Robert W. Butler1, David W. Bradley2 and James Casey2
1 Pacific Wildlife Foundation, Box 1-12, Reed Point Marina, 850 Barnet Highway, Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada, V3H 1V6; e-mail: email@example.com
2 Birds Canada, British Columbia Office, 206-4841 Delta Street, Delta, British Columbia, Canada, V4K 2T9.
Abstract: Approximately 1.7 million waterbirds and raptors used the Fraser River Delta annually between 1999 and 2019: 1.6 million chiefly frequented tidal flats, 207,000 used floodplain and 79,000 used estuarine habitats. Twenty-nine species occurred in globally, continentally or nationally significant numbers and 26 species are currently designated as national Species at Risk. A total of 263 species of birds, or nearly half of all 550 species of birds reported for British Columbia, occurred annually on the delta. We provide a Conservation Priority List for 69 species of birds that were designated as either globally, continentally or nationally important as identified by the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas Program, Species at Risk under the federal Species at Risk Act, or on the provincial Red or Blue Lists. Industrial areas supported an estimated 35% of the natural floodplain avifauna compared to 59% in residential areas and 88% in farmland. Since the early 1990s much of the farmland has been under voluntary wildlife stewardship programs. Many important habitats have been designated for conservation purposes since 1987 with favourable results for most species. Birdwatching is estimated to bring $11M annually into the local economy. We recommend a partnership of stakeholders be established to guide use of the delta to ensure birds are conserved for economic, social and cultural values.
Key words: Fraser River Delta, populations, Species at Risk, Biosphere Reserve, bird watching, conservation.
Butler, R.W., D.W. Bradley and J. Casey. 2021. The status, ecology and conservation of internationally important bird populations on the Fraser River Delta, British Columbia, Canada. British Columbia Birds 32:1–52.
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