WCS Waterfowl Habitat Analysis

The goal of this project is to identify and protect critical habitat for migratory waterfowl in Yukon. Our specific objectives are 1) to identify lakes that are of high-value as stopover sites for waterfowl during their spring migration through southeast Yukon and 2) secure an update of Yukon Environment’s Wildlife Key Areas (WKA) database based on the results of our study. High quality stopover sites are critical for migrating birds. For waterfowl, open water in an otherwise hostile landscape of snow and ice provide opportunities for resting and refueling during spring migration. The purpose of Yukon Environment’s WKA database is to ensure consideration of key wildlife habitats and sites in habitat management, resource and land use planning, and environmental assessment reviews. Currently, only 24 lakes are listed as waterfowl WKA for the spring migration period, and many require additional study as their designation is based on a single survey or anecdotal information. Further, many regions have not had comprehensive assessments to identify high-value lakes. Through surveys of lakes in eastern Yukon, repeated 4 times during spring migration and for at least 2 years, we will identify the highest-value stopover lakes for swans, geese, ducks, loons, and grebes. Thus, this study will address key information gaps and support an update of the waterfowl WKA database, with implications for management and protection of these critical sites.

Proponent: Wildlife Conservation Society Canada

Contract: 2019-20-24

Amount Awarded: $13,900

Final Report: Download