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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Western Boreal Forest Canada - More Information

Background information on DU's Western Boreal Forest - Canada conservation priority area
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Goals

  • Sustain waterfowl breeding population of the 1970s ( ± 1 SD), that is, 13.7 million breeding ducks and 0.3 million breeding geese of the 23 species that occupy the region (Table 1).
  • Maintain habitat adequate to sustain waterfowl populations at goal levels.
  • Develop techniques and gather information necessary to ensure that we can establish more specific habitat goals within 5 years.

Assumptions

  • Waterfowl use of the boreal ecosystem is adequately represented by USFWS/Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) survey data.
  • Sustainable forest management strategies that help to maintain wetland ecosystem functions and waterfowl populations in the WBF will be adopted.
  • Impacts on WBF uplands are not currently limiting waterfowl production.
  • The current rate of ecosystem impairment will not compromise our ability to achieve stated population goals as we work toward addressing existing information gaps.

Strategies

  • Prioritize ecoregions for program delivery based on importance to continental water-bird populations, the vulnerability of the area to natural and anthropogenic impacts, and funding/partnership opportunities.
  • Develop and test landscape/waterbird-use models for use with digital land cover data as a means of identifying all the major wetlands in the WBF of high importance to migratory waterbirds.
  • Address high priority information needs within each ecoregion to expand our understanding of wetland and waterbird ecology in the WBF.
  • Conduct research on species of concern in the WBF (e.g., scaup, scoters, American wigeon, loons).
  • In areas where intensive resource development is occurring, conduct research on the effects of various land use practices on the integrity of boreal wetland systems.
  • Focus GIS applications on the temporal and spatial relationships between waterbirds and land cover, succession related to boreal fires, forest harvest, hydrological patterns, vegetation communities and human development activities.
  • Increase awareness of WBF issues to ensure that wetlands are recognized as an integral component of healthy boreal landscapes and to assist in the development of helpful public policies.
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