Using Vocal Behaviour to Reform the Conservation of Canada Warblers (Wilsonia canadensis)
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The Canada Warbler (Wilsonia canadensis) is a declining neotropical migratory songbird that breeds in Canada and the USA and winters in South America. Between 1968 and 2007, its abundance declined an estimated 4.5% per year, which corresponds to an 85% species decline over the 38-year period (Savignac, 2008). In Nova Scotia, the population is estimated to have declined 20% per year from 1997-2007 (Savignac, 2008). The causes for the decline of the Canada Warbler are not entirely known (Savignac, 2008). However, it is thought that habitat loss and degradation to both the breeding grounds and wintering habitat have a major influence (Lambert and Faccio, 2005; Reitsma et al., 2010). This research intends to further the knowledge of Canada Warbler vocal behaviour. By comparing a Nova Scotia Canada Warbler population with Canada Warbler data being collected in New Hampshire, I hope to find similarities between vocal behaviour which could then be used for comparison between other populations in other parts of Canada or the United States. This research will also promote less intrusive monitoring by focusing on vocal behaviour to asses individual identity and breeding status. By gathering data on the Canada Warbler, I hope to contribute to the conservation of the species by helping to lay the foundation for a song-based monitoring program that will help identify critical breeding habitat and ensure it is protected from urban development, degradation, habitat loss and other disturbances.