory.
- These include additional campsites at the Marsh Lake, Wolf Creek, Twin Lakes and Tombstone Mountain campgrounds and Conrad Campground on Tagish Lake.
- This has resulted in a 20% increase in the number of campsites within 200 km of Whitehorse.
Waste handled at the Whitehorse Waste Management Facility
- In 2017, Whitehorse residents sent an average of 710 kg of waste to the landfill. This is an increase from 610 kg in 2016.
- The increase mainly came from construction and demolition waste like the demolition of FH Collins.
- 27% of waste was diverted from the Whitehorse landfill through recycling and composting in 2017.
Fish and wildlife
Species-based management plans
- The Government of Yukon and the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board have developed a draft conservation plan for grizzly bears in the territory.
- The draft plan presents a 25-year vision for grizzly bears in Yukon, and provides guidance to achieve this vision.
Density of snowshoe hare
- 2006 and 2017 were the last peaks in the snowshoe hare cycle.
- Currently the snowshoe hare population cycle is in a decline phase.
- The peak population of the snowshoe hare cycle has been declining in the Kluane area since 1973.
Number of spawning Chinook salmon
- In 2017, the spawning conservation target for Yukon River Chinook was met for the 6th time in the last 10 years.
Monitoring wild sheep and goat health
- M. ovipneumoniae (m. ovi) testing has been completed for 244 thinhorn sheep and 1 mountain goat between 2015 and 2018.
- The m. ovi bacterium was not detected in any of these tested animals.
- 2018 interim report
- 2017 report
- 2016 interim report
- 2015 interim report
- 2014 report
- 2013 interim report
- 2012 interim report
Before 2012, reports were named by year of data collected, not year of publication.
- 2008 report (published 2011)
- 2007 interim report (published 2010)
- 2006 interim report (published 2009)
- 2005 report (published 2008)
- 2004 interim report (published 2007)
- 2003 interim report (published 2007)
- 2002 report (published 2005)
- 2001 interim report (published 2002)
- 2000 interim report (published 2000)
- 1999 report (published 2000)
- 1997 interim report (published 1998)
- 1995 report (published 1996, no electronic version available)