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Uncovering the Connection: Eastern Boreal Forest and the Atlantic Flyway

Publication Type: Technical Report

Author: Lemelin, L.V., Darveau, M., Yerkes, T., Bordage, D., and J. Coluccy

Date: 2008

Forests of eastern North America are traditionnally known as wetland poor and waterfowl depauperate. However, wetlands and waterfowl abundance hotspots that this region undoubtly contains remain unknown and might become irreversibly altered if not previously identified and adequately managed. In this study, we present a deepwater and wetland habitats map as well as static, predictive models and maps of breeding waterfowl in Quebec forest-dominated lanscapes (517,000 km2; 5.3% of Canada). Habitat data came from the 1:20,000 provincial forestry maps whereas breeding waterfowl data came from the 1990-2005 Black Duck Joint Venture–Canadian Wildlife Service aerial survey in Quebec. For the eight most abundant waterfowl species and total waterfowl, we predicted breeding pair abundance based on negative binomial regression multi-model averaging and Akaike’s information criterion. The map that we produced is the first thematic wetland map of Quebec forest-dominated landscapes, and may reveal extremely useful to land-use planners and resource managers. Potential applications of waterfowl predictive models include estimation of population exposed to threats and development of decision-support tools for wetland conservation programs. Waterfowl abundance hotspots may represent judicious areas where to concentrate investments for habitat conservation, restoration, and enhancement.

Lemelin, L.V., Darveau, M., Yerkes, T., Bordage, D., and J. Coluccy. 2008. Uncovering the Connection: Eastern Boreal Forest and the Atlantic Flyway. Ducks Unlimited Canada. 45 pp.

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