Arctic-Nesting Bird Monitoring and the Impacts of Mining Disturbances
Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. has proposed the Whale Tail Project, approximately 130km North of Baker Lake, NU. The project includes the construction a dyke within Whale Tail Lake that will divert water from the proposed mining pit into the surrounding lakes and tributaries, resulting in flooding that will elevate the water levels by 4 m above current levels over two years, causing approximately 157 ha of tundra to become flooded during the time of birds? nest initiation. The Migratory Birds Convention Act (1994) prohibits the harm of migratory birds and the disturbance or destruction of nests and eggs. The research project intends to explore mitigation options for the proposed flooding during the construction of the Whale Tail Pit and to assess the degree of risk posed to migratory birds by mining-induced flooding during the nesting period. The study looks to determine the impact of mining-induced flooding on nest loss, success and dispersal of arctic-nesting birds, by outlining the timing and distribution of bird behaviour relative to the timing and distribution of the flooding.