Yukon College Home YRC Projects Yukon Endangered Birds: Research and Monitoring

Yukon Endangered Birds: Research and Monitoring

Established: Ongoing since 1975.

This research focuses on assessing and understanding the population pressures on species of birds found to be at risk of extirpation in the Yukon. It builds on a long term project tracking the reproductive status of peregrine falcons and other vulnerable birds of prey. Regular visits to known breeding populations monitor the number breeders, number of young produced and a number of associated measures.
The work recognizes the value of these top predators known to be at risk, as indicators of ecological integrity. American Kestrels are monitored using artificial nest structures. Vulnerability ranking of species is used to focus on those that are potentially at risk.

Results: Peregrine productivity has been shown to be slowing; an MSc thesis has shown interesting prey switching in the face of food stress caused by a decline in key prey species. Work continues to understand the changing impact of insect nest parasites. A. Kestrels have declined alarmingly across the North West; research continues to try to understand its causes.

2009. Why are American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) populations declining in North America? Evidence from nest-box programs. J. Raptor Res 43(4) 274-282. (J.A Smallwood sr. author)

2010. 2010 population status of the peregrine falcon in the Yukon Territory. Northern Res. Inst ms, Yukon College 12 pp + append.

2011. Prey use and selection in relation to reproduction by peregrine falcons breeding along the Yukon river, Canada. J. Raptor Research 45(1): 27-37 R. D. Dawson sr author

Project Team

Project leader, D.H. Mossop, Professor Emeritus, Yukon Research Center, Yukon College
Project support,  Yukon College Students (various)

Project Partners

Department of Environment, Government of Yukon
Canadian Wildlife Services, Department of Environment, Government of Canada

Non-government Organizations:
Yukon Conservation Society
Friend of Dempster Country

Project Funders

World Wildlife Fund
Department of Environment, Government of Yukon
Northern Science Training fund
Northern Research Endowment Fund, Yukon Research Center, Yukon College