Foster, KR, Godwin, CM & Pyle, P 2012, 'Monitoring avian productivity and survivorship in the oil sands region of Northeastern Alberta', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 563-571, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1208_48_Foster
Avian demographics provide an indication of habitat quality and complexity, due to the habitat requirements of the individual species among landbird taxa. The MAPS protocol (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) was applied in a 2011 pilot program in the boreal forest in the oil sands region to determine the applicability of the protocol in supporting evaluations of reclaimed habitats and to provide data supportive of population trend analyses. Six MAPS stations were established: three (BPND, MUSR, VWET) in natural undisturbed areas, two (GWAY, BISN) in reclaimed areas, and one (BCDS) in a semi-natural, reservoir shoreline area. The abundance of birds processed in 2011 was high (1,937 captures and 1,605 new bandings). Capture rate was highest at the natural habitat MUSR station (885 per 600 net-hr) and lowest at the reclaimed GWAY station (140). Capture rate at the reclaimed BISN station (730) was similar to that at the natural stations. Mean apparent productivity (across all species) in natural habitat stations was 0.91 (SE 0.24), that at BISN was higher (1.28), and that at GWAY was lower (0.24). Diversity of captured birds ranged from 19 (GWAY) to 37 (BISN) species; however, the number of species observed and exhibiting breeding behaviours at these two reclaimed stations were similar to those at the natural and semi-natural stations. Up to nine species and four breeding species at each station are listed as sensitive in Alberta or Canada. Improvements in reclamation practices at BISN relative to those applied at GWAY may explain some of the differences in bird abundance, productivity and diversity. The MAPS protocol can be effectively applied in the region, will provide data and information on the quality of reconstructed habitats in reclaimed areas, and will contribute data for use in estimating population vital rates.
Alberta Environmental Monitoring Panel (2011) A World Class Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting for Alberta, The Report of the Alberta Environmental Monitoring Panel, 102 p., viewed 13 May 2012,
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (2010) General Status of Wild Species 2010, viewed 13 May 2012,
Beckingham, J.D. and Archibald, J.H. (1996) Field guide to ecosites of northern Alberta. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northwest Region, Northern Forest Centre, Special Report 5, Edmonton, Alberta, 528 p.
Blancher, P. and Wells, J. (2005) The Boreal Forest Region: North America’s Bird Nursery, The Boreal Songbird Initiative and the Canadian Boreal Initiative, Bird Studies Canada, viewed 13 May 2012,
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (2011), Government of Canada, viewed 13 May 2012,
Crewe, T.L., McCracken, J.D., Taylor, P.D., Lepage, D. and Heagy, A. (2008) Ten-Year Report on Monitoring Landbird Population Change, Bird Studies Canada, The Canadian Migration Monitoring Network and Environment Canada, 71 p., viewed 13 May 2012,
Cumming, S., Schmiegelow, F., Bayne, E. and Song, S. (2010) Canada’s Forest Resource Inventories: Compiling a Tool for Boreal Ecosystems Analysis and Modelling. A Background Document, 7 p., viewed 13 May 2012,
DeSante, D.F. (1995) Suggestions for future directions for studies of marked migratory landbirds from the perspective of a practitioner in population management and conservation, Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Group, 22, pp. 949–965.
DeSante, D.F. and Rosenberg, D.K. (1998) What do we need to monitor in order to manage landbirds? Avian Conservation: Research Needs and Effective Implementation, Marzluff, J and Sallabanks, R (eds.), Island Press, Washington, DC, pp. 93–106.
DeSante, D.F., O'Grady, D.R. and Pyle, P. (1999) Measures of productivity and survival derived from standardized mist netting are consistent with observed population changes, Bird Study, Taylor & Francis Group, 46 (suppl.) pp. 178–188.
DeSante, D.F., Nott, M.P. and O’Grady, D.R. (2001) Identifying the proximate demographic cause(s) of population change by modeling spatial variation in productivity, survivorship, and population trends, Ardea, Netherlands Ornithologist’s Union, 89, pp. 185–207.
DeSante, D.F. and Saracco, J.F. (2009) Power of the MAPS program to detect differences and trends in survival and a vision for program expansion, Bird Populations, Institute for Bird Populations, 9, pp. 42–75.
DeSante, D.F., Burton, K.M., Velez, P. and Froehlich, D. (2011) 2011 MAPS Manual, The Institute for Bird Populations, 49 p.
Government of Canada and Government of Alberta (2012) Joint Canada/Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring, Environment Canada, 32 pp., viewed 13 May 2012,
Government of Canada (2009) Species at Risk Act, Environment Canada, viewed 13 May 2012,
Lebreton, J.D., Burnham, K.P., Clobert, J. and Anderson, D.R. (1992) Modeling survival and testing biological hypotheses using marked animals: a unified approach with case studies, Ecological Monographs, Ecological Society of America, 62, pp. 67–118.
Nott, M.P., DeSante, D.F. and Michel, N. (2003) Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Habitat Structure Assessment Protocol, The Institute for Bird Populations, 48 p.
Nott, P., Michel, N., Pyle, P. and DeSante, D.F. (2005) Managing Landbird Populations in Forests of the Pacific Northwest Region, Institute for Bird Populations, 7 p., viewed 13 May 2012,
Nott, P. (2008) Demographic Landbird Monitoring: A Precision Tool for Land Stewards, The Institute for Bird Populations, 4 p., viewed 13 May 2012,
Oil Sands Advisory Panel (2010) A Foundation for the Future: Building an Environmental Monitoring System for the Oil Sands, A Report Submitted to the Minister of the Environment, Environment Canada, 49 p., viewed 13 May 2012,
Oil Sands Advisory Panel (2011) An Integrated Oil Sands Environment Monitoring Plan, Environment Canada, 31 pp., viewed 13 May 2012,
Peach, W.J., Buckland, S.T. and Baillie, S.R. (1996) The use of constant effort mist-netting to measure between-year changes in the abundance and productivity of common passerines, Bird Study, Taylor & Francis Group, 43, pp. 142–156.
Pollock, K.H., Nichols, J.D., Brownie, C. and Hines, J.E. (1990) Statistical inference for capture-recapture experiments, Wildlife Monographs, Wiley, 107, pp. 1–97.
Remsen, J.V. and Good, D.A. (1996) Misuse of data from mist-net captures to assess relative abundance in bird populations, The Auk, The American Ornithologists’ Union, 113, pp 381–398.
The Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel (2010) Environmental and Health Impacts of Canada’s Oil Sands Industry, The Royal Society of Canada, The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada, 441 p., viewed 13 May 2012,
Savage, C. (2004) The Singing Forest. Canadian Geographic, Royal Canadian Geographic Society, 124, pp. 36–46.
Saracco, J.F., DeSante, D.F, Nott, M.P. and Kaschube, D.R. (2009) Using the MAPS and MoSI Programs to Monitor Landbirds and Inform Conservation, Proceedings of the Fourth International Partners in Flight Conference: Tundra to Tropics, Rich, T.D., Thompson, C.D, Demarest, D. and Arizmendi, C. (eds), University of Texas-Pan American Press, Edinburg, TX, pp. 651–658.
Wells, J.V. (2011) Boreal birds of North America: A Hemispheric View of their Conservation Links and Significance, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 136 p.