Tag Archive | endangered birds in canada

Lost Forever?

Posted by Matthew Sim

Back in November, the Calgary Herald ran an article on the Sage Grouse, a large and impressive grouse that faces a bleak and dismal future. For me, this was a depressing article; it opened my eyes to a species I never knew even lived in Alberta, only to present very pessimistic prospects for the bird here.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

A scarce permanent resident with a very limited distribution in our province, the sage grouse needs large stands of sagebrush as well as wet meadows, river bottoms or green areas for foraging. This habitat is crucial for the bird and without it, the grouse cannot survive. It is for exactly this reason that population levels have decreased in Alberta since the 1960′s, in fact, the sage grouse population in Alberta is down to just 13 males. Many experts have already given up any hope of saving Alberta’s prairie sage grouse, however, led by the Alberta Wilderness Association, 12 environmental groups are acting to save the species. These groups have asked that the federal government enact an emergency protection order, which would force Environment Canada to do whatever it can to save this species’ habitat. Though it may be too late, let this species plight be a lesson to all of us, and let us ensure that this never happens again.

To read the Herald’s article, follow the link below:

Iconic prairie Sage Grouse facing local extinction

Status of Birds In Canada

Rough-legged Hawk by Pat Bumstead

A new Status of Birds in Canada section has been added to Environment Canada’s web site. It identifies the overall status of each species, describes population changes, discusses some of their conservation needs and provides a mechanism to track the success of ongoing and proposed conservation actions for these species.

The first phase of the site, which has just been launched, reports on a selection of more than 100 landbirds. These landbirds are either of conservation concern or those for which our stewardship responsibility is high, because Canada is home to a large portion of their population. Future iterations are planned to include all of Canada’s birds.

The Web site presents individual species accounts based on an assessment of the available population data from a variety of bird monitoring programs. It identifies the overall status of each species, describes population changes, discusses some of their conservation needs and provides a mechanism to track the success of ongoing and proposed conservation actions for these species. Although results from individual monitoring programs have been presented previously, the Status of Birds in Canada Web site is the first time that data from all these different sources has been pulled together and presented.

Bird monitoring programs provide the data that allow biologists to measure changes in their populations. There are a wide variety of monitoring programs in Canada: some are co-ordinated by government, others by conservation and environmental organizations. By synthesizing information from these various surveys, biologists are able to assess the status and changes in each species. It also allows us to identify those species for which our information is inadequate, so that we can work towards filling these gaps in knowledge.

The landbird monitoring programs that provide data for the Status of Birds in Canada Web site rely in large part on the participation of volunteers who are highly-skilled in the identification of birds. Thousands of these volunteers contribute their time and expertise to the Breeding Bird Survey, the Christmas Bird Count, Breeding Bird Atlases, and many other bird monitoring programs. Their contribution to our knowledge of bird populations and to bird conservation has been enormous. We are extremely grateful to all these dedicated birders.

Source: Environment Canada

The Status of Birds In Canada is a searchable website using common names, scientific names or an alphabetical list. Some examples:

Baird’s Sparrow

Rough-legged Hawk

Posted by Pat Bumstead