Forest Habitat Requirements for Nesting Sandhill Cranes in Coastal British Columbia
The Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) is a tall, long-lived bird that uses isolated wetlands, estuaries and meadows in British Columbia for breeding and staging. The Sandhill Crane is “blue-listed” (a species of special concern) in British Columbia and requires specific management strategies, including Wildlife Habitat Areas, for forest and range activities. Sandhill Cranes found along the coast of BC have a distinct coastal migration path, and are thought to have different habitat requirements for staging, breeding, and wintering than interior Sandhill Cranes. Nonetheless, little is known about their distribution and/or habitat requirements on the coast. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to document Sandhill Crane behaviour and habitat use in undisturbed areas and disturbed areas in coastal British Columbia. The primary goals of the intern’s research include identification of breeding areas of Sandhill Cranes, definition of their habitat requirements, and documentation of their breeding behaviour and life history on the Central Coast. The most non-invasive methods will be used, including aerial, boat and ground surveys, habitat mapping, and hide observations.