Project Summary

The aim of this project was to develop predictive statistical models for mapping the abundance and distribution of waterfowl species across Canada. This project improves on the Canadian breeding waterfowl models constructed by Barker et al. (2014) by (a) developing new, more interpretable statistical models that (b) explicitly account for spatiotemporal variations in waterfowl abundance, while (c) testing for associations with an updated suite of habitat covariates. Furthermore, as breeding areas are becoming warmer and wetter, climatic changes are likely to affect the distributions of millions of waterfowl. This study also assessed the potential effects of climate change on the distribution and abundance of waterfowl species using a climate envelope modeling approach.

In 2019, a review of the literature was conducted that summarized environmental variables known to affect breeding duck distribution and abundance in northern North America. This review was published in Écoscience. Following this review, models were built for mapping the spatio-temporal abundance of 18 waterfowl species at a pan-Canadian level over a 25 year period. This work was published in Diversity & Distributions and is available as a data product.

Lastly, this project assessed the potential effects of climate change on the breeding distribution and abundance of 12 common waterfowl species in Eastern Canada. This work was published in Climatic Change in August 2020.


Possible applications of the resulting models and maps include the development and evaluation of biodiversity indicators and conservation planning strategies. See the data products below to use these models and maps. 

Project Partners

This project was led by Antoine Adde for his PhD. This research continues an 11-year collaboration between Steve Cumming and Marcel Darveau of Ducks Unlimited Canada to estimate the abundance of waterfowl across Canada and extends BAM’s taxonomic scope to waterfowl.  For more information please contact us.