Announcement of the BAM Steering Committee

The Boreal Avian Modelling (BAM) Project is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members to our Steering Committee, Diana Stralberg and Jeff Ball. Diana is a Climate Change Research Scientist with the Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, with a research focus on forest resilience and refugia from climate change. She has been a BAM core team member from 2010 to 2020, and a Contributing Scientist for the last year. Jeff is the Head of the Terrestrial Unit with the Canadian Wildlife Service, Prairie Region, Environment and Climate Change Canada, overseeing federal non-game migratory bird programs in the three prairie provinces. Jeff has been a BAM Contributing Scientist since 2017. We are excited to welcome Diana and Jeff to the Steering Committee and to channel their talents and expertise into leading and guiding BAM’s activities.

At the same time, we will be saying farewell to Fiona Schmiegelow and Samantha Song who will be transitioning out as Steering Committee members this year.  We wish to express our deep appreciation to Fiona and Samantha who not only co-founded BAM, but also contributed years of leadership, support and innovation to BAM. Fiona and Samantha will continue to be involved with BAM in the future and to support us in different capacities. We thank them sincerely for their invaluable contributions to BAM and we look forward to our continued collaboration with them.

Remaining on our Steering Committee are Erin Bayne and Steve Cumming. We thank them for their continued and steadfast leadership. We look forward to working with our new Steering Committee, the BAM Team and our partners in the years ahead.

Two postdoctoral fellows in forest landscapes and bird modelling

The Boreal Avian Modelling Project (BAM) seeks two Postdoctoral Fellows to join the Cumming lab at Université Laval, Québec City, in collaboration with J.A. Tremblay of Environment and Climate Change Canada. BAM is a highly collaborative, long-term, national research project supporting the conservation and management of boreal breeding birds in North America. Positions are offered for one year, with the possibility of three years, conditional on performance and funding.

The successful applicants will be instrumental to new initiatives in population assessment and avian conservation planning for eastern Canada.  Position 1 will develop species-specific habitat models for forest bird species that are sensitive to regional variation in habitat selection (e.g. Crosby et al. (2019) and Adde et al. (2020)) and to the factors addressed by Position 2, who will apply spatial simulation models to forecast species responses to forest management, anthropogenic disturbance, and climatic change (e.g., Cadieux et al. 2020; Micheletti et al. 2021). One or both of these positions  will also apply spatial prioritization methods to support conservation planning (e.g., Stralberg et al. 2018). This work will be integrated with BAM’s efforts to produce broad-scale avian density models. Both postdocs will lead the writing of manuscripts and represent the project at meetings from local to international, and to diverse research partners. 

Applicants must hold a recent PhD. Essential qualifications include strong quantitative skills coupled with an interest in avian ecology and conservation in general, independent of disciplinary background. Significant experience with advanced statistical or computational methodologies will be an asset, as will past field experience in boreal systems and in multidisciplinary collaborations. Proficiency in French and English, both  written and spoken, is preferred. 

Positions will ideally begin by January 10, 2022. Location of tenure is negotiable given current circumstances. Relocation expenses to Québec may be covered for qualified applicants.  These are lab-based positions, but some field work may be needed or can be arranged. Annual salaries are $55,000-$60,000, with additional funds to cover expenses for software, project travel, scientific conferences (virtual or in-person attendance), and publications. BAM and Université Laval are committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply. 

To Apply: 

Please provide a letter of interest, CV, an example of your scientific writing, and a list of three referees. In your letter, state HOW you meet the qualifications, WHEN is your earliest availability and WHICH (or both) of the positions you are applying for. Apply by email to bamp@ualberta.ca with the subject heading “Postdoctoral Fellow in Eastern Forest and Bird Modelling”. Applications will be accepted from 15.10.2021 until the positions are filled.

 

French Version  

BAM 2020-2021 Annual Report 

BAM 2020-2021 Annual Report 

We are pleased to provide you with the 2020-21 BAM Annual Report, outlining BAM’s activities and collaborations during our previous year. 

Among these accomplishments, you can read about:

  • Applications of our work through collaborations with over 35 different partners;
  • Efforts towards improved open access to avian data in Canada;
  • Canada-wide landbird density estimates for 143 species (national density maps & population size estimates);
  • Conservation planning projects to identify areas of high conservation value for boreal landbirds;
  • Continued efforts to apply our conceptual and analytical framework to identify critical habitat for wide-ranging species at risk;
  • Numerous regional studies evaluating and simulating the impacts of changes in climate, forest harvest, fire, caribou conservation, mining, and energy-sector development on boreal bird populations.

We thank our collaborators and partners for their continued support. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about this report. 

New Publication: Assessing Pathways of Climate Change Effects in SpaDES: An Application to Boreal Landbirds of Northwest Territories Canada

New Publication: Assessing Pathways of Climate Change Effects in SpaDES: An Application to Boreal Landbirds of Northwest Territories Canada

 

The distributions of birds in Canada's northern forests are expected to be impacted by climate change, but it remains unclear which pathways are responsible for projected climate effects. This new paper, led by Tatiane Micheletti developed statistical and simulation models for boreal birds, wildfire, and forest growth using the SpaDES modelling framework. Point count data for bird models came from the BAM database and was supplemented by ARU data from WildTrax. The results demonstrate that most of the predicted changes in bird distributions were due to direct climate effects. Read more...

 

CITATION

Micheletti Tatiane, Stewart Frances E. C., Cumming Steven G., Haché Samuel, Stralberg Diana, Tremblay Junior A., Barros Ceres, Eddy Ian M. S., Chubaty Alex M., Leblond Mathieu, Pankratz Rhiannon F., Mahon C. L., Van Wilgenburg Steven L., Bayne Erin M., Schmiegelow Fiona, McIntire Eliot J. B. 2021. Assessing Pathways of Climate Change Effects in SpaDES: An Application to Boreal Landbirds of Northwest Territories Canada. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 9, 654. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2021.679673

 

PhD opportunity: species distribution and abundance models of Canadian owls

PhD opportunity: species distribution and abundance models of Canadian owls

(Le français suit)

Applications received by March 15th will receive full consideration.

A PhD position, with three years partial NSERC funding, is available in the Cumming lab at Laval University, Québec City. The position will be instrumental to a new collaboration between two long-standing Canadian research groups in avian ecology, the Boreal Avian Modelling Project and Birds Canada, and researchers in the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Using a new compilation of long-term nocturnal owl survey data from across Canada, the successful applicant will develop species distribution models to explain and predict the occupancy or density of owl species within the Canadian boreal region, and to estimate their total population sizes. Examples of the statistical techniques we have previously used for forest songbirds and waterfowl can be consulted here and here. The applications are to avian conservation and population assessment in Canada’s managed forest lands. Depending on the interests of the applicant, the thesis could also include elements of spatial simulation and forecasting e.g., of owl responses to climate change, or of population ecology.  

The critical qualifications are strong quantitative skills coupled with an interest in avian ecology and conservation in general, independent of disciplinary background. Proficient written communication in English is desirable. This is a lab-based position, but there will be opportunities to take part in nocturnal owl surveys in Québec and/or Ontario. The student will be encouraged to spend a term with Dr. Danielle Ethier at the Birds Canada National Headquarters in Port Rowan, Ontario (expenses will be paid).

The position begins September 1st, 2021. Applicants should submit a short statement of interest, a sample of their scientific writing, a current CV, and names of three referees to the undersigned, by email. Applications received by March 15th will receive full consideration.

Support for relocation expenses is available to qualified applicants

Doctorat: modèles de distribution et d'abondance des espèces d’hiboux du Canada

Les candidatures reçues d'ici le 15 mars seront considérées.

Un poste de doctorat, avec un financement partiel de trois ans du CRSNG, est disponible dans le laboratoire de Steve Cumming à l'Université Laval à Québec. Le poste amènera une nouvelle collaboration entre deux groupes de recherche canadiens de longue date en écologie aviaire, le Projet de Modélisation Aviaire Boréal et Oiseaux Canada, et des chercheurs du ministère des Richesses naturelles et des Forêts de l'Ontario. À l'aide d'une nouvelle compilation de données de relevés nocturnes à long terme des hiboux du Canada, le candidat ou la candidate retenu développera des modèles de répartition des espèces pour expliquer et prédire l'occupation ou la densité des espèces de hiboux dans la région boréale canadienne et pour estimer la taille de leur population totale. Des exemples de techniques statistiques que nous avons précédemment utilisées pour les oiseaux chanteurs forestiers et la sauvagine peuvent être consultés ici et ici. Les applications du projet incluent la conservation aviaire et l’évaluation des populations dans les terres forestières aménagées du Canada. En fonction des intérêts du candidat ou de la candidate, la thèse pourrait également inclure des éléments de simulation spatiale et de prévision, par ex. les réponses des hiboux au changement climatique ou l'écologie des populations.

Les qualifications essentielles du candidat ou de la candidate sont de solides compétences quantitatives associées à un intérêt pour l'écologie aviaire et la conservation en général, indépendamment du contexte disciplinaire. Une bonne communication écrite en anglais est souhaitable. Il s'agit d'un poste en laboratoire, mais il y aura des occasions de participer à des relevés nocturnes d’hiboux au Québec et / ou en Ontario. L'étudiant ou l’étudiante sera encouragé à passer un trimestre avec la Dre Danielle Ethier au siège social d'Oiseaux Canada à Port Rowan, Ontario (les dépenses seront payées).

Le poste commence le 1er septembre 2021. Les candidats et candidates doivent soumettre une brève déclaration d'intérêt, un échantillon de leur rédaction scientifique, un CV à jour et trois références. Les candidatures doivent être envoyées par courriel aux trois chercheurs ci-dessous avant le 15 mars.

Un soutien pour les frais de déménagement est disponible

Steve Cumming
Département des sciences du bois et de la forêt,
Université Laval
Centre d’études de la forêt

 

Danielle Ethier
Birds Canada
Port Rowan, Ontario.

 

Philip Dewit
Wildlife Monitoring Program Lead
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

 

SFI Conservation Value Assessment Tool

SFI Conservation Value Assessment Tool

 

BAM's data and models have been used to develop a web-application tool to support conservation planning and to explore the conservation value of certified forests.

BAM’s representation analysis and associated web-application, created in partnership with the Boreal Ecosystems Analysis for Conservation Networks Project (BEACONs), are contributing to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s (SFI) understanding of the value of sustainable forest management for conserving avian biodiversity.

The BAM and BEACONs SFI Representation Assessment Tool is an online application that enables users to explore and evaluate the representation of bird-related conservation values within SFI-certified forestlands at multiple spatial scales ranging from ecoregions to the entire Canadian boreal region. The current focus is on the evaluation of a suite of species and biophysical indicators that were selected by BAM and BEACONs. We measured conservation value by evaluating the ecological representation of the indicators i.e., how well do SFI lands represent each indicator?

This initiative benefitted from The SFI Conservation Grant program.

© Benoît Audet

NA-POPS: Point Count Offsets for Population Sizes of North America Landbirds

© Benoît Audet

BAM is a primary partner on a new project to generate open-source detectability offsets for all North American landbirds. These offsets will allow for the quantitative integration of observations from different programs and field protocols. 

This project is a collaborative effort with the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS), Boreal Avian Modeling Project (BAM), Canadian Forest Service (CFS), Partners in Flight Science Committee (PIF), and more. 

2019-2020 BAM Annual Report

BAM 2019-2020 Annual Report 

We are pleased to provide you with the 2019-20 BAM Annual Report, outlining BAM’s activities and collaborations during our previous year. We apologize for the late release of this report resulting from unusual circumstances related to COVID-19. As you will see in this report, our partnerships, dedicated team, and incredible staff make it possible for us to achieve the many accomplishments reported here. 

Among these accomplishments, you can read about:

  • New Canada-wide landbird density estimates for 143 species (national density maps & population size estimates);

  • New Canada-wide density models for 18 species of waterfowl that explicitly account for spatio-temporal variations in abundance;

  • Continued efforts to develop a Standard Operating Procedure to identify critical habitat for wide-ranging species at risk;

  • Numerous regional studies simulating the impacts of changes in climate, forest harvest, fire, caribou conservation, and energy-sector development on boreal bird populations;

  • Conservation planning scenarios to prioritize candidate areas for Canada Warbler conservation;

  • Efforts towards improved open access to avian data in Canada;

  • Applications of our work through collaborations with over 30 different partners.

New Publication: Response of birds to the effects of caribou conservation, harvest, fire, and energy-sector impacts

New Publication: Quantifying long-term bird population to responds to the effects of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) conservation, harvest, fire, and energy-sector development in Alberta.

As interest in caribou conservation continues to increase, there is growing interest in understanding potential trade-offs or co-benefits with other species. This new paper, led by Lionel Leston investigated how boreal birds will respond to the cumulative effects of caribou conservation, harvest, fire, and energy-sector development in Alberta. The results demonstrate that caribou-centric forestry plans have minor co-benefits for avian species in Alberta. Read more...

CITATION

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.