Whimbrel Conservation on the Acadian Peninsula
October 8, 2016
Fletcher Smith, Center for Conservation Biology
Atlantic Canada was documented as a major shorebird stopover location over a century ago. Very little regional population data was gathered on whimbrels since the market gunner/sport hunting days. Those migrant shorebirds relied upon invertebrates and berries in bogs, heathlands, and mudflats to fuel their flights to wintering grounds.
Beginning in the fall of 2014, The Center for Conservation Biology, along with collaborators at the Canadian Wildlife Service and Mount Allison University, surveyed the habitats available to whimbrels on the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick. During the fall migration of 2016, seven whimbrels were trapped and outfitted with small solar powered satellite transmitters. The purpose of this study is to track the birds throughout their annual cycle, documenting habitat use while on the Acadian Peninsula, as well as to discover the wintering and breeding grounds of the birds that migrate through the region.
Funding, collaboration, and logistical support for this project was provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as part of the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative, the Canadian Wildlife Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mount Allison University, the University of Moncton Shippagan Campus, and The Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William & Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University. We thank the blueberry farmers that allowed access into select blueberry fields and assisted with logistics.