Modelling habitat quality for the Canada Warbler using LiDAR technology on the forest shrub layer.
– Carl Savignac (Dendroica), Mathieu Varin (CERFO), Marie-Andrée Tougas-Tellier and Catherine Colette (NCC), and many volunteers from the Club des Ornithologues des Outaouais
The Canada Warbler (CW), an endangered species in Canada, nests on the ground in riparian forests and swamps where the shrub layer is dense. The primary objective of this project is to create and validate the first habitat quality index model for this species by incorporating accurate measurements of shrub layer density and height from airborne LiDAR technology. The second objective is to compare Canada Warbler habitat use with the structure and composition of riparian forest nesting bird communities between three riparian forest treatments: 1) unmanaged (≥ 30 years), 2) young partial cuts (2-10 years) and 3) older partial cuts (11-20 years). In 2018, 94 listening stations in 3 treatments were visited twice to identify all breeding birds. Nine vegetation parameters were also measured at 44 listening stations (22 with the presence of CW, 22 without). Preliminary results suggest that the species is relatively abundant in the riparian forests of Kenauk, and possibly most common in older partial cut forests.