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. 

New Canada-wide land bird density estimates (version 4.0)

New Canada-wide land bird density estimates (version 4.0)

 

Population sizes, habitat associations, and distributions for 143 landbird species to support status assessment, regional planning, conservation prioritization, and recovery of species at risk.

Density map of Canada Warbler (average density, males/ha)

PROJECT SUMMARY

In 2020, BAM launched version 4.0 of our Canada-wide density models for 143 species of landbirds. 

The development of national-scale products is challenged by sparse data in remote regions, complex species' responses to environmental factors, regional variation in habitat selection and more. However, reliable information on species’ population sizes, trends, habitat associations, and distributions is important for conservation planning and management.

To support avian conservation in Canada, BAM developed a generalized analytical approach to model species densities in relation to environmental covariates. We used the BAM database and built models for 143 species.  Learn more about these methods and models.

DATA PRODUCTS

We provide data and maps of population sizes, habitat associations, and distributions for 143 landbird species. We provide our density results as 1 km² resolution raster layers, which are used to calculate population sizes and regional habitat associations.

WEBINAR

Watch a video to learn more about this modelling approach, how to discover the data products, and future applications of this work. 

2019-2020 BAM Annual Report

BAM 2019-2020 Annual Report 

Le français suit

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.

Rapport Annuel 2019-2020 du projet PMAB

Nous sommes heureux de vous présenter le Rapport Annuel 2019-20 du projet PMAB qui décrit les réalisations de notre équipe au cours de la dernière année. Veuillez nous excuser du retard à vous présenter ce rapport en raison des circonstances exceptionnelles liées au COVID-19. Nous vous remercions de votre compréhension. Comme vous le verrez dans ce rapport, nos partenaires, notre équipe et notre personnel incroyable ont rendu ses réalisations possibles.

Parmi les réalisations présentées ici, vous pouvez vous informer sur:

  • De nouvelles estimations nationales de la densité d'oiseaux terrestres pour 143 espèces (les cartes de densité nationale et estimations de la taille de la population);

  • De nouveaux modèles pancanadiens de sauvagine permettant de considérer explicitement les variations spatio-temporelles dans l’abondance de 18 espèces (cartes de densité nationale);

  • La poursuite des efforts pour développer une procédure opératoire normalisée pour l'identification de l'habitat essentiel des espèces menacées au niveau fédéral;

  • De nombreuses études régionales simulant les impacts potentiels du changement climatique, de l'exploitation forestière, des incendies de forêt, de la conservation du caribou et du secteur de l'énergie sur les populations d'oiseaux; 

  • Les scénarios de planification de la conservation pour la sélection des endroits prioritaires les plus importants pour la paruline du Canada; 

  • Les efforts pour améliorer l'accès aux données aviaires au Canada;

  • Les différentes utilisations de nos travaux effectués en collaboration avec plus de 30 partenaires.

Nous sommes désolés que le rapport ne soit disponible qu'en anglais. N’hésitez pas à communiquer avec nous si vous avez des questions et dans la langue officielle de votre choix.

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.

Prioritizing Areas for the Threatened Canada Warbler in Atlantic Canada

New Publication: Prioritizing Areas for Land Conservation and Forest Management Planning for the Threatened Canada Warbler in the Atlantic Northern Forest

In February 2020, we published our work identifying priority regions for Canada Warbler conservation and forest management in BCR 14. We developed seven conservation planning scenarios to prioritize candidate areas for permanent land conservation or responsible forest management. We found that using low natal dispersal distance scenarios in decision-making offers a more conservative approach to maintaining Canada Warbler populations. This prioritization approach provides a toolkit for managers to immediately locate areas for implementing conservation and management actions. This work was published in Diversity and was a collaborative effort with Environment & Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and High Branch Conservation Services, with support from Nature Canada and the Canada Warbler International Conservation Initiative. Read more...

CITATION

Westwood, A.R., Lambert, J.D., Reitsma, L.R., Stralberg, D., 2020. Prioritizing Areas for Land Conservation and Forest Management Planning for the Threatened Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis) in the Atlantic Northern Forest of Canada. Diversity 12, 61. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020061