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  • This collection houses PDFs of active BBS route maps, which are grouped by province or territory. These maps allow BBS volunteers in Canada to easily locate the start of their route, and to navigate the official route. The BBS is jointly coordinated by Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Any use of BBS data for Canada should acknowledge the hundreds of skilled volunteers in Canada who have participated in the BBS over the years, those who have served as provincial or territorial coordinators for the BBS, and the Boreal Avian Modelling Project (BAM; www.borealbirds.ca), whose collaboration was invaluable to the creation of the BBS route and stop location dataset.

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    Observations on various types of wetlands, terrestrial environments, and vascular plants for 102 sites visited in 2012 and located on Lake Saint-Pierre are included in this dataset. Since the 1970s, Environment and Climate change Canada (ECCC) has been monitoring changes in wetlands under the State of the St. Lawrence River Monitoring program of the St. Lawrence Action Plan.

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    Observations on various types of wetlands, terrestrial environments, and vascular plants for 55 sites visited in 2012 and located in in the Boucherville Islands are included in this dataset. Since the 1970s, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has been monitoring changes in wetlands under the State of the St. Lawrence River Monitoring program of the St. Lawrence Action Plan.

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    In this study we will conduct laboratory and mesocosm exposures with wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) and, possibly, surrogate amphibian species to assess potential environmental impacts stemming from industrial development in the Oil Sands. Toxicogenomics and other exposure and effects endpoint data generated will be added to other data being collected on wood frogs in the Oil Sands region and incorporated into the Adverse Outcome Pathway model to provide a consolidated assessment of potential Oil Sands environmental impacts based on the health and disease status of wood frogs and wood frog populations.

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    This study is identifying risks, impacts, origins, and movement patterns of migratory bird pathogens in the Western Hemisphere. We are identifying determinants of disease to multiple pathogens in relation to demographic, spatiotemporal, and environmental factors using blue-winged teal sampled in North and South America. We are combining use of disease surveillance data, modeling of band recovery data, analysis of feather stable isotopes, use of satellite telemetry, and genotyping techniques to investigate origins and spread of diseases. This study will ultimately enable development of models predicting emergence and spread of diseases in migratory bird populations, and where they may enter into Canada.

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    Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has been monitoring levels of persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals in seabird eggs collected from the St. Lawrence River and Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada, since the end of 1960s. Two sentinel species were selected to monitor aquatic ecosystem health and contamination based on their elevated position in the food web and relatively limited feeding range; the northern gannet (Morus bassanus) and the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) (Champoux et al., 2002; 2006; 2010; 2015; 2016 – available in supplemental information section *). Current avian monitoring is completed as part of the St. Lawrence Action Plan (2011-2026), a Canada-Quebec agreement that aims to conserve, restore, protect, and enhance the St. Lawrence (http://planstlaurent.qc.ca/en.html). Pollutants monitored include legacy organochlorine pesticides (e.g. DDT, dieldrin, and mirex), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), brominated flame retardants (e.g. polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecane), dioxins and furans, and metals (mercury and selenium). Some of these compounds are now regulated under various national (the Canadian Environmental Protection Act http://www.ec.gc.ca/lcpe-cepa/) and international conventions; for example, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (http://chm.pops.int/TheConvention/Overview/tabid/3351/), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution Protocols (http://www.unece.org/env/treaties/welcome.html), and the Minamata Convention on Mercury (http://www.mercuryconvention.org/). Freshly laid eggs were collected at Bonaventure Island, home to a large colony comprised of approximately 120,000 northern gannets, situated off the coast of the Gaspé Peninsula. Great blue heron eggs were sampled from over 30 colonies spanning the length of the St. Lawrence from Cornwall, ON to the Gulf (see attached map files for gannet and heron sampling locations*). Eggs were further processed either individually or as a single pool for chemical analyses, and archived in the National Wildlife Specimen Bank at the National Wildlife Research Centre (Ottawa, ON). Overall, levels of organochlorines, PCBs, and mercury in gannet eggs have declined through time, and those levels that were still detected, were well below the threshold levels for adverse effects on reproduction and embryo development (Champoux et al., 2015). Similarly, levels of brominated flame retardants, dioxins and furans in gannet eggs also appear to be decreasing over time (Champoux et al., 2016). Levels of organochlorines, PCBs, mercury and brominated flame retardants declined in great blue heron eggs in most regions along the St. Lawrence River (Champoux et al., 2002; 2006; 2010; Champoux and Boily in preparation). Levels of contaminants in heron eggs are below threshold levels known to cause adverse effects in wildlife, however, the presence of anthropogenic contaminants at low levels may still constitute a risk for wildlife health when the cumulative effects of other environmental stressors like climate change, food availability, disturbance and habitat loss are accounted for (Champoux et al., 2002). In addition to measuring contaminants, naturally-occurring stable isotopes of nitrogen (N15/N14 or delta 15N) and carbon (C13/C12 or delta 13C) were also measured in eggs of both species to verify whether shifts in trophic position and foraging area, respectively, could influence levels and trends of contaminants measured in eggs (Champoux et al., 2015). To date, in gannet eggs, no temporal trends have been observed, however both positive and negative temporal trends were observed in delta 15N delta 13C ratios in heron eggs, in various sections of the River (Champoux and Boily in preparation). Stable isotopes will continue to be monitored in tandem with egg contaminants monitoring.

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    Environmental contaminants – including trace elements - that are transported to Canada’s Arctic ecosystems can biomagnify, potentially leading to adverse outcomes for wildlife and northern communities. In particular, some evidence suggests that mercury in northern wildlife is elevated relative to areas farther south. It is not clear if this pattern is consistent, and the processes that explain spatial and temporal variation in mercury in wildlife remain unknown. A clearer understanding of factors affecting contaminant levels is Arctic wildlife will help inform policies and conservation initiatives to protect ecosystem and human health in Canada’s North.

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    Arsenic (As) and mercury (Hg) are toxic to humans and wildlife. Over the last ten years, increasing levels of these elements have been reported in the Wood Buffalo region in northern Alberta, and there is a consumption advisory for Hg in walleye and in gull and tern eggs in the Athabasca River downstream of oil sands industry. Using synchrotron methods, we will investigate the distribution and chemical speciation of As and Hg within tissues of wood frogs from wetlands near active oil sands mines and upgraders in Fort McMurray, Alberta. This study will expand our current understanding on tissue distribution of these metals, and their impacts on wildlife.

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    From 2002 – 2008, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), in partnership with the Gwichya Gwich’in Renewable Resource Council, Gwich’in Tribal Council, Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, NT, and ECCC, completed extensive field studies at the Cardinal Lake site (near Tsiigehtchic, NT), in the Gwich'in Settlement Area (GSA). Partners collected data on waterfowl demographics, studied the types of habitats (i.e. wetlands) at the site, and assessed variation in wetland conditions over time. Findings have been published in a range of journals and reports that have been distributed to partner agencies. Although the publications produced from the Cardinal Lake studies are accessible to scientists and managers, opportunities to discuss results with local partners and receive community feedback have been limited.

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    The 2016 objective of this project is to complete baseline monitoring of egg mercury concentrations in common tern, ring-billed gull and other marine birds nesting in Lake Melville, prior to the flooding of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric reservoir in 2017. Egg collections have been made since 2013 to establish baseline mercury levels before flooding. The long-term objective of this monitoring project is to assess the downstream impacts of the Muskrat Falls reservoir on mercury in migratory birds in Lake Melville.