Prairie Canada shorebird conservation plan


The three prairie provinces of Canada provide crucially important breeding and staging habitat for a large number of shorebird species. Of the 40 species of shorebirds that breed regularly in Canada, 25 breed in Prairie Canada (the prairie, boreal and Coastal Hudson Bay regions of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba), including eight species whose breeding range in Canada is primarily or entirely in the prairies. The region also provides important staging sites for 31 species of both spring and fall migrating shorebirds.

Recent analyses of population monitoring schemes over several decades across North America, including Canada, have shown a negative trend in nearly 80 per cent of shorebird species.

The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) provides a national overview of the status of shorebirds in Canada and outlines procedures for cooperative national and international shorebird conservation. The Prairie Canada Shorebird Conservation Plan describes the current state of knowledge about shorebird species' biology, distribution, habitat needs and threats to their populations and conservation in Prairie Canada. It notes gaps in knowledge, and makes recommendations for priorities in shorebird monitoring, research and management activities in the three prairie provinces. Breeding birds are separated from migrants as priorities, timing of habitat use, and habitat requirements often differ between the two groups. Under those sections, the three main ecological areas of the region are discussed separately: prairie, boreal, and Hudson Bay coastline.

Overall Plan Goals: To sustain and enhance the distribution, diversity, and abundance of breeding and migrating populations of shorebirds throughout the Prairie Provinces. This will be done by:


Shorebird species in Prairie Canada

  1. Prairie/Parkland breeding birds
  2. Boreal breeding birds
  3. Hudson bay breeders
  4. Generalist breeding birds
  5. Passage migrants
  6. Status, seasonal timing of occurrence, known Canadian population trends and conservation priority of shorebirds commonly occurring or known to have bred in the prairie region of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta

1. Prairie/Parkland breeding birds

2. Boreal breeding birds (also Migrants through the Prairies/Parkland)

3. Hudson bay breeders

4. Generalist breeding birds

5. Passage migrants

6. Status, seasonal timing of occurrence, known Canadian population trends and conservation priority of shorebirds commonly occurring or known to have bred in the prairie region of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta

Table 1. The table of the status and seasonal timing of occurrence, and known Canadian population trends and conservation priority of shorebirds commonly occurring or known to have bred in the prairie region of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.table 1 note 1
Species Nametable 1 note 2Status and Occurrence in the Prairiestable 1 note 3Population Trend in Canadatable 1 note 4Prairie Responsibility (Canada)table 1 note 5Prairie Responsibility (Hemispheric)table 1 note 6
American AvocetBDHM
Black-necked StiltbI(H)VL
Black-bellied PloverS,fDmM
American Golden-PloverS,fs?/dmM
Semipalmated PloverS,Fs?/dlL
Piping PloverBdHH
Mountain Plover(b)d?(H)VL
Snowy Plover(b)?(H)VL
KilldeerBDML
Greater YellowlegsFs?/dmM
Lesser YellowlegsS,FDmM
Solitary Sandpipers,fs?/dlL
WilletBDHM
Spotted SandpiperBDLL
Upland SandpiperBI?HL
Eskimo Curlew(s)s?lL
Long-billed CurlewBDHM
WhimbrelSd/s?IL
Hudsonian GodwitF?hH
Marbled GodwitBDHH
Ruddy TurnstoneSs?lL
Red KnotSd/s?lL
SanderlingSDhH
Semipalmated SandpiperS,FDmM
Western Sandpiper(f)?(l)Vl
Least SandpiperS,FDlL
Baird's SandpiperS,Fs?hM
White-rumped SandpiperSs?/DhM
Pectoral SandpiperS,Fs?/dhM
DunlinSs?lL
Stilt SandpiperS,F?hH
Buff-breasted SandpiperS,FDhM
Long-billed DowitcherS,F?mM
Short-billed DowitcherS,FDmM
Common SnipeBDLL
American WoodcockBDLVL
Wilson's PhalaropeBDHM
Red-necked PhalaropeS,FDhH

Priority needs for Prairie shorebird conservation

A selection of priorities have been identified but extensive consultation with, and the involvement of, other partners during implementation of the Plan will further define and prioritize research, monitoring and habitat management activities. This selection includes: monitoring and research needs, and habitat management needs.

Monitoring and research needs:

Habitat management needs:

Prairie Canada shorebird conservation plan drafting committee

Partnerships

The Prairie Canada Shorebird Conservation Plan was developed and endorsed by the Prairie Habitat Joint Venture, a group of government and non-government agencies working together to promote migratory bird conservation in Prairie Canada. Plan implementation will require partnerships among federal and provincial governments, non-government organizations, industry and landowners. Partnerships will be created around matching partners' strengths in research, monitoring, habitat protection, wetland and upland management, marketing, environmental education and communications. Strong and effective partnerships will ensure that the Prairie Canada Shorebird Conservation Plan moves forward as an integral part of an integrated, ecologically-based, biologically-driven landscape.

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