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.

Cross-Border Collaboration Project in BCR 12

Cross-border collaboration for bird conservation on managed forest lands

 

This project is a collaboration with SFI and ABC to develop actionable science to support the conservation of birds on managed forest lands in the Boreal Transition Region of the US and Canada. 

PROJECT SUMMARY

BAM is collaborating with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and American Bird Conservancy (ABC) to develop a cross-border initiative for bird conservation on managed forest lands. The project area is the Upper Great Lakes region of BCR 12 (Boreal Hardwood Transition). The cross-border project will focus on the co-production of actionable science with local forest industry, government, and community partners to identify opportunities and challenges for forest management to benefit bird populations.

Within BAM this project is led by Andy Crosby.

WORKSHOPS & WEBINARS

On June 3, 2020, we held an e-workshop to present the project proposal and begin to engage potential partners. Following this workshop, we received substantial interest in this project as well as volunteers to participate in a steering group to help develop goals and a plan to move this project forward.

Learn more and watch a webinar for this project. 

DATA

We have been soliciting additional data for the United States portion of the BCR 12 study region. If you have data from this region and would be willing to share it with BAM or this project please contact us.

Related Posts & Highlights

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. 

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

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

Comparing spatially explicit models (PIX) and the Partners in Flight (PIF) approach to estimate population sizes

Comparing spatially explicit models (PIX) and the Partners in Flight (PIF) approaches to estimate population sizes

 

A collaborative project that developed spatially explicit boreal bird models in Alberta, Canada, to inform continental bird conservation.

 

Summary

For nearly two decades, BAM has worked to develop robust methods for estimating population sizes of North American boreal birds. In 2019-20, we continued to work on a project comparing population estimates of boreal birds in Alberta, derived from spatially explicit models and the Partners in Flight approach, which applies adjustments to North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) counts to get population estimates. We also quantified the effects of detectability, roadside bias, and other factors on these population estimates (see Box 1 for more details). In 2020, this work was published in The Condor.

Partners:

This work was a collaborative effort with the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI), Canadian Wildlife Service (Environment and Climate Change Canada), and United States Geological Survey.

 

Publication: 

Sólymos et al. (2020). Lessons learned from comparing spatially explicit models and the Partners in Flight approach to estimate population sizes of boreal birds in Alberta, Canada The Condor 122. https://doi.org/10.1093/condor/duaa007

 

Blog Post: 

Made in Alberta models help continental bird conservation, ABMI, June 17, 2020

 

Media Coverage: 

CBC News: Survey estimates much higher Alberta bird populations than thought, Jun 21, 2020

Estimating Trends of Boreal Bird Populations

Estimating Trends of Boreal Bird Populations

 

Using the BAM database to advance methods for estimating population trends for landbird species in North America. 

Palm warbler, Paruline à couronne rousse (Dendroica palmarum)

Project Summary

Given poor coverage of Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data in the boreal region, we have looked to other sources of data to augment the BBS for the purposes of trend estimation. Although the BAM dataset is ad-hoc and temporally sparse, it has grown substantially in extent and duration, allowing us to explore several hybrid methods for using it — in conjunction with BBS data — to estimate population trends. In the last year, with input from Environment Canada and Climate Change (ECCC) statisticians and biologists, we have identified several options for further exploration, one of which is a direct extension of our generalized national models. In regions not well represented by BBS, this relatively robust approach can provide an alternative to estimates based solely on repeated BBS counts. It is based on the development of spatio-temporal abundance models that combine data from multiple years to quantify habitat relationships, while considering inter-annual variation in abundance. These new generalized national models (see previous section, page 10) were separately constructed for each BCR sub-region within Canada (south of the Arctic) and hemi-boreal portions of the United States, thus ensuring that annual density estimates are regionally relevant.

To balance spatio-temporal coverage of input data and thereby limit the influence of sampling bias, we spatially and temporally stratified and subsampled the data for modeling purposes. We also controlled for the effects of spatial and temporal variation on abundance by including sources of temporal (sampling year) and spatial (climate, terrain, and vegetation) variation as direct covariates in our models. The boosted regression tree modelling approach that we used captures non-linear and interactive habitat relationships, thus resulting in relatively fine-scale (1-km resolution), spatially heterogeneous, annual predictions. These annual, pixel-level estimates can then be “rolled up” to estimate trends for a variety of different geographies and time periods. Trends are based on a combination of direct predicted changes as a function of changes in “habitat supply” (vegetation) over time, and unexplained (“residual”) variation in abundance that may be attributed to a variety of potential (unmapped) predictors, including wintering ground and migration conditions.

Further testing is still required, but preliminary results suggest that BAM data provide the best available trend estimates in areas not well-sampled by the BBS. We are working to identify the specific areas for which BAM trend estimates constitute an improvement over BBS-based trends. 

This work is led by Diana Stralberg and Péter Sólymos. For more information please contact us.