Quantifying Long-Term Bird Population Responses to Simulated Harvest Plans and Cumulative Effects of Disturbance in Alberta

Project Summary

As interest in caribou conservation continues to increase, there is growing interest in understanding potential trade-offs or co-benefits with other species. In 2019-20, we continued our efforts to estimate possible impacts on boreal bird populations resulting from various harvest management options in the Al-Pac forest management unit. Using the cure4insect decision support tool, we applied avian habitat models to the landscapes forecasted under different timber supply scenarios, including a caribou conservation scenario, to anticipate bird population response . We extended this work further using a custom-built ALCES Online simulator to explore impacts of fire and energy – in addition to forest harvest – for the caribou conservation scenario. We projected how population sizes of several species including Black-throated Green Warbler, Canada Warbler , Olive-sided Flycatcher, Cape May Warbler  and Palm Warbler  would respond to differences in harvest locations, energy sector development, and either increases or cessation of forest fires. 

Project Partners

This project was led by Lionel Leston and is a collaboration with Al-Pac and the ABMI.  For more information please contact us.