The Canada Warbler is a neo-tropical migrant songbird that breeds in the boreal forest of Canada and the United States. This species is provincially listed as a species at risk (Blue-listed) in British Columbia because its range is restricted to the northeastern corner of the province and population declines experienced in the eastern part of its range. Most studies of Canada Warbler breeding habitat have been conducted in eastern North America. This warbler is suffering from population declines across its breeding range, likely due to breeding habitat loss and degradation. Little information is known about the breeding habitat requirements of Canada Warbler in British Columbia, nor is it known what impact, if any resource extraction industries have on the species. This report is the summary of a two year study investigating habitat use by Canada Warbler in northeastern BC by comparing identified breeding locations with randomly selected locations.
Our findings suggest that in the Fort Nelson Forest District Canada Warblers breed in mature, hardwood-leading stands with a large proportion of trembling aspen in the canopy. Basal area, but not tree density was an important predictor of Canada Warbler habitat. Canada Warblers used sites with moderate cover of understory shrubs and the presence of large coarse woody debris. Common understory shrubs in Canada Warbler breeding habitat included Alnus crispa, Vibernum edule, and Rosa acicularis.
We recommend that forest managers use multi-scale approaches to protect Canada Warbler habitat in northeastern BC. These include managing for mature hardwood patches at a landscape scale and using mechanisms like Wildlife Tree Patches and riparian reserves to capture potential breeding habitat at the stand level.
Bachmann, Karl, Manning, Cooper and Associates Ltd.. 2009. 2008 Forest Songbird and Woodpecker Monitoring in the Fort Nelson Forest District. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program. Forest Investment Account Report
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), British, Columbia
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