WEYDV-02-033

Breeding Bird Survey in the Wapiabi and Marshy Banks Region
Sponsor: 
Weyerhaeuser Company Limited
Lead Researcher: 
Roger Brown, Aspen Ecological Consulting, Edmonton, Alberta
Body: 
To date, there have been no community-level bird studies conducted in the Wapiabi and Marshy Banks region of Weyerhaeuser’s Drayton Valley Forest Management Agreement area. The objective of the study was to establish sampling stations, survey bird communities in the region, and describe forest characteristics associated with the sample stations.

A monitoring program for breeding bird communities in the study area began in spring 1998. The study area was stratified into twelve distinct habitat types based on stand characteristics (i.e. species composition, stand age). Researchers surveyed alpine habitats and riparian habitats by time-area constrained searches, and surveyed forestland, non-forested meadows and cutblocks with permanently established point-count sampling stations.

The survey data and descriptions of distribution patterns and the abundance of birds throughout the Wapiabi and Marshy Banks study area were summarized. The results from the first year of data collection detail the species richness, species composition, and relative abundance of bird communities in the study area. A total of 101 bird species were detected during the study. Based on the first year of study data, it is possible to make inferences between habitat types and presence of individual bird species. The first year of data also serves as a base year for the comparison of bird abundance indices in future years.