Conservation Planning & Management

BAM was formed in part to inform large-scale, “made in Canada” conservation planning efforts for boreal forest birds. A major component to achieving this objective is identifying and establishing areas for protection and sustainable management that are important to bird populations. However, we recognized early on that collating survey data and developing the science was not in itself sufficient to achieve this goal because responsibilities for conservation of species and their habitats in this region are distributed amongst the federal, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous Peoples, and industry, and are supported by the efforts of non-government organizations. Therefore, achieving our goal of advancing boreal bird conservation requires broad-scale multi-stakeholder and  multi-objective conservation planning efforts. 


Figure: Refugia potential for boreal birds based on climate velocity. Darker (bluer) colours represent higher potential for refugia against climate change.

To this end, BAM has actively engaged in collaboration with governments, forestry companies, and other partners such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the Prairie Habitat Joint Venture, and the Boreal Songbird Initiative to evaluate and identify priority landscapes for multi-species conservation action, active management, and long term monitoring. This work is predicated on BAM’s distribution and density maps for songbirds (Stralberg et al. 2015) and waterfowl (Barker et al. 2014), and in some instances has adhered to a framework  designed to evaluate conservation priorities across multiple scenarios and species, and prioritize areas for conservation action (Stralberg et al. 2018).

BAM also works closely with our sister organization, BEACONs, which leads multi-stakeholder prioritization exercises focused on ecosystem sustainability that includes supporting conservation values for migratory birds and other species at risk. Two outcomes of this collaboration include an application of BAM’s work on climate change refugia (Stralberg 2018), to evaluate broad-scale conservation priorities in a climate-change context for the Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative and the Pan-boreal Assessment, and work with the Lac Seul and Moose Cree First Nations to develop customized regional models to support multi-species conservation planning and selection of protected areas.

Bibliography of BAM-related work

Stralberg, D., Camfield, A.F., Carlson, M., Lauzon, C., Westwood, A.R., Barker, N.K.S., Song, S.J., Schmiegelow, F.K.A., 2018. Strategies for identifying priority areas for passerine conservation in Canada’s boreal forest. Avian Conserv Ecol 13(2): 12, 1–23.

Stralberg D. 2018. Velocity-based macrorefugia for boreal passerine birds (Version 1.1) [Data set]. Zenodo.

Stralberg, D., Bayne, E.M., Cumming, S.G., Sólymos, P., Song, S.J., Schmiegelow, F.K.A., 2015a. Conservation of future boreal forest bird communities considering lags in vegetation response to climate change: a modified refugia approach. Divers Distrib 21, 1112–1128.

Stralberg, D., Matsuoka, S.M., Hamann, A., Bayne, E.M., Sólymos, P., Schmiegelow, F.K.A., Wang, X., Cumming, S.G., Song, S.J., 2015b. Projecting boreal bird responses to climate change: The signal exceeds the noise. Ecol Appl 25, 52–69.

Barker, N.K.S., Cumming, S.G., Darveau, M., 2014. Models to predict the distribution and abundance of breeding ducks in Canada. Avian Conserv Ecol 9, 7.