||Monitoring Birds for Sustainable Forest Management: Species - Habitat Associations and Population Trends for the Southwest Coast of British Columbia, 2000-2008|
|Project lead: Sandford, Jeff (Western Forest Products Inc.)|
|Contributing Authors: Preston, Michael I.; Campbell, R. Wayne|
|Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), British Columbia|
|Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program|
|There are currently 53 active Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) routes on Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands, and the Sunshine Coast (including Texada Island). Of 31 BBS on Vancouver Island, 23 have nine years of continuous data. All routes on the Queen Charlotte Islands have eight years of data, and routes on the Sunshine Coast and Texada Island have seven and eight years of data respectively. In this report we provide summary results for the 2008 survey season, an assessment of species-habitat relationships for select species occurring on 18 BBS routes on Vancouver Island, regional trend estimates for Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands, a summary of provincially and nationally "listed" species, and a summary of cumulative species richness and abundance (2000 – 2008) by route and region. The total dataset since inception of the study represents 115,605 individual bird detections of 131 species. In 2008 we recorded habitat data from 18 BBS routes on Vancouver Island and evaluated species-habitat relationships using a resource selection function and logistic regression. Among 15 species evaluated, significant response to forest type was observed for 12 species, and response to forest structure was observed for 9 species. Most importantly, among the significant habitat associations, six species showed response to habitat variables (shrub height, shrub cover, canopy cover) that are not well-represented in other habitat classification systems (i.e., Vegetation Resources Inventory or Forest Cover data). Our conclusion from this exercise was that a rapid habitat assessment using coarse-scale forest structure attributes can provide biologically meaningful results.|
Our evaluation of regional versus provincial bird trends in 2008 again confirmed that differences are apparent. The most noteworthy observation was that among 11 species evaluated, eight had at least one significant regional trend but no corresponding significant provincial trend. Furthermore, Wilson's Warbler had a significant positive trend regionally, whereas it had a significant negative trend provincially. The consequence of mis-matched trends between provincial and regional assessments is likely to result in either ineffective or inefficient management. Our results suggest that trend estimates and species-habitat associations are likely to have substantial value for regional forest managers, and that continued trend monitoring will likely provide results that facilitate sustainable forest management, rather than hinder it.