Response of birds to the effects of caribou conservation, harvest, fire, and energy sector impacts in Alberta

Response of birds to the effects of caribou conservation, harvest, fire, and energy sector impacts 

Quantifying Long-Term Bird Population Responses to Simulated Harvest Plans and Cumulative Effects of Disturbance in Alberta

Project Summary

As interest in caribou conservation continues to increase, there is growing interest in understanding potential trade-offs or co-benefits with other species. In 2019-20, we continued our efforts to estimate possible impacts on boreal bird populations resulting from various harvest management options in the Al-Pac forest management unit. Using the cure4insect decision support tool, we applied avian habitat models to the landscapes forecasted under different timber supply scenarios, including a caribou conservation scenario, to anticipate bird population response . We extended this work further using a custom-built ALCES Online simulator to explore impacts of fire and energy – in addition to forest harvest – for the caribou conservation scenario. We projected how population sizes of several species including Black-throated Green Warbler, Canada Warbler , Olive-sided Flycatcher, Cape May Warbler  and Palm Warbler  would respond to differences in harvest locations, energy sector development, and either increases or cessation of forest fires. 

 

Project Partners

This project was led by Lionel Leston and is a collaboration with Al-Pac and the ABMI.  For more information please contact us. 

Publications

Leston, L., Bayne, E., Dzus, E., Sólymos, P., Moore, T., Andison, D., Cheyne, D., Carlson, M., 2020. Quantifying Long-Term Bird Population Responses to Simulated Harvest Plans and Cumulative Effects of Disturbance. Front Ecol Evol. 8, 252. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2020.00252

Webinar: Managed Forests for Birds in the Boreal Transition Region of the US and Canada

On June 3, 2020, the Boreal Avian Modelling Project in partnership with the SFI Conservation Team and the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) delivered an e-workshop on Managed Forests for Birds in the Boreal Transition Region of the US and Canada. The goal of the workshop was to engage forest management organizations and other interested parties in the Boreal Transition Zone of the Lake States and Ontario in the role of active forest management in bird conservation.

The objectives of this e-workshop were to:

  • Better understand the forest management practices, objectives, ownership patterns and other landscape factors in the study area;
  • Identify opportunities for forest management decisions to significantly influence bird habitat conditions;
  • Identify potential tools, products, training, and outreach materials to help inform forest management decisions;
  • Propose a collaborative framework for gaining and sharing scientifically-based knowledge about forest management effects on birds; and
  • Form a working group from forestry and conservation to address opportunities for birds of conservation concern.

BAM team member Andy Crosby is part of the team leading this co-produced research project. If you have management responsibility in the U.S. northern Lake States or northwest Ontario, Canada (Bird Conservation Region 12), this research project may be of particular interest to you. If you have avian point count data from this region, we would appreciate data contributions to support this work. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about this project.