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Photo: Lyle Friesen

Project Description

Background: The Cerulean Warbler is a small migratory songbird listed as threatened in Ontario under the Endangered Species Act and assessed as endangered in Canada by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). Declines in abundance are thought to be a result of the loss and degradation of breeding habitat in North America and non-breeding habitat in South America. There are known concentrations of Cerulean Warblers breeding in Frontenac Provincial Park and on Queen’s University Biological Station properties. What is less well understood is the overall distribution and abundance of Cerulean Warblers across the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve.

Project work: The Canadian Wildlife Service and Bird Studies Canada are working together to address this and other research questions about the Cerulean Warbler. We worked in collaboration with staff from Bird Studies Canada, Frontenac Bird Studies, and the Canadian Wildlife Service to conduct road-side surveys for Cerulean Warblers (and recorded all bird species detected) at over 500 locations. Cerulean Warblers were detected at less than 5% of these road-side survey locations.

Conservation implications: These data will be combined with additional survey data and analyzed to assess the distribution of Cerulean Warblers across the Frontenac Arch and, in particular, if occurrence decreases sharply outside of Frontenac Provincial Park and Queen’s University Biological Station properties. The information from these surveys will also be used to help develop a plan for long-term monitoring of the distribution and abundance of Cerulean Warblers in Ontario.

Project Details

Project Date: Spring & Summer 2014

Funding: BECO was contracted by Environment Canada to conduct this research.

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