Program and Agenda

Abstract

EXPANDING BBS COVERAGE FOR BOREAL CANADA: ARE THERE DISTURBANCE RELATED BIASES IN ROAD NETWORKS NEEDING FURTHER CONSIDERATION?

The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) has been extraordinarily successful, providing crucial data on the status and trends of hundreds of species. Despite the enormous success of the BBS, there remain several regions where little to no BBS coverage exists, including much of the boreal forest. While there has been increased interest in expanding BBS coverage in the boreal forest, remoteness and a paucity of birders has led to slow progress. In addition, there is some concern that the boreal road network disproportionately samples a subset of the habitats, and it is plausible that this could lead to biased inference. Since the boreal forest is typified by high rates of natural disturbance and is also experiencing increased resource development, it is also important to determine whether habitat disturbance along roadside routes are reflective of habitat change across the region as a whole. Much of the road network in the boreal forest has been created to access resources and it is therefore plausible that roadside sampling may result in biased representation of disturbance rates which could result in inaccurate estimation of strata level trends. We used geospatial data to investigate whether a) rates of habitat change along roadsides are comparable to disturbance rate across strata, b) whether bias in disturbance rates is related to the class of road, and c) whether bias differs between natural versus anthropogenic disturbances. It is hoped that results from this work can be used to stimulate discussion on the implementation, analysis and interpretation of BBS within the boreal forest, and aid in the design of regional monitoring to augment the BBS.

Authors

Van Wilgenburg, S. L., Environment Canada, Canada, steve.vanwilgenburg@ec.gc.ca

Obermayer, B., Sir Sanford Fleming College, brennanobermayer@gmail.com

Joyce, T., Sir Sanford Fleming College, Canada, Timothy.Joyce@flemingcollege.ca

Weddle, B., Sir Sanford Fleming College, Canada, brett.weddle@gmail.com

Details

Oral presentation

Session #:S13
Date: 9/26/2014
Time: 15:00
Location: Emerald Mountain - Bible Point

Presentation is given by student: No