An effort to monitor the status, trends and distribution of boreal forest birds at a national scale.

Project Summary

BAM continues to support the design of monitoring and survey programs for boreal birds, including efforts by the Canadian Wildlife Service to monitor the status, trends and distribution of boreal forest birds at a national scale called the Boreal Avian Monitoring Strategy. This strategy is being led by Environment Canada and Climate Change (ECCC), and involves several BAM Contributing Scientists.

ECCC is developing and implementing a sampling scheme known as the Boreal Optimal Sampling Strategy (BOSS). Analyses were initiated to validate the use of proxy variables for sampling stratification (Wilgenburg et al., 2020). The BOSS design is a randomized hierarchical sampling design stratified by political jurisdictions, ecoregions, and habitat. The BOSS design also incorporates access costs into sample unit selection such that all else being equal, study areas are more likely to be selected if they are less expensive to access. These traits make the BOSS design more efficient than similar alternative spatially balanced sample designs (Van Wilgenburg et al., 2020). The immediate goals for a Boreal Avian Monitoring Strategy are to improve representation of sampling in relation to existing gaps in space and covariates to improve estimates of species’ population sizes, distributions and habitat relationships. In the long-term, the goal is to establish a spatially balanced sample across the boreal for estimating trends in species population sizes. A preliminary target is to sample ~5000 primary sampling units across Canada, representing ~90,000 new point-count sampling locations. Sample sizes were allocated to spatial strata (based on the intersection of political jurisdiction and ecoregions) based on an analysis of proxy variables thought to contribute to spatial and temporal variation in avian community composition, with greater sampling allocated to strata that are predicted to be more variable.

Application of BAM products

Recent analyses have used BAM density models and offsets to optimize clustered sampling where ARUs are to be used as the primary sampling tool.

This is a BAM-informed project and it was developed and is led by collaborators at Environment Canada and Climate Change (ECCC).  For more information please contact us.