Yukon Endangered Birds: Research and Monitoring

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.


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.

2011. Prey Use and Selection in Relation to Reproduction by Peregrine Falcons Breeding along the Yukon River, Canada. Journal of Raptor Research, 45(1), 27-37 (R. D. Dawson sr. author)


Project support: Yukon College Students

  • Department of Environment, Government of Yukon
  • Canadian Wildlife Services, Department of Environment, Government of Canada
  • Non-government Organizations: Yukon Conservation Society, Friends of Dempster Country
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Department of Environment, Government of Yukon
  • Northern Science Training fund
  • Northern Research Endowment Fund, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College