Effects of natural gas development on three grassland bird species in CFB Suffield, Alberta, Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Hamilton, Laura
  • I investigated the effect of energy sector development and introduced crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) on grassland birds on Canadian Forces Base Suffield. I conducted point counts and mapped breeding territories in 2007 and 2008 for Savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis), chestnut-collared longspurs (Calcarius ornatus), and Sprague’s pipits (Anthus spragueii). I found that Savannah sparrows favored areas with taller vegetation, human disturbances and crested wheatgrass in both years. Longspurs used shorter vegetation and in were tolerant of disturbance. Crested wheatgrass was avoided by longspurs in both years. Pipit territories contained similar vegetation to longspurs, were sensitive to disturbance, and avoided placing territories in areas containing crested wheatgrass or trails in both years. Well sites, pipelines and junctions were not avoided by the three species. My research suggests that reducing the number of trails and the spread of crested wheatgrass will increase habitat availability for sensitive species of grassland birds.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Biological Sciences
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Paszkowski, Cynthia (Biological Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dale, Brenda (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service)
    • Paszkowski, Cynthia (Biological Sciences)
    • Bayne, Erin (Biological Sciences)
    • MacDonald, Ellen (Renewable Resources)