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.
How do species respond to changes in habitat, and can their responses be used to set reliable management targets? The intern’s research is focused on determining whether forest birds respond non-linearly to the loss of forest habitat due to logging. For example, theoretical models show that the probability of finding forest birds within a given patch of forest declines sharply when less than 30% of forest cover remains in the patch. A point of sharp decline in a graph of a particular response to habitat loss is referred to as a 'critical threshold' or 'habitat threshold'.
Salt marshes are recognized as significant feeding grounds and refuges for wildlife and for their importance in flood mitigation, carbon sequestration and as filters for removing pollutants and suspended sediments. With growing interest in, and efforts towards, dyke removal and salt marsh restoration, there is a need for science-based management decisions to ensure appropriate site-specific restoration activities.
This study will gather baseline information on limiting nutrients, current productivity levels and food web structure in two study systems within Fundy National Park as well as other comparative sites within the province, with the intention of applying this knowledge in a follow up study wherein nutrients are added to the stream. This, in turn, will show that fish productivity (i.e.
The Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking (www.postcoml.org) project is part of the Census of Marine Life study. Radio-transmitters are surgically implanted into fish (e.g. salmon smolt) and are tracked during their migration by a series of listening lines along the ocean shelf. This project will estimate survival rates as a function of time since release and distance traveled for fish as they migrate past these listening lines.
While the collapse of Atlantic cod is the most well-known and studied, other less studied species, such as redfish Sebastes spp., have experienced comparable declines. These declines have resulted in the closure of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, northern and eastern Grand Bank and Labrador Shelf redfish fisheries since the mid-1990s, while reduced quotas are in place for the Laurentian Channel. While some redfish stocks declined, other stocks with more southern ranges remained stable or showed increased biomass. These dynamics and their potential causes have not been rigorously investigated.