Alberta Land Use Planning Framework
BAM provided access to its avian datasets and technical assistance to a project team comprising Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute and BAM. The team was developing modelling capacity to determine how ecological indicators changed with projected land use changes as part of a process to facilitate the Land Use Framework Planning Process being conducted by the Government of Alberta.
The avian data from BAM were used to produce estimates of avian abundance by habitat type across Alberta. The extensive BAM database allowed for more detailed analyses for indicators based on birds (including grassland vertebrates, old forest birds, boreal tree-cavity nesting birds, wetland vertebrates and human-associated vertebrates, specifically boreal songbirds) than was possible using only the ABMI dataset. Avian density by eight forest age categories and five different forest types (in each of five regions in the province) were calculated and the results are posted by species on the BAM website under Regional Results.
This collaboration is an example of regional study. Although the results are specific to Alberta, the methodology could be applied elsewhere.
Future scenarios for songbird populations in the Alberta Pacific Forest Management Area
Environment Canada used BAM data to predict bird densities within different forest habitat types. These habitat-specific estimates for boreal songbird species were applied to current and projected landscape conditions to predict changes in population size. Bird populations were projected under varying forest management scenarios. These types of dynamic land-use models are useful for quantifying threats to bird populations. These models can also be used to 1) link habitat change to population change, 2) develop population-based habitat targets, and 3) focus strategic conservation actions for multiple landbird species.
Predicting Cumulative Effects of Land Uses on Western Boreal Forests
The Canadian Wildlife Federation and the ALCES Group are using BAM data to predict how bird populations may respond to potential changes in forest age and composition over the next 50 years in the southern portion of BCR6. The scenario analyses will project the long-term consequences a range of land use development trajectories by means of a range of ecological and socioeconomic indicators, including predicted abundances of selected bird species. The scenarios considered will include strategies designed to balance economic development and environmental conservation in the region. A final report is expected in Summer 2013.