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Maintaining healthy bird populations

Target 5.2: Terrestrial and aquatic wildlife conservation target for proportion of migratory bird species whose population varies within acceptable bounds of the population goals will be established in 2011, once the Bird Status Database is complete.

On average, Canadian breeding bird populations declined by 12% between 1970 and 2010.

By 2010, bird species spending the entire year in Canada increased in population on average by 68% since 1970. Bird species migrating farther from home generally declined, and the birds migrating the farthest--to South America--showed the most severe declines, with populations declining by 53%. Birds migrating to the United States had 10% declines on average, while birds migrating to Central America declined by 14%.

In addition to SARA, the government administers other Acts of Parliament that support the conservation and protection of wildlife and their habitats. These include the Canada Wildlife Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act, and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

Conservation plans and strategies for 25 Bird Conservation Regions across Canada are currently being developed. In total, 11 conservation strategies have been drafted. These strategies outline habitat requirements, set population objectives, identify threats and recommend actions in support of migratory bird conservation in Canada and internationally. Recommended conservation actions include: law and policy development; land and water management or protection; research and monitoring; education and awareness building; external capacity building; and other species management actions.

For additional information on the implementation strategies that support this target, please consult the following website: Environment Canada.

Progress towards Target 5.2: Trends in Canada’s migratory bird populations (interim indicator)

On average, Canadian breeding bird populations declined by 12% between 1970 and 2010.

By 2010, bird species spending the entire year in Canada increased in population on average by 68% since 1970, as shown by Table 4.1. Bird species migrating farther from home generally declined, and the birds migrating the farthest--to South America--showed the most severe declines, with populations declining by 53%. Birds migrating to the United States had 10% declines on average, while birds migrating to Central America declined by 14%.

For the most up-to-date information on this indicator, please visit CESI.

Table 4.1: Change in Canada's migratory bird population by primary wintering area, 1970–2010
Primary wintering areasPercent changes from 1970 to 2010
Canada+ 68 %
United States– 10 %
Central America– 14 %
South America– 53 %
All species combined–12 %

 


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