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Climate Change and Birds

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Birds as Monitors of Environmental Change

The download Birds as Monitors of these kittens is to share a political globalization of those phenomena that are most theoretical for the F of goods of few phrase to graduate patterns. This makes them very difficult to census and to gain enough encounters to use in statistical tests for trend analysis purposes. As a high trophic-level dietary generalist, Barred Owls also may undergo changes in population or breeding success based on changes in their prey type squirrels, birds, small mammals and it may be extremely difficult to tease out the effects of natural prey-base changes and forest practices.

Rather than relying on pre-selected forest bird species as specific indicators, a more suitable approach is to census as broadly as possible and ultimately allow the birds themselves to tell us what they are indicating. Using this approach, we have determined clusters of species that are more closely associated with each other and stand types that are more similar to each other based on their bird communities. Thus, a multispecies bird community approach to monitoring is superior to single species indicator monitoring precisely because it requires no a priori assumptions about forest bird communities and makes use of a much broader database.

As such, it represents a much more cautious approach to avian monitoring. Previously, a major disadvantage to obtaining forest bird community census data was that highly-skilled individuals were required to conduct acoustic surveys during a relatively short breeding period. These individuals are few to begin with and the short but intense period of surveys i. June in most boreal locations simply meant that there were too few individuals to go around. The recent development of high-quality stereo recording microphones now means that unskilled field technicians can now collect the acoustic data and it can be later analysed by experts during the remainder of the year.

This approach also has a number of additional advantages including the collection of an indisputable acoustic record for each location that can be checked at any time and the possibility of obtaining vastly more data than was possible previously using a few experts. As such, the use of the acoustic recording technique will readily enable forest managers to obtain forest bird community data with no more effort than that required for monitoring a few indicator species see Appendix 1. The basic unit of measurement for forest bird monitoring will be the point count.

This requires the recording of all birds heard or seen in the case of expert observers vs.

For within-stand monitoring, the period of recording is typically 10 minutes and follows from the Ontario Forest Bird Monitoring Program. This approach has also been used substantially for forest bird research in Saskatchewan Boreal forest and so represents another convenient database for comparison. Point count stations are typically placed m apart to avoid acoustic overlap and are also located at least m from forest edges. Typically, point counts have been repeated at each site, once in early June and again in late June, with the average or maximum number of individuals recorded in the two counts used in data summaries.

The advantage of two counts is that it ensures more complete coverage, especially if recording conditions were not optimal for one of the counts, and allows sites censused later in the morning to be censused earlier on the second attempt e. For roadside, BBS-style recording, a 3-minute point-count protocol has been established. While of shorter duration, this approach has the advantage of covering a BBS route of 50 stops 0. The minute intensive point counts are more suitable for within-stand recordings aimed at evaluating the effects of a particular treatment or perhaps habitat associations, whereas the BBS style survey is better suited to pick up more landscape-level effects.

Bird Community Monitoring (U.S. National Park Service)

Point-count data can be used for several kinds of investigation. The first is to associate relative abundance of species with forest cover types, be it based on the forest inventory, permanent sample plots, or ecosystem site classifications.

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Much of this has been accomplished for the southern boreal mixedwoods of Saskatchewan but data are lacking for boreal shield forests north of the Churchill River. This approach requires point counts to be placed in various seral stage stands. Multivariate analysis can then be used to identify those stand attributes accounting for the patterns of bird species abundance. A second application involves the use of point-count data for purposes of comparing two or more categories of sites with each other. In this way, point counts established in post-fire vs. The use of point counts for the purposes of strict monitoring, namely to determine population levels of species through time in various sites requires that data be compared to controls in order to identify those species that may be undergoing population change that is not due to phenomena outside the area of interest.

Data collected at control sites that are only undergoing natural ageing prior to the next disturbance e. For example, if species A is found to be declining in an FMA but is also declining at control sites, it is possible that this species is affected by factors outside the breeding grounds. The choice of control sites will depend on the question being considered. Fire vs. In order to contrast the effects of fire and harvest, it will be important to pair post-fire and post harvest sites and to monitor bird communities using these post-disturbance sites through time.

Paired sites should have similar pre-disturbance classifications. In addition, the intensity of fire being considered should be standardized and can be classified according to the amount of standing live residual material left post disturbance. Placing point-count stations in a configuration allowing m separation on each of the paired sites would constitute one unreplicated pair. The number of replicates on the landscape will vary but at least 3 in each FMA might be reasonable and is open for discussion. Long-term Monitoring in controls. Regardless of the design of monitoring on FMAs, it will be necessary to conduct similar point-count monitoring on control sites.

These controls should be in tracts of forest that are relatively undisturbed by anthropogenic change.