The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) has released its latest report on the state of biodiversity in Alberta. The Status of Landbirds in Alberta’s Boreal Plains Ecozone – Preliminary Assessment 2012, reports on the status of common bird species that are monitored by the ABMI in Alberta’s Boreal Plains Ecozone (BPE). The BPE represents 58% of Alberta’s total land area and covers a vast expanse of northern Alberta. Alberta’s BPE is rich in natural resources; it serves as a working landscape for industry, and is considered an integral part of North America’s “bird nursery”. The report highlights the status of individual species and landbird groups such as neo-tropical migrants, forest interior specialists, winter residents and species at risk.
The ABMI assessed the status of 74 landbird species in the Boreal Plains Ecozone and found them to be, on average, 80% intact.
As of 2010, 21% of Alberta’s BPE has been directly altered by human activities including cultivation, forest harvesting, residential, commercial, energy, and transport infrastructure. Standing at 12%, agricultural cultivation represents the largest human footprint in Alberta’s BPE. Protected areas in Alberta (provincial and national parks and National Wildlife Areas) account for 11.3% of the BPE.
This area encompasses nearly all of Canada’s oil sands which are one of the largest deposits of hydrocarbon in the world. The ABMI assessed the status of 74 common landbirds in Alberta’s oil sands region and found them to be, on average, 85% intact. This region currently has a lower human footprint than the entirety of Alberta’s BPE and, therefore, a slightly higher intactness for landbirds.
About The ABMI
The ABMI is an independent organization that reports on Alberta’s ecological health. The only organization of its kind in North America, the ABMI conducts independent, science-based monitoring of the changing state of Alberta’s species, habitats, and ecosystems – the province’s ecological goods and services.
Full Status Report on Landbirds in Alberta’s Boreal Plains on the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Website