Canadian Forest Service Publications

Monitoring boreal avian populations: how can we estimate trends and trajectories from noisy data? 2019. Roy, C.; Michel, N. L. ; Handel, C. M.; Van Wilgenburg, S. L.; Burkhalter, J. C.; Gurney, K. E. B.; Messmer, D. J.; Princé, K.; Rushing, C. S.; Saracco, J. F.; Schuster, R. ; Smith, A. C.; Smith, P. A.; Sólymos, P.; Venier, L. A.; Zuckerberg, B. Avian Conservation & Ecology 14(2): Art. 8.

Year: 2019

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39976

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.5751/ACE-01397-140208

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Plain Language Summary

Substantial effort has been dedicated to developing reliable population monitoring schemes for North American bird populations, but our ability to monitor bird populations in the boreal forest remains limited due to the sparsity of long-term data-sets, particularly in northerly regions. Given the importance of the boreal forest for many migratory birds we set out to (1) summarize the main challenges associated with monitoring avian populations; (2) describe the available statistical tools for population monitoring and their applications; and (3) identify knowledge gaps in boreal bird population monitoring efforts that require the most urgent attention. Defining and delineating populations of interest, and identifying the drivers that affect those populations present the greatest challenges. This is due in large part to the fact that birds are simultaneously exposed to numerous factors throughout their annual cycle. These factors are often hierarchically structured and can influence populations at the local, regional, and/or continental scales. Some of the challenges associated with delineating populations and identifying population drivers can be addressed via the plethora of analytical methods available to examine population change over time.