Birdwatch News Archive
Pileated Woodpecker has benefited from the maturing of Canadian forests by a range and population expansion. Photo: DickDaniels (commons.wikimedia.org).
First Canadian bird conservation report
Posted on: 30 Jun 2012
Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada have released the first-ever State of Canada’s Birds report, drawing on 40 years of data to show how Canada’s birds are faring.
Produced by the Canadian BirdLife International co-partners, it summarises the status of Canada’s bird populations for eight regions, including boreal forest, prairies, Arctic and oceans.
The report shows that Canada’s bird populations have been dramatically influenced by human activity and finds that there are fewer birds now than in the 1970s. Overall, more species are decreasing (44 per cent of species in Canada) than increasing (33 per cent). Some groups have severely declined, including grassland birds, migratory shorebirds, and aerial insectivores. Birds are crucial indicators of ecosystem health. Changes in bird populations signal changes in the ecosystems we depend on for vital environmental services such as food, clean air, and water.
Other species have increased as a result of successful conservation efforts. The ban on pesticides in the 1970s has helped raptors like the Peregrine Falcon, Osprey and Bald Eagle recover. Effective management of wetlands has aided several species of waterfowl.
“This report is unprecedented and its findings are both troubling and inspiring,” said Bird Studies Canada’s President George Finney. “Partnerships, increased investment, 'citizen scientists' and the volunteer programs offered by Bird Studies Canada and our partners have contributed immensely to our conservation goals for some species. We need to build on these existing efforts, as it is clear that many other species are in serious trouble.”
“The State of Canada’s Birds report is a measurable indicator of how well we are fulfilling our shared responsibility as stewards of our nation’s wildlife and wilderness areas,” said Ian Davidson, Executive Director of Nature Canada. “Clearly there is much we can do to ensure we have healthy ecosystems for years to come and this report provides a path to do so.”
The State of Canada’s Birds is available online at www.stateofcanadasbirds.org.
2 3 4 >