Mapping Traditional Bird Knowledge for Urban Bird Conservation in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Urbanization is a worldwide trend resulting in loss of bird habitat, dominance of invasive species and higher densities of some predatory species. However, cities provide new opportunities for birds because of warmer winter climates and sources of artificial food. Proper management of urban habitat is significant for maintaining diverse bird communities and raising conservation awareness among city dwellers. This study aimed at identifying important urban bird habitats as well as their characteristics in Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia. Fourteen local birders outlined bird habitats on maps, and the information was compiled and presented using GIS. In total, 28% of the study area was indicated as key habitat for urban birds. By comparing the GIS data with existing conserved areas, coastal areas, marine habitat and urban wetlands were found to be under-represented in conserved areas. Following from the research findings, recommendations for improving habitat identification and management are made.