Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FIA Project 6065002 and 6067002

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Summer bird surveys in coastal British Columbia forests: 2002 summary and four-year review

Author(s): Preston, Michael I.; Campbell, Robert Wayne
Imprint: Nanaimo, B.C. : Weyerhaeser, 2003
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Bird, survey
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program


This report reviews the history of Summer Bird Surveys established under Weyerhaeuser's Adaptive Management Strategy program and summarizes the results of the 2002 field season. Since the inception of Summer Bird Surveys in 1999: 1) permanent routes have been established on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and the Queen Charlotte Islands 2) methodologies were refined to allow for more precise estimates of abundance and distribution by habitat type and structure availability; 3) 2,100 point counts were monitored in 2002, with GPS data for all 1,400 point count stations on Vancouver Island; 4) habitat suitability indices have been generated for 12 species using two consecutive years of data; and 5) precision analysis was conducted on 21 species for the ability to detect significant trends. In 2002, 50 routes were surveyed on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and the Queen Charlotte Islands. There was 15,482 birds of 111 species detected. The most frequently recorded species included Winter Wren, American Robin, Swainson's Thrush, Townsend's Warbler, and Varied Thrush. For the third consecutive year, measures of species richness, abundance, and diversity from this study were not consistent with published North American Breeding Bird Survey data for the period 1965-1979. In each of the three regions sampled in this study, species richness and abundance were consistently lower than historical results. Species diversity, however, was consistently higher in the study. Ecological variant habitat maps are presented for six species to illustrate the importance of a temporal scale when integrating data into species-habitat models. Maps at this level, or more detailed, may eventually be used to describe variation in abundance or density with time as a variable. Discussions to incorporate this variable in future modelling experiments have been initiated. We consider coverage of Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and the Queen Charlotte Islands to be sufficient for the most common habitats and bird species. However, we note two deficiencies: 1) GPS data for routes on the Sunshine Coast and Queen Charlotte Islands are lacking, and 2) Mainland survey routes for the North Coast are lacking as a potential comparison for routes on the Queen charlotte Islands. To make better use of available wildlife information we suggest that acquisition of GPS data receive a high priority. We also suggest that at least six new Summer Bird Survey routes be added in the vicinity of Kitimat, Terrace, and the Kispiox Valley to complete coastal coverage and representation.

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Updated August 02, 2006 

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