Bird Studies Canada will receive $80,000 a year for three years, beginning in 2010, for a total of $240,000 to provide science-based data and tools that SFI program participants can use to improve forest habitat management beyond regulatory compliance for the conservation of bird biodiversity and species at risk across Canada.
Supporting the SFI Standard
The project will build on the well-established, volunteer-based Canadian Breeding Bird Atlas program, helping forest managers meet legal, regulatory and SFI Standard requirements with respect to biodiversity conservation and protection of threatened and endangered species. This includes Objective 4 of the SFI 2010-2014 Standard calling for program participants « to manage the quality and distribution of wildlife habitats and contribute to the conservation of biological diversity by developing and implementing stand- and landscape-level measures that promote a diversity of types of habitat and successional stages, and conservation of forest plants and animals, including aquatic species. »
In addition to Bird Studies Canada, partners include the Canadian Wildlife Service, Regroupement QuébecOiseaux, and Breeding Bird Atlas projects in the Maritimes, Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia as well as seven SFI program participants – NewPage, Port Hawkesbury Corporation, Bowater Mersey Paper Company Ltd., Abitibi-Bowater, J.D. Irving Ltd., Acadian Timber and Louisiana-Pacific Corp.
Information from Breeding Bird Atlases about the distribution of breeding bird species will be supplemented by data gathered from forest areas not easily accessed by volunteers, and from harvesting data already collected on existing and potential SFI project participant lands in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia. The project will lead to a customized web portal where forestry companies can request, obtain, manage, and potentially analyze data specific to their managed lands.
SFI program participants will be able to use the data to develop programs and management plans to promote the conservation of native bird diversity and threatened and endangered species. Birds are an excellent indicator of biological diversity with measureable responses to forest management practices.