In June 2012, ARI staff and 6 local field assistants, conducted breeding bird surveys in the Inuvik, Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic regions of the Northwest Territories. A total of 182 individual surveys were completed on four routes along the Dempster Highway. These surveys were part of North American-wide breeding bird surveys which were started in the 1960s to monitor long-term trends in bird populations.
Fifty-one different bird species were observed on all four routes. The most common bird species observed on all four routes were, in descending order: Yellow Warbler, White-crowned Sparrow, Common Redpoll, Alder Flycatcher, Savannah Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and American Robin. Other birds that were observed included seven Species-At-Risk, all listed as Sensitive in the Northwest Territories; Lesser Scaup, White-winged Scoter, Lesser Yellowlegs, Short-eared Owl, Blackpoll Warbler, American Tree Sparrow and a Rusty Blackbird. Sensitive wildlife species are those “that are not at risk of extinction or extirpation but may require special attention or protection to prevent them from becoming at risk.” Monitoring bird populations is an important tool to identify where Species-At-Risk are located and for assessing the conservation status of common species.
This project was funded by the Government of Northwest Territories Species-At-Risk Stewardship Program and by the Aurora Research Institute.