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The Canadian Breeding Bird Census (BBC) Database contains data for 928 breeding bird plot censuses representing all known censuses of breeding birds carried out in Canada during the period 1929–1993. The 928 records in the database represent 640 unique census plots located in all provinces and territories, except Prince Edward Island. The BBC, which was replaced by the current Breeding Bird Survey, is one of the longest-running surveys of bird populations in North America, and was designed to help determine abundance and distribution patterns of bird species. An important feature of the BBC Database is the habitat data associated with each census plot. The most prevalent vegetation species in different layers (canopy, shrub and ground cover) were recorded to reflect the assumption that birds respond principally to vegetative structure.
The generation of geospatial thematic information for managing and monitoring Canada's boreal ecosystem is essential for researchers, land managers, and policy makers. Canada's boreal region is a vast mosaic of forests, wetlands, rivers and lakes, but anthropogenic disturbances have impacted these ecosystems resulting in habitat loss, fragmentation and threats to biodiversity. Across Canada various geospatial datasets representing anthropogenic disturbance exist for timber harvesting, hydro-electric activity, settlement and oil & gas activities; however, these products often vary in scale, attributes, time period, and mapping technique. Driven by the need for national data as part of the 2011 boreal caribou science assessment, a standardized methodology was developed and implemented to create a single geospatial dataset representing anthropogenic disturbances across a significant portion of Canada’s boreal ecosystem. The boreal ecosystem anthropogenic disturbances (BEAD) data is a vector disturbance dataset of individual linear and polygonal disturbance types that were manually collected through the interpretation of 2008 to 2010 Landsat imagery at a 1:50,000 viewing scale. Summary results identified a total polygonal anthropogenic disturbance footprint of approximately 24 million ha with forest cutblocks accounting for more than 60 % of mapped polygonal disturbance. Linear disturbance features across the boreal total approximately 600,000 km with roads and seismic exploration lines contributing to more than 80 % of the mapped linear disturbances.
Designated as a Species of Special Concern in 2008, the entire range and potential area of occupancy for the Great Blue Heron is defined as terrestrial areas within the Coastal Douglas Fir and Coastal Western Hemlock Biogeoclimatic zones that are less than 10 km from a potential foraging area (potential foraging areas are defined as the entire coastline and major river systems). The distribution of the Pacific Great Blue Heron is confined to the coast from Prince William Sound, Alaska south to Puget Sound, Washington. The major factors currently limiting the persistence of heron populations are nesting failure and reduced nesting productivity arising from eagle predation, human disturbance and habitat declines from development. Refer to the, "COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias fannini) in Canada," for more information.
Data Sources: Banque informatisée des oiseaux de mer au Québec (BIOMQ: ECCC-CWS Quebec Region) Atlantic Colonial Waterbird Database (ACWD: ECCC-CWS Atlantic Region).. Both the BIOMQ and ACWD contain records of individual colony counts, by species, for known colonies located in Eastern Canada. Although some colonies are censused annually, most are visited much less frequently. Methods used to derive colony population estimates vary markedly among colonies and among species. For example, census methods devised for burrow-nesting alcids typically rely on ground survey techniques. As such, they tend to be restricted to relatively few colonies. In contrast, censuses of large gull or tern colonies, which are geographically widespread, more appropriately rely on a combination of broad-scale aerial surveys, and ground surveys at a subset of these colonies. In some instances, ground surveys of certain species are not available throughout the study area. In such cases, consideration of other sources, including aerial surveys, may be appropriate. For example,data stemming from a 2006 aerial survey of Common Eiders during nesting, conducted by ECCC-CWS in Labrador, though not yet incorporated in the ACWD, were used in this report. It is important to note that colony data for some species, such as herons, are not well represented in these ECCC-CWS databases at present. Analysis of ACWD and BIOMQ data (ECCC-CWS Quebec and Atlantic Regions): Data were merged as temporal coverage, survey methods and geospatial information were comparable. Only in cases where total counts of individuals were not explicitly presented was it necessary to calculate proxies of total counts of breeding individuals (e.g., by doubling numbers of breeding pairs or of active nests). Though these approaches may underestimate the true number of total individuals associated with a given site by failing to include some proportion of the non-breeding population (i.e., visiting adult non-breeders, sub-adults and failed breeders), tracking numbers of breeding individuals (or pairs) is considered to be the primary focus of these colony monitoring programs.In order to represent the potential number of individuals of a given species that realistically could be and may historically have been present at a given colony location (see section 1.1), the maximum total count obtained per species per site since 1960 was used in the analyses. In the case of certain species,especially coastal piscivores (Wires et al. 2001; Cotter et al. 2012), maxima reached in the 1970s or 1980s likely resulted from considerable anthropogenic sources of food, and these levels may never be seen again. The effect may have been more pronounced in certain geographic areas. Certain sites once used as colonies may no longer be suitable for breeding due to natural and/or human causes, but others similarly may become suitable and thus merit consideration in long-term habitat conservation planning. A colony importance index (CII) was derived by dividing the latter maximum total count by the potential total Eastern Canadian breeding population of that species (the sum of maximum total counts within a species, across all known colony sites in Eastern Canada). The CII approximates the proportion of the total potential Eastern Canadian breeding population (sum of maxima) reached at each colony location and allowed for an objective comparison among colonies both within and across species. In some less-frequently visited colonies, birds (cormorants, gulls, murres and terns, in particular) were not identified to species. Due to potential biases and issues pertaining to inclusion of these data, they were not considered when calculating species’ maximum counts by colony for the CII. The IBA approach whereby maximum colony counts are divided by the size of the corresponding actual estimated population for each species (see Table 3.1.2; approximate 1% continental threshold presented) was not used because in some instances individuals were not identified to species at some sites, or population estimates were unavailable.Use of both maxima and proportions of populations (or an index thereof) presents contrasting, but complementary, approaches to identifying important colonial congregations. By examining results derived from both approaches, attention can be directed at areas that not only host large numbers of individuals, but also important proportions of populations. This dual approach avoids attributing disproportionate attention to species that by their very nature occur in very large colonies (e.g., Leach’s Storm Petrel) or conversely to colonies that host important large proportions of less-abundant species (Roseate Tern, Caspian Tern, Black-Headed Gull, etc.), but in smaller overall numbers. Point Density Analysis (ArcGIS Spatial Analyst) with kernel estimation, and a 10-km search radius,was used to generate maps illustrating the density of colony measures (i.e., maximum count by species,CII by species), modelled as a continuous field (Gatrell et al. 1996). Actual colony locations were subsequently overlaid on the resulting cluster map. Sites not identified as important should not be assumed to be unimportant.
Environment Canada's EcoAction Community Funding Program has provided financial support to community-based, non-profit organizations for projects that have measurable, positive impacts on the environment. The Program encourages action focused projects that will protect, rehabilitate or enhance the natural environment, and build the capacity of communities to sustain these activities into the future. In keeping with Environment Canada's national environmental priorities, the Program supports projects that address the following four themes: Clean air: to reduce emissions that contribute to air pollutants Clean water: to divert and reduce substances that negatively affect water quality or to focus on water conservation and efficiency Climate change: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change or to deal with the impacts of climate change Nature: to reduce biodiversity loss, protect wildlife and plants, and protect and improve the habitat where they live The following is a map describing the EcoAction projects at their geographical locations in Google earth. To download Google earth follow this link, http://www.google.com/earth/download/ge/agree.html
Sidney Island Shorebirds Survey transects line feature.
Sidney Island Shorebird Surveys transects area feature.
Survey areas is a polygon feature class containing mudflats and staging areas observed for shorebirds.
Survey points is a point feature class containing transects and observations completed in 2011.
In the face of increasing economic opportunities in Canada's northern regions, the need to improve our state of preparedness for oil spill related emergencies in particular is critical. While significant efforts have been put towards documenting baseline coastal information across Canada’s southern regions, there is a large information gap regarding Arctic shorelines. Baseline coastal information such as shoreline form, substrate and vegetation type, is required for operational prioritization, coordination of on-site spill response activities (i.e., SCAT: Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique), as well as providing valuable information for wildlife and ecosystem management. A standardized methodology was developed to map shoreline characteristics at six study sites across the Canadian Arctic: James Bay, Resolute Bay, Hudson Bay, Labrador Coast, Victoria Strait, and Beaufort Sea. Geo-referenced high definition videography was collected during the summers of 2010 to 2012 along coastlines within the study sites. Detailed information (i.e. shoreline type, substrate, form, height, slope, fetch, access type, exposure, etc.) describing the upper intertidal, supratidal, and backshore zones was extracted from the video and entered into a geospatial database using a data collection form. This information was used to delimit and map alongshore segments in the upper intertidal zone. The result is a vector dataset containing thousands of linear shoreline segments ranging in length from 200 m and 2 km long. In total, almost seven thousand kilometers of northern shorelines were mapped, including twenty five different shoreline types based on the upper intertidal zone. This information will feed into a larger ongoing project focused on Arctic coastal ecosystems as well as serve as valuable information for oil spill response planning should the need arise. This database also provides valuable information for habitat management, local shoreline planning, can feed into environmental assessments or be used to aid research site selection.