Assessing Climate Change Impacts on the Population and Habitats of Piping Plovers in Prince Edward Island
The proposed research focuses on examining the influence of regional climate variability and extreme weather events on the population and habitats of Piping Plovers in Prince Edward Island (PEI). Correlation matrices between records of population parameters and regional climate conditions will be generated and correlated variables will be tested for significance using t-tests. A passive inundation model of sea-level rise will be run using a Digital Elevation Model (enhanced by LiDAR imagery) and various future emission scenarios to assign vulnerability scores to currently suitable habitat for Piping Plovers on PEI. The proposed study will not only inform the partner organization of how local climate conditions and climate change affects Piping Plovers on PEI but also present a comprehensive and replicable model for analyzing the effects of climate change on shorebird species in Atlantic Canada.