Enhancing the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program to meet OEHJV and NAWMP priorities – year 2 of 2, 2015-16

Final Report: Enhancing the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program to meet OEHJV and NAWMP priorities – year 2 of 2, 2015-16

Goals and Objectives

The primary purpose, in the short-term, is to implement a new sampling framework for the GLMMP that better reflects Ontario Eastern Habitat Joint Venture (OEHJV) and NAWMP priorities, and in the future, will allow OEHJV partners to evaluate and improve conservation and management for wetland dependent species.

A key role of the project is to is to conduct surveys to evaluate the status of waterbird populations and other wetland dependent species at OEHJV sites, which, in turn, can be used to assess and evaluate OEHJV securement, enhancement, and stewardship activities. By implementing a randomized wetland sampling scheme, instead of the previous methods of non-random sampling, stratified by OEHJV priorities, the capacity of the GLMMP and subsequently the OEHJV to evaluate ongoing and future conservation and management actions for wetland-dependent bird species, particularly secretive marsh birds and migratory gamebirds, will be greatly strengthened.

Research question(s)

Currently the GLMMP is working to address:

–              What is the distribution, relative abundance, and population trend of wetland-dependent species, particularly secretive marsh species, at various scales within the Great Lakes Basin?

–              What factors most influence relative abundance and population trends of wetland-dependant species in the Great Lakes Basin?

Specific Habitat Products/Results Supported by WHC’s Contributions

Statistically robust information on population trends, abundance, distribution, and habitat for migratory webless game bird species within the Ontario portion of BCR 13 and throughout OEHJV priority areas; widely-distributed peer-reviewed summary of bird and frog population trend models enhanced with habitat covariates.

Benefits to Waterfowl, Wetland-Associated Species, and/or Other Wildlife

A founding principle of the EHJV is to conserve waterfowl resources by maintaining and improving the quantity and quality of wetland habitats. This is accomplished by securing, enhancing and restoring, and managing valuable wetland and associated upland habitats. By implementing a sampling framework that has been designed with substantial input from OEHJV partners they will generate statically robust data to quantitatively address timely and relevant OEHJV priorities and information gaps for non-migratory gamebirds, as well as other wetland dependent species.

 

Furthermore, the project focuses on the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence key priority area including much of Bird and Waterfowl Conservation Regions 13. The Lower Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Plain has experienced more significant impacts and the highest rates of wetland loss than any other region. At a finer scale, the project area also overlaps with the DUC and NCC- priority areas

Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management

The project will directly impact OEHJV wetland habitat conservation and management.

Members of the OEHJV, including Ducks Unlimited, Environment Canada – Canadian Wildlife Service, Nature Conservancy Canada, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, will benefit from the proposed project in the following ways:

1)            Newly developed and implemented sampling strategy will allow the GLMMP to better address OEHJV priorities including evaluating conservation and management actions and prioritizing sites for future acquisition.

2)            Newly developed and implemented sampling strategy will help meet Environment Canada’s obligation under the MBCA to monitor wetland-dependent bird species and will address survey limitations outlined in the Avian Monitoring Review.

3)            GLMMP will be a key program to assist OEHJV partners in moving towards all-bird approach.

Project Location

  1. Province: Ontario

iii.            Municipality / county / town / city: Norfolk County

  1. Landscape type: Wetland

vii.          Other relevant information about the location: across entire Great Lakes basin

Project Contact

For more information on this project, please contact Becky Stewart, Port Rowan, ON.