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Found 10 records similar to Colonial Waterbird Health and Contaminants, Oil Sands Region
Monitoring contaminants in gull and tern eggs is a useful tool for gaining insights into local environmental conditions because gulls and terns are integrators of processes occurring at lower levels in the food web and their eggs are generally formed using local food sources. Therefore, the chemical composition of the egg will reflect the chemical characteristics of the region in the vicinity of the breeding colony, including level of contaminants, such as mercury. Eggs are collected any time after laying, ideally well before hatching, but after the full clutch size (3 eggs) has been reached, generally around the middle of June. The collection site is a colony on Lake Mamawi, in the Peace Athabasca Delta; in addition to collection sites outside the park.
Aquatic bird eggs are being collected for contaminants analysis. Egg collections in the Peace-Athabasca Delta area support Parks Canada’s activities at Wood Buffalo National Park and the multi-stakeholder Peace-Athabasca Ecosystem Monitoring Program. This monitoring activity employs repeated censuses of birds and builds on initial egg collections made in 2009 from Egg Island (Lake Athabasca) and Wood Buffalo National Park, with the goal of evaluating contaminant burdens, contaminant sources and changes in sources through time. Egg samples are collected from colonial waterbirds California Gulls (Larus californicus), Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus), Ring-billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis), Caspian Terns (Hydroprogne caspia) and Common Terns (Sterna hirundo) and insectivorous birds Bank Swallows (Riparia riparia), Cliff Swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) and Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) to monitor health and contaminant levels of aquatic and terrestrial birds in the oil sands region and in reference areas.
Herring gull (Larus arentatus, HERG), great blue heron (Ardea Herodias GBHE), double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus, DCCO) and ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis, RBGU) have been monitored in Pukaskwa National Park since 1977 as part of the colonial waterbird monitoring program. A complete count of active nests on islands found along the ~120km of coast of Pukaskwa is conducted based on the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) protocol. The nest count is carried out during the peak of breeding over a period of 2-3 weeks. From 1977 – 1981, surveys were conducted annually and used an island numbering system (Old Colony Number in datasheet).
These fish-eating colonial waterbirds breed and nest in colonies on islands in and around Fathom Five National Marine Park. Five species of colonial waterbird are monitored. These birds and their eggs are effective measures of environmental contamination and aquatic ecosystem health.
Monitoring of the number of eggs and nests for the Great black-backed and European herring gulls . Field data from 1996 to 2015. Many islands in the MANPRC are used by the Great black-backed and European herring gulls for nesting. The presence of this species is characteristic of the inland ecology of the park.
Monitoring of the number of eggs and nests for the tern. Field data from 1992 to 2019. Many islands in the MANPRC are used by the terns for their nesting. The presence and great abundance of this species are characteristic of the inland ecology of the park.
The second largest concentration of common terns (Sterna hirundo) in North America is found on Tern Islands, a set of three small barrier islands separated by water at high tide located within Kouchibouguac National Park. These seabirds are indicators for the condition of coastal, marine, as well as estuarine ecosystems due to the use of these nesting and/or breeding grounds, and their reliance on the distribution of small fish populations in lagoons or along the outer beaches of barrier islands throughout the breeding season. The purpose of the common tern colony monitoring program is to determine the annual total number of nests and estimate mean clutch size in order to evaluate long-term breeding population health. The methods for this measure involve an annual systematic census on Tern Islands over a 1-2 day period in mid-to late June during the late incubation stage.
Data Sources: Banque informatisée des oiseaux de mer au Québec (BIOMQ: ECCC-CWS Quebec Region) Atlantic Colonial Waterbird Database (ACWD: ECCC-CWS Atlantic Region).. Both the BIOMQ and ACWD contain records of individual colony counts, by species, for known colonies located in Eastern Canada. Although some colonies are censused annually, most are visited much less frequently. Methods used to derive colony population estimates vary markedly among colonies and among species.
Red-breasted mergansers (Mergus serrator) are colonial birds found on Tern Islands, a set of three small barrier islands separated by water at high tide located within Kouchibouguac National Park. These piscivorous sea ducks are indicators for the state of the breeding islands and associated marine or estuarine ecosystems, since nest distribution and productivity is closely related to habitat conditions such as the presence of marram grass (Ammophila breviligulata) in addition to sometimes sea lyme grass (Leymus mollis) or common yarrow (Achillea millefolium); while the occurrence of the species is also linked to the scope and abundance of fish resources. The purpose of the red-breasted merganser monitoring program is to determine the annual number of nesting attempts and to measure nest success, as these are important parameters that contribute to breeding population dynamics. The methods for this measure involve an annual census in mid-August where nests (i.e., a bowl with at least one egg) are located by systematically searching the vegetated regions on Tern Islands immediately following the completion of the breeding season.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has been monitoring levels of persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals in seabird eggs collected from the St. Lawrence River and Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada, since the end of 1960s. Two sentinel species were selected to monitor aquatic ecosystem health and contamination based on their elevated position in the food web and relatively limited feeding range; the northern gannet (Morus bassanus) and the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) (Champoux et al., 2002; 2006; 2010; 2015; 2016 – available in supplemental information section *). Current avian monitoring is completed as part of the St. Lawrence Action Plan (2011-2026), a Canada-Quebec agreement that aims to conserve, restore, protect, and enhance the St. Lawrence (http://planstlaurent.qc.ca/en.html). Pollutants monitored include legacy organochlorine pesticides (e.g.